Kabir Sadanad is just back from the City of Joy after shooting a commercial with four Kolkata Knight Riders, Brett Lee, Yusuf Pathan, Jacques Kallis and Lakshmipati Balaji.
“We wrapped up their portions in just four hours, positioning three units at the three locations that included an interrogation room, the poolside and a corridor at ITC’s Sonar Bangla Hotel, not wanting to keep them from the nets,” says Sadanand. The cricketers walked in at the stroke of 2 pm and were out by 6 pm. Only Lee stayed back to strum the guitar the cameraman had carried into the sets and croon some English covers.
“We asked Yusuf to join in but he only smiled, like he had during the shoot, even when he was to look scared,” he chuckles. The ad is for a forex card that will soon be launched by Matrix Cellular, the sponsors of KKR that allows cash to be converted into card when travelling abroad. “In one ad, these four, along with Shah Rukh Khan, are suspects, and in another for a sim, are in conflict with Nikhil who’s upset about being upstaged after promoting the brand for seven years,” informs the director.
He describes Lee as a “natural actor” who picked up everyone's lines, adding an occasional Hindi word, and was cool with last-minute improvisations. Kallis was the “thinker” who carried his on-field focus into acting. Balaji was the “assassin with the killer smile” who was “testing the waters” and Pathan the hard-hitter who was soft as clay and always wanting to know, “What next?”
Sadanand had shot SRK’s portions earlier in Mumbai but saw him in action at Eden Gardens. “He was just four boxes away and every time one his songs played or a the camera zoomed in for a close-up, a roar went up. Kolkata loves him and Shah Rukh’s passionate about the team. You can see it in the way he greets the players after the game,” he asserts.
In that match, the Knights despite a match-winning score, were (Chris) Gayled by the Royal Challengers. They bounced back with a win over the Delhi Daredevils after a break. Says Sadanand, “The boys are a relaxed bunch who are determined to give SRK and their fans a reason to cheer with every win.”