Bollywood Biopic to Bring Tennis Star Vijay Amritraj’s Life on Screen
Former tennis player Vijay Amritraj has also acted in movies like Star Trek and Octopussy.
The life story of former Indian American tennis player Vijay Amritraj will soon be seen in a biopic. The rights of the Bollywood movie, which will mainly focus on Amritraj’s professional career, personal life, and philanthropic activities, have been obtained by Cinestaan Film Company.
Amritraj himself confirmed the news through a statement, saying, “Parents love, compassion, dedication and hard work under the most trying circumstances can make a child’s dream come true even if he or she is nowhere near good enough in anything. I am humbled that a company like Cinestaan Film Company would want to tell my story but this is about mothers, children and overwhelming love.
Vijay’s son Prakash Amritraj is co-producing the movie with Cinestaan.
“I’ve always felt beyond blessed to have my greatest hero and my father be the same person,” said Prakash, India West reported.
“While the world knows of his numerous achievements, my brother Vikram and I have always felt if everyone was to know his character and the love that made him; the world could truly be a better place and more seeds of love, inspiration, and hope will be sown. I can’t be more excited to bring this story to the big screen,” added Prakash.
Calling Vijay the only Indian sportsman to have been celebrated so much on the world stage, Cinestaan chairman Rohit Khattar recalled the pride he felt as an Indian to read about his triumphs overseas. He added that while most people only know of Vijay’s successes, they will now be in awe of him when they see the challenges that were presented to him in early life before he achieved greatness.
Path to Success
Amritraj, who lives in California with wife Shyamala, who is Sri Lankan Tamil, and sons Prakash and Vikram, was born in Chennai. He started playing tennis in his early childhood. At the age of 17, he played his first Grand Prix event. He emerged as an internationally known figure when he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 1973.
In 1980, he reached his career top ranking in singles — World No. 16 — a record that remains untouched by any Indian tennis player. Amritraj reached the quarter finals of Wimbledon but lost the game to Jimmy Connors.
Besides being a tennis player, Amritraj tried his luck in acting too. He played an MI 6 agent named Vijay in the 1983 James Bond movie, Octopussy. He also made a brief appearance in Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home.
India honored him with a Padma Shri in 1983. As a part of his philanthropic efforts, he set up the Vijay Amritraj Foundation in 2006, and was later named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.