Given the craze of Bollywood and cricket in India, when the two merge, one can only expect a huge success. The producers have shown a special interest in biopics of cricketers and other sportspersons over the years. Sushant Singh Rajput, the late Bollywood actor, had massive shoes to fill as he was signed to portray the role of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in his biopic ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’.
Given Dhoni’s fan following, Sushant had a huge responsibility on his shoulders. But he did complete justice to the role as he toiled hard for 10 months under the watchful eyes of former Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More – who helped Sushant get a taste of what it would be like to train like Dhoni. While Sushant did not spend much time with Dhoni, he got hold of the Ranchi superstar’s mannerisms by watching his videos.
At the trailer launch of the movie, Dhoni was asked whether there was pressure on him since a movie on him was being released. In his reply, Dhoni said there was more pressure on Sushant and lauded the actor for doing an excellent job despite not getting much time to spend with him.
“It was more difficult for him because he has to convince the public about what he was feeling inside while playing my role. For this, he asked a lot of questions from me like – how did you feel at that time, how do you feel now? I told him – yaar tum sawaal he poochhte rehte ho (you keep asking questions), Dhoni said.
Dhoni also praised Sushant for learning all the cricket shots, especially his trademark ‘helicopter shot’ which he said looked like a replica in the movie.
“In reality, we spent a lot less time together. But the kind of effort he has put in the film because one of the essential parts was cricket. Of course, all of us play cricket but when you have to show it on screen, you have to learn certain things, especially cricket shots. He has hit the helicopter shot in the movie and it’s exactly like a replica. So Sushant has put a lot of effort,” Dhoni added.
At the same event, when asked whether there was pressure to play Dhoni’s character in the film, Sushant said, “In the year 2006-07, after a lot of difficulties, I and my family were able to meet MS Dhoni. I also clicked a photo with him and my family. He is one of the very few persons I have enormous respect for. I look up to him so to get an opportunity to get to know his inside story, up close and personal, gave me a lot of excitement, not pressure. Very honestly, there are films in your career which you do with full honesty and you end up being a good actor but there are very rare films that you do and end up becoming a good human being.”
The cricket, as well as the Bollywood fraternity, was left in a state of shock as Sushant committed suicide at his Mumbai residence on Monday. Just 34, Sushant was one of the most talented actors in the industry with several superhit films to his name.