Exclusive interviews with Satish Kaushik and Tom Paulson stars of new International film ‘Promise Dad’
Promise Dad is about the sheer passion and commitment of a young boy to fulfill the dreams his father had for him.
This British film directed by debut film maker Ritesh Sinha stars well known Bollywood actor Satish Kaushik as the Father ‘Raman’ ,and also introduces to cinema a young British ice-skater from Nottingham Tom Paulson as his son ‘Malay’. To find out more about this movie we spoke to both these actors.
Promise Dad is about having belief – ‘self belief’ to defy all odds.Promise Dad is a story that touches the core issue of human aspirations and human limitations and the decisions we take in our lives. It’s a story where a Father takes bold decisions in a now or never situation.It’s the most extra ordinary story of the true transformation of ‘Malay’ and seeing the world in a new light.And finally, it’s a story about the most fierce and extra ordinary competition ever seen in the world of ice-skating to represent the country at the WINTER OLYMPICS. And how !!
What were your initial reactions on the concept of this film that Ritesh Sinha had written?
Promise Dad is a very important film for me,as its my second English Language film after Brick lane which i did in 2007 by a big producer which turned out to be very popular in the film festival circuit before it was properly released by a big distributor Sony,and went on to be very successful.Brick Lane gave me a lot of confidence as I was here in London for a long time,talking English is not a problem but I still attended workshops and rehearsals which helped me a lot and it was a great experience.
Tell me about your latest film Promise Dad?
Promise Dad is a very interesting film about a Father and Son against the backdrop of ice skating.The father has a small job as a mechanic at a ice skating arena,he lives with his son as his British wife has left him and one day his son tells him that he wants to skate because he has seen his father in the ice skating arena.He gets this idea but ice skating is an elite sport for the rich,and I play a small man who is just surviving.My character name is Raman and my son’s name is Malay in the film,played by actor Tom Paulson.It means my life gets more tough but like any good father supports his son.
One day he sees his son skating and sees that he has talent and continues to supports him at any cost.I believe this should happen in real life also,what used to happen in the olden days is that father would tell his child to become a doctor but nowadays generation have a mind of their own and that is why when the son says I want to become a ice skater the father supports him all the way but problem is they are not economically sound and film shows how he works overtime even at his old age,even people at arena doubt how how he will cope as he is not well but even does additional work but he is not well and this film shows the struggle he goes through and also in the process loses his father and even stops skating for a while but then remembers the promise that he had made to his father and starts to skate again and goes on to be become victorious.
Do you think Ritesh Sinha based this film on his real life experiences?
I think Ritrsh Sinha constructed this story but not necessary on his real life experience,he is very strong and emotional person and this is reflected in this film. There is a lot of emotion in this film and at times heartbreaking.
How was your experience in playing the Father role in this film?
This film was lot easier for me as I had already done the Brick Lane film,also the time spent in the U.K. before so this time I did not experience any problems ,I play an Indian who specks English so there was no problems with that,most of the film is shot on the UK with a few indoor scenes which was shot in Mumbai.It was nice to work with Tom Paulson who quickly adapted to acting for cinema.
How did they choose Tom Paulson to act as your son in the movie?
It was my idea to choose somebody who was a good skater already,as you cannot learn or teach somebody to skate so quickly but you can teach somebody to act.Tom was already a good skater and was chosen to act the part after some auditions.It turned out he was also a good actor but this was his first film but had done competitions and shows on ice before.He was very keen to learn and quickly adapted to his role.This film is aimed at global markets as India does not have Ice skating arena’s these are only popular in UK and other western countries but everybody will be able to relate to the father and son relationship.
Finally Mr Satish whats your favorite dish,one question I always ask celebrities?
I like my food really simple and my favorite Indian dish is Daal and Roti
How did you end up making your debut as an actor in an International skating movie ?
It started with an advert, wanted ice skaters for movie and I thought I would be in some background scene but still went to London to show what I could do and what tricks I could show and believe me I had a few tricks as I have been skating for about 16 years .after the auditions I came home and then few weeks later they rang and said can you come back and try some acting,so I went again and there were a lot of lines prepared for me and It seemed like the main character but I had never acted before,but was still chosen to play the main part in this film Promise Dad.
How difficult was it to play the main role in this movie?
I have a lot of experience with my skating and quickly mastered the art of acting,as this was my first acting role there was a few difficult scenes,like when my father in the film was in hospital and when I lose him,the big scenes were easy for me because as a skater I am used to portraying big and magnifying my actions.The whole part of a good skater is to make it look easy and the second part is to make it look good .Also just like in the film my parents in real life had been very supportive of my skating as its an expensive sport. Some of the other skaters in the film were my friends that I had recommended like my main competitor and his partner.I got to travel to India to shoot some scenes,that was a great experience and the people out there were very nice and it was while I was out there I realised what a big star Satish was in India.Everybody we met while in Mumbai wanted a photograph with him.I learned a lot from observing him and he was very supportive of me and that helped me immensely.
Do you think you will continue in the film industry ?
I would like too,my main hobby will always be skating,I have done many competitions and now also do shows on cruise ships and in between I found time to star in this film,It was also the directors first film but together we made it work,the director is very happy and all the feedback has been very positive.I really enjoyed the experience and am now also taking singing lessons to add to my skills but I spend a lot in the gym also.lets see how this film does and what leads it brings,what can we better than doing what you enjoy and also making money at the same time?
The Official Trailer : Promise Dad Movie
The film is sure to attract audiences internationally for its honesty, sincerity, engaging and power-pact performances and deeply touching story that everyone will relate to. It sets the benchmark in the portrayal of true sportsmanship and the most intense competition in the world of ice-skating whilst touching upon the warmth and commitment between a father and son.