Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, who unveiled the trailer for ‘Sons of the Soil: Jaipur Pink Panthers’, claimed he felt a tad shy when he saw the artwork of his new sports docudrama.
“The prominent figure in that artwork was me and that was a bit embarrassing. Hello, the show is about the boys. But if I can bring a certain or little amount of attention to the sport [kabaddi], it’s good. But this show is the story of the boys and will take you behind the scenes of each game,” said Bachchan in a Zoom press conference on November 24.
Produced by BBC Studios and directed by two-time Bafta Scotland winner Alex Gale, the sports docu-series with 40-minute episodes chronicles the journey of the Jaipur Pink Panthers, the professional kabaddi team owned by Bachchan.
The show featuring the real players in the Indian professional kabaddi league premieres on Amazon Prime Video on December 4 and is billed as the platform’s first Indian sports docu-series.
“I firmly believe that you don’t need a celebrity to popularise a game like kabaddi. Once you watch a game, it will take over your life because you will be hooked … It’s not about who is watching the games on the stands, but how well the players play on the mat,” said Bachchan.
The trailer launch, attended by the kabaddi champions, also aims to give a ringside view of the competitive contact team sport. The trailer showed the players going through highs and lows as they give it their all on the mat. Scenes of Bachchan giving them emotionally-charged pep talks and their coach giving them a dressing down are all a part of the upcoming series.
“The launch of a sports docuseries is a historical moment for me as a sports fan … It’s a no-holds barred, honest look into what goes into putting a team together and what it takes to win matches … The players in this series are the real stars and not me,” said Bachchan.
The series will also tap into his team players’ passions and the heartaches of playing kabaddi in a high-stakes championships.
“I promise it’s not going to be a puff piece on kabaddi … It gets emotional too,” said Bachchan.
According to the actor and team owner, he learnt the value of sportsmanship through kabaddi, which is often dubbed as the pride of Indian sports.
“The passion that is associated with team sports made me want to be a part of it. Games have shown me what never-say-die spirit, leadership and sportsmanship is all about. A team sport teaches you how to make a comeback and bounceback and never to lose belief in your self,” said Bachchan. His biggest challenge as a team owner was that he found it difficult to distance himself from his team players.
“I get too emotionally involved with my team … And that makes it difficult to make shrewd decisions for your team … I treat them like family. During auctions, it’s difficult for me to decide who to keep. That’s the biggest challenge,” said Bachchan.
The actor, who has enjoyed a great run with his recent web series like ‘Breath 2: Into The Shadows’ and zany thriller ‘Ludo’, is one of the success stories to emerge in the professional sports league. He isn’t a celebrity team owner who makes sporadic appearances, but is hands-on. His family, such as his star wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and his famous father Amitabh Bachchan, are often spotted attending kabaddi matches.
The series will delve into season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League and is narrated by Bachchan. The series will document what went into his team reclaiming the title that they first won in the inaugural season in 2014.
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‘Sons of the Soil: The Pink Panthers’ is out on Amazon Prime Video on December 4.