The Australian Binga: Brett Lee
From picture-perfect timber-hitting moments to now movies… Tell us about your affinity towards the camera.
I’ve always enjoyed being in front of the camera. My first opportunity to do a feature film was a lot of fun. I enjoyed every moment of it and just hope that the movie does well in India.
So, how Indian is your Bollywood debut, UnIndian? It’s an Australian made romantic comedy with a lot of Bollywood flavour and spice. It was fun shooting for it. Tell us more about the movie…
It’s a really romantic and cute story of how an English professor who teaches culture tries to fall in love with an Indian single mum. And how her family reacts to love.
How did you bag the role?
I guess the opportunity just arrived at my doorsteps. And moreover, I think they must’ve thought that I was very hungry for the role (haha).
So, you are the UnIndian guy who’s gonna end up in an Indian family?
You will have to watch the movie and find it out yourself!
How is Tannishtha Chatterjee to work with? Did you learn new Hindi words from her?
She is a wonderful actress and a beautiful person. I have learnt a lot from her, from acting to a bit more words in Hindi (haha).
What was the first Hindi song you listened to?
Oh, it was Muqabala Muqabala! I still remember the steps that Prabhudeva did in the song!
It’s been about 10 years since your debut album with Asha Bhosle. Any plans of signing another Hindi song again?
Yes. I’m all game for it. It will be great to sing in Hindi again. Maybe this time I will have better diction (laughs). On a serious note, I would love to sing if the opportunity arises.
You’re one of the Aussie cricketers who’s absolutely adored in India. Do you have any plans of settling down here?
I spend about three months a year in India, but Sydney will always be my home.
What has kept you busy since your retirement from cricket?
I’ve really gotten into my commentary work in India and Australia. It keeps me very busy! And commentary has helped me stay in touch with the game I love so much.
Do you enjoy the role of a commentator?
Yes, as I said, I love keeping in touch with the game. And mind you, talking about the game is harder than playing it (laughs).
Did you have any superstitious beliefs during your playing days?
It wasn’t actually a superstition but, I always used to put on my left shoe first. I don’t know if it did any good to my career, but yeah, I just did it throughout my playing days!
Do you remember your first and the last ball in international cricket?
Yes, I do remember my first, but not my last.
And what about your first Test wicket?
How could I forget that! It was the best moment in my entire Test cricket. I made my debut against India in 1999, at the MCG. It was the fourth ball of my first over and Sadagoppan Ramesh played on to gift me my first wicket!
How did people come up with the nickname, Binga?
There is an electrical store called, ‘Bing Lee’ in Sydney and I guess I was named after that.
During playing days, who was that one batsman that you dreaded bowling at?
I loved bowling to Sachin Tendulkar.
Tell us something about your association with Almond Fresh?
It feels implausible to be associated with a brand like Almond Fresh. Almond Fresh is plant-based almond milk. Each drop of it is made of a whole almond. It is made of pure almond which you are not eating but drinking. Being a cricketer, fitness freak and now an actor, it is a great privilege to be associated with the brand.
How do you think this product is going to help people who hate dairy products?
Almond Fresh is milk from which you can get all the important nutrients without lactose. People are turning more toward fitness nowadays. And they tend to have products which are low in fat, lactose-free, high in calcium and healthy. So Almond Fresh would actually be a great alternative for people who do not like dairy products.
Being a fitness freak yourself, have you tried it? How did you like it?
When I saw Almond Fresh for the first time, I knew it is going to be good in taste and it does really tastes great! Flavours are very nice, but natural is for those who do not like the sweet taste of milk. Being a fitness freak I also consider having things which are good in taste and Almond Fresh is one of them.
So, on a parting note, when do we get to see you romancing a girl onscreen again?
Soon! Just go to a theatre and watch UnIndian (winks).