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INDIA MATTERS Brad Hogg says Bollywood has stood up against Hollywood
INDIA MATTERS Brad Hogg says Bollywood has stood up against Hollywood

Australian cricketer Brad Hogg dons the grease paint for director Ajit Pal’s “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 and I really hate it. Frankly, it is difficult to act also, 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 looks in anticipation, and adds 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! Absorbed in facing the right direction, he forgot that he had tossed the coin in the air!

Hogg is impressed at the way cricket is taken 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 on my shot,” he says, overwhelmed.

Growing fast

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 reasons.

But Hogg just can’t help coming back to the positives. “India is culturally very sensitive. Over the last 12 years it has grown immensely. I came here in 1996. At that time, it didn’t have those flyovers and metros and malls. This time, I have noticed a huge, huge change. I have learnt that it has lots of business opportunities also.”

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 for 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

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