Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most followed celebrities in the country. His fame could overshadow even the biggest of actors and politicians in India.
His stark rise to international cricket followed an immense success in the sport as he won two World Cups for the country along with a plethora of other trophies. Coming from humble beginnings and rising to the pinnacle of the sport, won Dhoni millions of followers in the country as well as outside. Given the impact he had on youngsters, film director Neeraj Pandey decided to make a biopic on the mercurial cricketer.
The movie MS Dhoni: The Untold Story was the resulting movie that was released in 2016 after a get-go from the cricketer. The movie was a hit at the box office as it doubled the profit put into it and brought 216 crores at the box office. Dhoni however wasn’t convinced with the plan earlier. Speaking in an interview, Dhoni’s business partner and film’s producer, Arun Pandey said, “Initially, he used to ask, ‘What is the need for this?’” He told that later they were able to convince the former Indian captain and all he said was, “Don’t misrepresent me. Show me as I am.”
Revealing more about Dhoni’s standing on the topic, Pandey said, “It took us two years to convince him. This development didn’t happen overnight, there had been discussions about it since the 2011 World Cup final. It wasn’t easy.”
What eventually moved Dhoni in the movie’s favour was his random interaction with a young fan at an airport. Pandey said, “He was at an airport when a kid asked him a question on motivation. He sat down with him and spent a good five minutes answering the question. I was there and I asked him why he spent that much time. He replied, ‘Because my answer will benefit him and motivate him.”
Pandey continued, “That’s when I said to him, ‘your story has the power to motivate kids like him, and you cannot possibly spare five minutes for each of them.’ That’s what convinced him to say yes to the biopic.”