TNS chats to the stars of Speedy Singhs
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TNS caught up with Canadian comedy superstar Russell Peters and Bollywood newcomer Vinay Virmani at the release of new film Speedy Singhs; to chat about real-life racial drama, the emergence of Bollywood cinema, and ice-skating with Hollywood heavyweights Rob Lowe and Camilla Belle. Billed as ‘one of the most exciting cross-over films of recent times,’ Speedy Singhs follows the story of Rajveer Singh (Vinay Virmani), a young man with aspirations of becoming a professional ice hockey player who is struggling to succeed in a sport with very little ethnic diversity. In the face of prejudice from his peers, Rajveer assembles his own all-Sikh ice hockey team, the Speedy Singhs, and begins a challenging journey towards social acceptance and sporting success. However problems arise as he must work to reconcile his personal ambitions with the expectations of his orthodox Sikh family who want to see him dedicate his life to the family business and the Sikh faith. Pegged as the new Bend it Like Beckham, Speedy Singhs explores issues of inter-racial relations, migration and cross-cultural tensions. It looks at a contemporary reality facing young people all over the world as they attempt to find a balance between their own aspirations and those of their parents, against a background of the exciting world of Canadian ice-hockey. Two of the film’s biggest stars, Russell Peters and Vinay Virmani sat down with TNS to talk about the film. TNS: So, why should we go and watch this film? Russell Peters: I’m not the kind of guy who could lie to you if this movie wasn’t good. But I can look you straight in the eye, and say that this one is. When I saw the film I actually LOL’d, and there were a couple of moments when I got teary-eyed, and I’m not that kind of guy. This is just one of those movies that has been shot, directed, acted and cut well. Vinay Virmani: This movie is straight from the heart. Yes, it showcases hockey, but it is not a hockey film. Hockey is just a vehicle to tell a larger story of these boys who want to be a part of the national sport; about boys who set out to prove that sport depends on your talent and your drive, not on your race or the colour of your skin. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you live in London, Toronto, or Delhi; if you’re a grandparent or a child, everyone can see this film, and everyone can relate to it. TNS: Sounds like the perfect feel-good film! Russell, this is one of your first acting roles, what attracted you to move from stand-up comedy into acting? RP: Actually, I wanted to be an actor from the start, but somebody told me very early in my career that I wasn’t good looking enough to be an actor. As I was already doing stand-up, I decided to just carry on with that, and figured that acting would come eventually. It always just seemed like the natural step up. TNS: But will fans of your stand-up comedy still be able to see some Russell Peters moments in the film? RP: Absolutely, there are plenty of Russell Peters moments in the film. In fact, we re-shot some additional scenes after we finished shooting to make sure that there was plenty!
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