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“This role was in my destiny”

From being Yuvraj Singh’s father to dreaming of becoming an actor. Yograj Singh shares his experience about Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

On Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

I think I was destined to land this role. Rajeev Tandon who had produced my previous film Teen Thay Bhai offered me this role of an Indian coach. According to him I fit the role to the ‘T’. I believe it was sheer luck.

On preparing for the role

When I was offered the role, I weighed 115 kgs and had to lose 15 kgs before we began shooting. I managed to do that in three months. I had to work out constantly, during shoots and even after shoots because when you play an athlete’s coach, you too have to look fit. The audience should be able to believe that you were once a National-level athlete. Rakeysh had told me that I had to train Farhan’s character like I have trained my son Yuvraj (Singh) in real life.

On Milkha Singh

I have known Milkha Singhji since I was a child as our families were friends. In those days, when Kapil (Dev) and I used to practice together, he would always tell us, ‘For any sportsman, it is very important to be a good athlete, no matter what game you play.’ Although I knew him well, I had no idea of the pain he had endured. I realised that only after hearing the script. Even though we have everything we want, we still find things to crib about. Milkha lost his parents at the age of 10 but, still, he dared to dream and achieved so much.

On getting into the character

Milkhaji told me that when he met Ranveer Singh, his coach, he assumed he was very strict because he made him work so hard. He later realised that his coach only wanted him to be a great runner. Every coach and his trainee share a father-son relationship, and their relationship was like that too. After watching the film, he called me and said I had essayed the role exactly like the brief he had given me.

Yuvraj Singh’s reaction

Farhan and Yuvraj are very good friends. So during the shoot, Yuvraj had once visited the sets and he told Farhan, ‘Zinda bach ke aa gaye daddy ki training se, toh aap bahut lucky honge.’ Yuvraj knows my passion for sports but he said he didn’t know I could act so well!

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