Vignettes from '83' poster launch: Jiiva on playing 'Chika', Kapil Dev recounts meeting Indira Gandhi, and more

The cast of ‘83’ visited Chennai recently

The cast of ‘83’ visited Chennai recently   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

Smoking kills. In Jiiva’s case, an unmindful drag caused such consternation that it forced the evacuation of a multi-storey luxury hotel in Scotland.

The actor, who plays Krishnamachari Srikkanth on celluloid in Kabir Khan’s upcoming film 83, was at Sathyam Cinemas, along with the rest of cast and crew, during the weekend, for the movie’s poster launch, when he shared some lesser-known stories from the shoot spot. After being cast to play Chika (as Srikkanth is called in cricketing circles), Jiiva was in Scotland to film 83 in mid-2019.

“I had to film a sequence where I smoke like Chika. We weren’t allowed to smoke in public, so when we headed to the hotel, I lit one up. About three minutes in, the fire alarm went off and the hotel staff said we must evacuate the building. This incident happened after the first day’s shoot,” Jiiva said, adding, “We were on the 19th floor and I saw everyone including old people getting down the hotel. I saw Kabir and the rest of the cast, and they were asking... ‘Who smoked?’. I confessed but I learnt later that a lot of others were also culprits that day.”

Jiiva turned around to look at actor Ranveer Singh and the rest of the 83 cast, all of whom could only bear a sheepish look on their faces, as soon as he said this.

But the actor remarked that he was uncertain of his ability to play Chika, when initially approached by Kabir Khan. “After that incident in the hotel, I believed I could be Chika... for creating the chaos,” he laughed. Interestingly, when he met Chika for tips to incorporate while filming, Jiiva recollected that he only had one piece of advice. “Chika told me, ‘Dai Jiiva... Kanna moodittu suthu da. Patta bhagyam padalena legyam!’” (Hey Jiiva, just swing at the ball with your eyes closed. With some luck you will hit it).

Where’s my mysore pak?
  • Meanwhile, Deepika Padukone won the Internet when she commented on a post by husband Ranveer Singh, who was visiting Chennai for promoting his upcoming 83. The actor had shared a poster titled ‘Kapil’s Devils storm Chennai!’ that fetched several compliments from fans, but all Deepika had to say was: “Don’t come back without 1kg Mysore Pak from Shree Krishna and 2 1/2kg packets of Spicy Potato Chips from Hot Chips!” Deepika’s shopping list has won over foodies on the Internet and is being widely circulated among fans.

Yet, this wasn’t even the funniest of recollections that night. Former India captain Kapil Dev wound time back to the time when Chika met then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the early 1980s. “Srikkanth always winked,” Kapil said, before going on to mimic Chika. “So, us senior players told him that Madam Indira Gandhi was going to come meet us, and that he was not allowed to wink at her. I was taking her down the line-up and Chika was next to Sunil Gavaskar. Now, anyone who meets Gavaskar would take that 30 seconds extra to interact with him. The moment I introduced Chika, he started winking left, right and centre at her,” Kapil added, to roaring laughter from the audience and film crew.

“After she left, we confronted Chika and told him, you cannot wink like that at the Prime Minister, and he says ‘well, she started it first’,” Kapil laughed.

Ever the showboat, Ranveer Singh — who headlines the star cast of 83 playing Kapil Dev — marked his entry by jumping onto the stage the minute his name was called out amid rapturous reception. “I don’t think there is a more glorious chapter in our sporting history than the story of the 1983 World Cup. This will be the definitive film on the greatest story ever told, and to have the opportunity to play Kapil Dev, and to be a part of this experience... it is a trip,” he said.

The film will be dubbed into Telugu and Tamil; actor Akkineni Nagarjuna’s Annapurna Studios and actor Kamal Haasan’s Raaj Kamal Films International have bought the respective language rights. The film is set to release on April 10, 2020.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 11:37:09 PM |

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