Olympic boxer Mary Kom: I would love to play myself in biopic, if Shoojit makes it
Indian Olympic boxer, Padma Bhushan awardee, mother of three, and a dedicated soul who does her best to promote sports at every level in the country, Mary Kom sure has her hands full at all times. But, ask about filmmaker Shoojit Sircar’s interest in making a biopic on her — one that has an international appeal — and Kom’s face lights up with excitement. “It’s an exciting idea, and I’d definitely love to portray myself in the movie. It would be interesting to see how I play my role,” says the one who is lovingly nicknamed ‘Magnificent Mary’.
Kom is one of the few female sports stars whose arduous journey to win laurels for the country has been captured through a Bollywood film; which released in 2014 with actor Priyanka Chopra portraying her part. Referring to the biopic made by filmmaker Omung Kumar, Kom says, “See, Priyanka did a great job at playing me, and definitely got the actions and acting part right. But obviously she isn’t a boxer. So, the boxing part is not the same as Mary!”
During this interaction, at the send-off ceremony of the Indian contingent for the Special Olympics Unified Football Cup 2018, when it came to the question of her sport taking back seat, if she takes up acting, this member of Rajya Sabha, says, “I would be more than happy to be part of such a project, although the sport of boxing will always be my primary focus.”
Though Kom has pulled out of the Asian Games, due to her injury, she is already on her way to recovery, and has also begun training for the World Championships which are to be held in November, and has her eyes set on gold. She says winning [gold medal] wouldn’t just take the strength of her fists, but also the strength of her heart, something she has in abundance.
She also spoke about the growing support for sports in the country. “Earlier one would have faced problems if they wanted to be a sportsperson, but since our sports minister (Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore) is himself an Olympic medallist; there is a lot of support from the government (both central and state), better infrastructure and better facilities for young and upcoming sportspersons. They are lucky to have such support. I myself do whatever I can on my level for boxing, and want it to become a sport that people learn for self defence, if not for competitions.”
She credits her family for helping her focus on the game. “I am so thankful to god, because he’s been giving me the energy to handle so many things at the same time despite all difficulties. But, that cannot be possible without the support I get from the family, I am given full support. It’s all about supporting each other with them and I know can’t do this alone,” says the five-time World Amateur Boxing champion.
But, unlike what many of her fans would think, boxing is not the popular sport in her house. “My kids are darpok (cowards). Boxing scares them, and sometimes I feel I am the only strong one in the family. But they do play football a lot.”