Mumbai : YouTuber, anchor and actor Sahil Khattar is making his Bollywood debut with the film ’83’, playing the character of the former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani. The actor shares how his bald look made for a funny encounter with the cricketer when they met for the first time.
“As we all can see that one common factor in both of us is our bald look. So when I met Kiri bhai for the first time, he reacted to me, saying, ‘Are! Kiri bhai!’. I said to him, ‘No sir, you are Kiri bhai.’ He said, ‘No, no sir, you are Kiri bhai, I am a lookalike’. And both of us started laughing out loud and then he hugged me.”
Continuing his walk down memory lane, Khattar said; “It was such a delightful meeting followed by a conversation that offered me insights into the kind of personality Syed Kirmani is. Of course, the more I got to know him, the more I realised the responsibility I have taken up to portray him on-screen. But I can’t thank my stars enough to give me this opportunity.”
As Khattar played the wicket-keeper in the film, he admitted, the training part was the most painful one.
“Imagine the number of squats I had to do every single day!” Khattar said. “I am not a born sportsman and Kiri bhai and every player of the 1983 World Cup-winning team were trained cricketers. For a wicket-keeper, squatting, moving the body from one side to the other becomes their second nature. I was getting into that zone through training.”
He continued: “Honestly, after a point of time, I was feeling like I don’t have my back and legs. It was so painful to hold and pose throughout the performance as an actor while squatting like a wicketkeeper! But eventually, when the final result came out, we all felt that it was worth the effort.”
Asked how his meeting with Kapil Dev turned out, Khattar said: “I tend to talk a lot and do all kinds of fun, games and ‘masti’, so after our meeting, Kapil sir said, ‘Sahil is such a naughty boy!’.”