For the first time he will be playing a real life character. Read on to know why he took the role…
After playing the bad guy in Slumdog Millionaire, Madhur Mittal is set for a role-reversal in his second Hollywood outing Million Dollar Arm and the actor hopes the film turns out to be lucky for him. The posters of the film, which stars Jon Hamm and Suraj Sharma, have Taj Mahal in the background, a thread that is common with his last film.
Agra-born Mittal, familiar to the audience as Jamaal‘s troubled elder brother in the Danny Boyle film, reminds that Oscar-winners A R Rahman and Resul Pukooty are re-teaming again for the Disney film, releasing in India on May 9, a week ahead of its US release. “Lot of coincidences but it was for the first time that I got to shoot in Agra. It was great to revisit all the familiar places with a big Disney film. It feels like you have travelled from point A to point B in your life. There is still a long way to go but it helps you to set your goals in life,” Mittal told.
The lead role is played by Mad Men star Jon Hamm in the Craig Gillespie directed movie, which tells the true story of sports agent JB Bernstein, who faced with a crisis, turns to India to find baseball’s next great pitching ace in the many cricket loving teens from the country. With the help of a retired baseball scout, he discovers Dinesh (Mittal) and Rinku (Sharma) in a talent hunt show called Million Dollar Arm. The two 18-year-old boys have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Mittal says he shared a great chemistry with Sharma during the auditions which helped them bag the roles of Dinesh and Rinku.
As part of preparing for the role, Mittal met Dinesh, joined a gym to beef up besides learning quick baseball facts by a coach flown from US. “Rinku and Dinesh are really different from each other. It was the first time that I got to play a real-life inspired role which was challenging and exciting. I met Dinesh who is really very humble and nice. He shared his experiences which helped me sketch the character,” says Mittal. The young star worked with Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan as a child artiste but says things changed for him only after Slumdog Millionaire. “Life changed after Slumdog Millionaire. Danny believed and guided my performance. Craig is also a great director. I love his work so it is lucky to work with directors who inspire you,” says Mittal.
Talking about working with Hamm, Mittal says, “He is such a gentleman. There are so many things to learn from him. I am a big fan and I used to watch and learn from him as much as possible.”