Born into the family of legendary cricketers, Chirag Patil's decision to foray into the unpredictable territory of the film industry wasn't an obvious one. Though he has done a number of notable films in the Marathi and Hindi film industry, he was finding it hard to satisfy his creative hunger.
Right on the day he decided to quit the industry, director Kabir Khan called him, asking him to join the director's most anticipated film of 2020 – '83. International Business Times, India, got in touch with the actor who is currently shooting in London.
You have been a popular face in the Marathi film industry. You have also been a part of several Hindi films. But would you say that in a way, '83 is your big launch?
'83 is definitely a big project. It is one of the most expensive films ever made in India and probably the biggest release of 2020. But I wouldn't call it a big launch for me as I have done several Hindi and Marathi films. But, yes, it is the biggest project I have done so far.
Are you hopeful that you would get more recognition and work in Bollywood after the film?
I hope so. But, I don't think so much about the future and what the outcome may or may not be. At the moment, my only focus is giving my best for this film because the rest is not in my hands. There are several factors responsible for a film to do well and I am just a small part of the puzzle. But, I make sure to give my 200 percent to whatever I get into.
Did you audition for the role or was it offered to you? Take us through the experience.
Well, there is a funny story behind this. I had made up my mind to quit acting and films altogether. I have been acting for the last ten years but hadn't worked in anything substantial. I had not got a good break and had several unsuccessful films to my name. Last year, my wife and I started a small resort near Karjat and I was interested in taking it forward full-time.
Funny thing is, call it destiny or luck, the day I had decided that I would inform my parents about it and was driving back home, I got a call from Kabir Khan saying that he wants me to audition for this part and he feels I would be perfect for this role. I came home and told my wife about it. I wasn't sure yet. But my wife motivated me and told me to give acting one last shot with this film and then take a call on whether or not I would want to be in the industry. So yes, now I am here, doing one of the biggest films in Bollywood.
There are so many well-known faces in the film. Did you all go through some workshops or training to strengthen the bond or develop friendship?
Yes, before we started the shoot we all went through a hard-core training program. For me, it was eight months of preparation. I can't play cricket at all so had to learn it all from scratch. All the credit goes to Ballu uncle (Balwinder Singh Sandhu), Rajiv Mehta and his team. It was kind of Chandrakant Pandit, who allowed me to practice at his academy where I learnt the basics of cricket. I used to practice cricket for four hours every day and then used to go to the gym and work out. So yes, it was quite tough.
Has it been easy or difficult playing your own father in the film?
Well, thankfully my batting stance, my gestures, my walking style, talking style, body language is exactly like my dad. And that is something that I have never had to work on, it was just natural and inborn. I also look somewhere like him. The only hard part was getting the cricketing stance and nuances right. And I think, I have pretty much managed to get that right as well.
Being the son of Sandip Patil, wasn't cricket an obvious career choice for you?
Well, I have never been interested in cricket. But, because my father and grandfather were cricketers, there was pressure. So, I also decided to join cricket. But, the first time my father saw me playing he told me "You will never play for India, so please don't waste time. Do something else." I was so relieved when he said this because I always wanted to be an actor. My parents and my brother, Prateek, they have all supported me throughout my journey. But, my father had told me one thing, that whatever I decide to do he would support me but would never help me. He knows half the film industry but he has never tried to push anyone to feature me or take me in their films. He has always told me to fight my own battles.
How has the experience of working with Kabir Khan and Ranveer Singh been like?
Working with Kabir Khan has been a wonderful experience. He is a dream to work with and is also a very sweet and humble person. I learnt something or the other from Ranveer Singh every day. His hard work and dedication are unmatchable. He is a megastar and totally deserves every bit of it. I am lucky to be working with both of them.