Break Point: Mahesh Bhupathi offers his glasses to Ashwiny Iyer as she picks DiCaprio to play Leander Paes in biopic

While it has been raining biopics in Bollywood for a few years now, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari broke the chain with Break Point. The documentary series focusses on the complicated relationship between tennis players Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes. 

Hindustan Times asked Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Nitesh Tiwari who they think would fit perfectly as Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in a hypothetical biopic. The directors turned towards Hollywood for options.

“I think Leonardo DiCaprio for Lee (Leander),” Ashwiny said, and Nitesh added, “Matt Damon for Mahesh.” The names left Mahesh and Leander in splits with Mahesh even offering his pair of specs to Ashwiny. “Ashwiny, you need my glasses?” he laughed. Ashwiny joked, “Then Nitesh, there’s will be a fight between you and me on who will direct it or maybe we’ll just co-direct it.”

Nitesh explained that they opted for firsthand accounts of their stories as they didn’t want speculations revolving around the authenticity of the series. “I wanted Leander’s point of view from him, wanted Mahesh’s point of view from him, wanted everyone’s point of view of them vs somebody else portraying them. There’s a great amount of authenticity to what you see in the series. And that’s exactly how we wanted it. We didn’t want any more speculations to ‘was it script’ or ‘did they try to dilute it’ or ‘was it butter up’. No, this is exactly… what you see is what happened,” he said.

Also read: Break Point review: Mahesh Bhupathi-Leander Paes’ ZEE5 show is irresistibly compelling despite Tiwaris’ bland direction

Nitesh added that they faced several challenges during the making of the show. “The biggest challenge is how do you deal with the unknown. When you are making a movie, you have the entire screenplay in front of you. So we went doubly prepared to do this. We had, how many hours of conversations with Leander individually, with Mahesh individually, and Leander and Mahesh together,” he said.

He added that the pandemic also posed challenges. “It was so difficult to shoot in a pandemic. We got to shoot only when the things opened up and we wanted to make it world class so we wanted to interview all the tennis legends, the doubles legends and individual legends and their partners who have played tennis with them around the world. It was not easy to organise remote shoots, find a production team in seven-eight countries to go out and shoot and coordinate with them for shoot.”

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