Australian cricketer Brad Hogg dons the greasepaint for ‘Victory’
George Bradley Hogg looks a little uncomfortable even when playing just himself in Victory, said to be India’s first film only on cricket, directed by ad filmmaker Ajit Pal. Hogg clarifies, “It’s not the acting — that is batting, bowling or fielding — which is difficult, but the make-up part. Brett Lee loves to get his make-up done but I really hate it. Frankly, it is difficult to act, especially when you have to ‘show’ anger, joy or disgust. With us, it comes naturally on the field; here we had to ‘act’ it.”
So, did he do a lot of retakes?
“Yes”, he admits. “And you know why?” he says, without waiting for your guess, “not because I wasn’t batting well, but because I didn’t do so while looking at the camera! Gosh!” he laughs. “The ‘toss’ scene in the film became quite comic. Brett had to face the camera through the wickets and throw the coin! He was concentrating so hard on facing the right direction that he forgot he had tossed the coin in the air!
Hogg is impressed by the popularity of cricket in India. “Cricketers here are bigger heroes than your film stars. I am astonished at the fan following here. It felt so good to see Indians clapping for a good shot,” he says, overwhelmed.
But, at times, the fan following became a bit of a problem. “As a tourist it is difficult to go out in India. People mob you for autographs and photographs,” he says.
But Hogg just can’t help coming back to the positives. “India is culturally very sensitive. Over the last 12 years, the country has grown immensely. I came here in 1996. At that time, it didn’t have those flyovers, metros and malls. This time, I have noticed a huge change. I have learnt that India has lots of business opportunities too.”
What about the Indian film industry?
“I am happy that at least there is one film industry in the world that is standing up to Hollywood. People ask me if Bollywood films make sense to me. I ask them, ‘Even many Hollywood films don’t make sense for me — so what?’ But there is one bad thing with Bollywood — your girls dance too much,” he concludes, laughing.RANA SIDDIQUI