The versatile Tom Alter, fondly known to viewers as the ˜blue-eyed Saheb with the impeccable Hindi™ made his mark on Indian cinema with films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Des Pardes, Kranti, Laila Majnu, and Bheja Fry, to name a few. In 2008, Tom Alter received a Padma Shri award for his distinguished contribution to Bollywood cinema.Now, still going strong at the age of 61, he will be seen in Cycle Kick, produced under the banner of Mukta Search Light Films, which releases on June 10. Excerpts:
What is Cycle Kick all about?
It is about two young men living in a small town of India, who deal with the events that follow a broken bicycle. In the midst of this, they meet a man who is a football coach ” portrayed by myself ” and I convince them to channel their energies into football and form a team. The climax has a pulsating football match between the newly formed team and a team of players who come from well-to-do backgrounds.The film went on the floors about four years ago. Why is it only being released now?I actually don™t know the reason for the delay but Subhashji (Ghai) called me up around two months ago and asked me to complete the film. I am just very excited because the film will finally see a ray of light as this film is Shashi™s (director) dream.The film is directed by debutant director Shashi Sudigala. Did you both have any creative differences? hashi was an assistant on Iqbal and he had very definite ideas about what he wanted to create. We did have a few creative arguments but everything got resolved later.Could you share a few experiences while shooting?The major chunk of the film has been shot around the beautiful beaches of North Goa. The cast and the crew consisted of young people. There was a scene where I had to give football coaching to the players, I got so involved in the scene and gave them such hardcore training that it caused one of the actors to vomit and faint. I think we have used that shot (smiles).Why is the film not being promoted at all?
I am a little baffled because a film like this requires a great deal of publicity. I don™t know if the film is being maintained low profile on purpose. There have been only a few promos that people have seen on television but no banners or posters have been put up yet.You™ve been in the industry for more than 35 years now. What is the one change here you™ve observed in recent times?I am very happy that new issues and stories are being taken up. We have moved away from clichÃ©d cinema. Nowadays, every week a new kind of film is being released.What are your upcoming projects?I have around seven releases out of which few are Photo, Rabba Maaf Kare, Kuch Log and With Love, Delhi!