British-Indian ­filmmaker Gurinder Chadha, who directed the much-loved Bend It Like Beckham (2002), has revealed that the football star was not a household name back then, especially in America.
"When we took the film to the US, nobody knew who
) was. In fact, ­people told me to do away with his name in the title,” Chadha says, adding that it was her film that made the former Manchester United and England ­footballer famous. “After Bend it ... David became famous, and he is really very sweet about it. He ­acknowledges that fact."
Chadha’s film was about a Sikh girl living in London, her ­infatuation with football and her dream of playing alongside Beckham one day.
"David is an amazing guy. What I love the most about him is that he is a great father. He is always with his kids, playing ­football, picking them up from school, ­spending time with them ... I think that’s incredible," says the 54-year-old, who is ­currently in the Capital.Talking about her ­upcoming animation film, Chadha says, "We’re working out the film’s title. It’s loosely based on Ramayana ... it talks about monkeys finding their inner Hanuman. The lead character, Raj, is from Mumbai. AR Rahman is ­composing the music for the film. I’m not the ­director this time; I’m one of the writers. The film will be directed by Kevin Lima (who directed Enchanted)."