*I was on a press trip for this post. No compensation received.**
I sat in the El Capitain Theater on Hollywood Boulevard watching the World Premier of Million Dollar Arm. Behind me, excited chatter echoed at the beginning of every scene. I would have been annoyed but the excitement was contagious. It was Madhur Mittal – who plays Dinesh in the film and Suraj Sharma who plays Rinku. Though both have acted in large films before – Like Life of Pi and Slumdog Millionaire – their pride in their work in Million Dollar Arm was evident.
And it should be. This heartwarming funny film follows the real life journey of the Million Dollar Arm Contest. Playing real life people in a film can be challenging. But these guys were up to it!
(MADHUR) I think the first thing that really hit- I think I speak for the both of is what really hit me was, this is a tremendous feat that these guys have achieved and I had no idea about these guys. Nobody in my family knew. None of my friends knew this story. And what these guys have achieved is something that nobody has ever done any sport in the history of mankind. That is very big. So, I was really kind of upset and I know for a fact that so was Suraj that nobody knew about this story.
(SURAJ) Dinesh was with us in Delhi when we were training for baseball and he hung out with us a lot. But what he also did was not just give us an insight hint of his mind, but he used to tell us all these stories and anecdotes of what happened when they were really going through all this that we’re portraying in the film. And that would really give us a lot of insight into how Rinku was at the point in time or how JB was and how Asif’s character.
They both are energetic people with bright smiles that light up the room. This is a film that touched them both and gave them experiences they would have not had other wise. Like the trip to India. And the heat…
(MADHUR) It was a 140. I know this for a fact because I checked. I was like my skin is burning how hot is it. Especially when we shot in Lucknow, that was the day. It was a 140.(SURAJ) Yes. That wasn’t the hardest for us, even. Imagine those 300 to 400 people standing there in the heat.
Million Dollar Arm is now playing in theaters and worth the trip. Check out my Million Dollar Arm Review and then come back and tell me what you thought!