Surprising as it may sound but the maker of upcoming film MARY KOM, which is a biopic starring Priyanka Chopra in the lead, Omung Kumar didn’t even know who Mary Kom was while he was hunting for the script.
“I was working on two scripts from last five-six years. When I went through the first script, I found it over the top and scratched it. Then I waited and three and a half years ago I told my writer to come up with a female-oriented subject and if possible a biopic, something on the lines of Jhansi Ki Rani. So he suggested me about Mary Kom’s name. And I was like ‘Who Mary Kom?’ Strange as it may sound but I didn’t know her till that time. However, when my writer shared that she is a well-known Indian boxer and has been 5 times World champion, I was game for it. My wife and I immediately took the next flight to meet her. When we told that we want to make a film on her, Mary was pretty shocked and didn’t believe us initially,” reveals the debutant director.
He further adds, “MARY KOM idea was way before PAAN SINGH TOMAR and BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG happened.”
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Since Mary Kom belongs to eastern part of India, ask Omung why he didn’t consider of casting a familiar or a fresh face instead of Priyanka Chopra and he explains, “If I would’ve made a small film catering to only north east region, the reach wouldn’t have been more. MARY KOM’s reach was supposed to be bigger. Priyanka Chopra is a popular name and taking her as a lead would ensure great Friday opening because it’s a huge film and she is a big star. Besides, no one would have accepted such a tough role. MARY KOM is one crazy film which required immense physical work-out and sculpting muscles. So she was the only right choice.”
Omung began his career from Television, tried his hand in varied things like modelling, anchoring, art direction, however he couldn’t materialize his dream of becoming an actor. “It’s been a long journey. I had a wish to act but I went behind the scene. I think I shouldn’t have done that. Behind the scenes took too much time of mine. My ambition of turning an actor remain unfulfilled,” he opens up.
Also starring Darshan Kumar, MARY KOM is produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and all set to release on September 5, 2014.