In a bizarre and tightly-controlled press conference in Dubai on Sunday, Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar spoke about his experience starring in his own biopic, Sachin: A Billion Dreams.
“Everything in the film had to be real... I understand the fans would like to know about me and I want to get closer to them,” said Tendulkar, adding that rare archived footage from his life has made it into the film.
Ironically, he wasn’t comfortable answering questions that he perceived as personal. Journalists at the event were not allowed to ask any questions after the scripted Q&A session that featured sycophantic questions such as his favourite cricketing moment and his motives behind chronicling his journey in a film.
“There were no retakes... all the scenes came out as natural,” said Tendulkar, who added that the film would go beyond how many number of runs, sixers or boundaries he hit.
The notoriously cagey cricketer, who is revered by millions of fans globally, admitted that his family weren’t extroverts and making a film was an attempt to be closer to his fans.
“We as a family, we are not those extroverts who are always pushing themselves forward… Right from my school days, it has always been like that,” said Tendulkar.
Perhaps, that explains his defensive approach towards interviews surrounding the film. Requests by the organisers to vet copy and video tapes, and instructions to edit out questions that did not fit his comfort zone were part of the deal of interviewing the sporting sensation.
Directed by James Erskine, the film is out in the UAE on May 25. Read the full interview in Gulf News tabloid! soon.