Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal
The Movie and Me
A sports film set in the South Asian community of the UK directed by Vivek Agnihotri.
Produced by Ronnie Screwala.
I played Sunny Bhasin, an ambitious footballer.
Ace striker Sunny's ambition is dealt a cruel blow when he is not selected for a prestigious team due to racism. Disgruntled, he is persuaded to join struggling Southall United. Southall need to win a crucial tournament in order to save their ground from property developers. But for Sunny there are personal challenges as he is forced to reconsider his future as a footballer, his relationship with his father, and where his true loyalties lie.
"We shot 'Goal' entirely in the UK from February to April and it was really cold! I remember while I was doing my introduction scene in Middlesex I was playing with some boys and they were very good. I had developed a painful condition called shin splints, which is common amongst runners and sportsmen. It was snowing that day and the ball kept hitting my shins and it hurt so much I thought my leg was broken. I just couldn't take it.
Our coach Andy Ansah made us practise twenty to thirty times before a shot, and I couldn't tell him that my legs are hurting because he might think that I am making an excuse. So I ignored the pain and carried on. Ultimately, it paid off when Andy told me that I was the only actor among all the footballers who was playing football without a double being used.
This was also the film for which I cut my trademark long hair. Andy pointed out that most footballers at that time had short hair so I took the plunge. I thought I would grow it again afterwards but, as things turned out, I never did. Maybe I will again one day, should the role require it."