News|August 12, 2010 7:16 am

Leander Paes Enters Bollywood

I was not surprised whenever I heard any cricketer is joining or debuting in Bollywood, but when I heard that Tennis Player, Leander Paes has signed not one but two Bollywood films, I was really astonished.

Explaining the reason behind taking this huge decision, Leander said,

“The first movie I was offered was in 1996. I sat back and thought, ‘how interesting’, but I wasn’t ready.” Since then, he received about 11-12 offers, but it was tennis that kept him engrossed. Now, Leander says, he is looking for something that will connect him with people. “One of my strengths is to be able to connect with people, so I look at different mediums to do that. Tennis is one such medium and now, movies will be.”

“We are strolling down Bandra Bandstand where people call out to him, shake his hand or click pictures on their mobiles. This connect is what made him say yes to Rajdhani Express, a film to be directed by Ashok Kohli, where he plays a common man. One of my greatest idols is Mahatma Gandhi, and when I read this script, it struck a chord in me because Gandhiji said, ‘Be the change that you would like to see in the world’.”

When asked about the other film, he could not able to reveal much. He says,

“It’s completely opposite of what I’m doing here, but in its own way is tailor made for me”.

When asked, if audience do not accepted him as an actor, Lee fearlessly stated that,

“I’m already living a sport where my position changes every Monday. I’m already in a cut-throat business and that too on an international stage. But I’m fearless. No matter what happens, the audience will get passion, dedication and hard work. Whether I’m an actor or not is left to be seen. I’m starting at zero”.