Leander Paes' fiery volleys and lionhearted performances have stamped him as the action man of Indian tennis for close to two decades. Now, he is looking to transplant the same adrenaline-inducing antics to the silver screen.
"I have signed two Hindi films. Both have me in the lead role as an action hero. Shooting begins this December," Paes told HT.
Why movies? "For I love watching them. The ability of a film to transport one to another world for the extent of two-odd hours is exhilarating." Sure, tennis requires creativity but a sports pedigree may not be the best ladder to celluloid brilliance. "Bengali poet and dramatist Michael Madhusudan Dutt is my ancestor from my mother's side. That takes care of the pedigree. As far as I am concerned I have played out some of my most intimate personal moments in front of stadiums full of people, that surely has taken care of stage fright of any kind!"
What's the movie about? "I am not at liberty to discuss the first one. The second one with the working title of Rajdhani is a common man's story that urges you to be the change that you want to see in the world."
But things are kind of different in real life vis-à-vis reel life. Few make the transition successfully. "There's always the chance of failure. But as a kid with no backhand or first serve, who thought I would win one Wimbledon, let alone five?