Article Hindi

Exclusive: I am completely in love with Saina Nehwal, says Amole Gupte on biopic

Writer-director Amole Gupte emphasised that it was the badminton champion's approach to life that convinced him into directing the biopic on Saina Nehwal.

Shriram Iyengar

Amole Gupte was busy with the preparations for his upcoming children caper, Sniff, when spoke with him about the upcoming Saina Nehwal biopic. The director is in talks with Shraddha Kapoor who has already begun working on her badminton skills for the role.

The producer-director who has worked on many children's films like Taare Zameen Par (2007), Stanley Ka Dabba (2011), and Hawaa Hawaai (2014), has been roped in to direct the biopic on badminton champion Saina Nehwal.

Speaking about the progress on the film, Gupte said, "It is going lovely. It is going to be a lovely experience."

While he is known for his ability to create some wonderful films on children, the biopic is a different genre. When asked about the same, Gupte answered with "Well, there is also little Saina (in the film)."

When asked if that was what drew him to the story, Gupte revealed, "No, no, I am severely in love with Saina Nehwal. You should see her approach to life. She happens to be the only Indian woman who was world No. 1 in any sport. For badminton in 2015, she was the crowned princess."

Nehwal, who has won over 20 international titles, including 10 Superseries championships, was crowned the No. 1 female badminton player in the world in 2015. The accomplishment made her the first Indian woman, and the second Indian overall - after Prakash Padukone - to achieve this tremendous feat.

Speaking about Nehwal, Gupte pointed out that the achievement is only enhanced by the time gap between the two Indian champions. He said, "If you say, Roger Federer, these are big names who were no 1 in the world. From Bjorn Borg onwards to Prakash Padukone. Padukone won the title in 1980 as world no 1. Saina was no 1 in 2015. So, it (The achievement) is quite a big thing."

In the exclusive conversation with, Gupte provided a glimpse into how the film might pan out. While he refused to give away the story, the director said, "I don't know. I am also waiting and watching. But I know for sure, she was World No. 1 in 2015. You can't take that away from her. Its like Rush (2015), you know. The battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. You are focussing on that particular year where he outdid Niki Lauda."

Rush (2013), directed by Ron Howard revolved around the epic fight between Formula One champions James Hunt and Niki Lauda for the 1976 and 1977 championships. From the looks of it, the Saina Nehwal biopic might just have her meteoric rise in 2015 form the centre of the plot.

Nehwal's rise began in 2014 when she won the China Super Open Series, before reaching the finals of the All England Open Badminton Championship in 2015, and winning the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold, Indian Open BWF Super Series, and the silver medal at the World Badminton Championships. This helped her earn the No 1 ranking in the world that year.

Praising Nehwal's confident attitude, Gupte said, "Her habit is brilliant. Her refrain is 'Maar doongi' (I'll hit it). I find that phrase so inspiring that I want to bring the tale to every girl child and her parent in the country."

Amole Gupte is currently busy with the promotions of Sniff, his upcoming caper about a child who acquires a supernatural sense of smell. Sniff is set to be released on 25 August.