Producer Ritesh Sidhwani says, contrary to reports, the Akshay Kumar-starrer Gold is not a biopic on former hockey player Balbir Singh Sr.
It was being reported that the film is based on the life of hockey player Balbir Singh – played by Akshay – who was a part of the team that won the first Olympic medal for India as a free nation in 1948.
Sidhwani clarified that his forthcoming film, co-produced by Farhan Akhtar under their production house Excel Entertainment, is a story based on true events, not a biopic.
“It is not a biopic. It is a completely fictional story but it is set against a real backdrop between 1933-48 India about what the country was, the sports… About hockey. It is not based on any character,” Sidhwani said in an interview.
“We have set it in real events so people (often) confuse it with a biopic. It talks about the era in which we achieved Independence and what happened with sports, (primarily) hockey at that time. It is not about a particular character and Akshay is not even playing (hockey in the film). He plays the manager,” he added.
Sidhwani said it was director of the film, Reema Kagti, who chose the National Award-winning actor for Gold.
“When Reema came to us with the story, it was on her wish list to go to an actor. And our job as producers is to take her to that actor, so we did that. Akshay was her choice,” he said.
It is for the first time that Excel Entertainment has teamed up with Akshay.
“He is the most professional actor. He is dedicated and focused about his work. He comes on the sets and is there till you don’t finish the shoot. It is not that he will go and sit in his vanity van or have meetings or talk to people.
“He is a terrific person. It was pleasure to work with him. I think this is the beginning of many associations,” Sidhwani said.
The film, also featuring Amit Sadh and Mouni Roy in key roles, is set to be released on August 15.
Gold is the first sports film to be backed by their banner. Sidhwani said it will be followed by another sports story, based on the Rio Paralympics silver medallist, Deepa Malik. The project is already in the works.
The next most-talked about film is Zoya Akhtar-directed Gully Boy, featuring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt.
“We are doing a story on a hip-hop artiste (referring to the film). It is not based on anyone’s life. It is inspired by the hip-hop circuit that exists in the underground of this city.
“We start shooting in January. Most of the film will be shot on real locations in Mumbai, we are not going to shoot much on the sets,” the producer said.