Stephen Curry talks Save Your Legs! plus your chance to win a Kookaburra cricket kit
Hit for six: Save Your Legs! is a new Australian comedy based on the true story of D-grade cricket team the Abbotsford Anglers on tour in India in 2001.
IT MAY be a little unpatriotic, but the producers of new comedy film Save Your Legs! couldn't have hoped for better results from the Australian cricket team's current tour of India.
Much like the Abbotsford Anglers, the real-life cricket team that forms the basis of the story in the film, it could be argued that Michael Clarke and co are performing at a D-grade level on their current tour of the subcontinent, setting up nicely for the release of Save Your Legs! in cinemas this week.
Starring Stephen Curry, Brendan Cowell, Damon Gameau and Cairns' own Brenton Thwaites, Save Your Legs! follows the true story of the hapless Anglers on their very unlikely tour of India in 2001.
Director Boyd Hicklin was an original member of the Anglers and shot the tour on his Super 8 camera, which he released as a documentary in 2005.
A heart-warming tale of friendship as much as it is cricket, the success of the documentary inspired Hicklin to look deeper at his story, and Save Your Legs! the feature film was born.
Catching up with Hit this week ahead of the release of the film today, Stephen Curry, who plays Abbotsford Anglers president Teddy Brown, says he couldn't be happier with how the film turned out.
Not only did it give him a chance to fulfil his lifelong ambition of playing cricket on a tour of India, but the film is receiving a great reception from critics and fans alike, too.
"It's been great," Stephen says.
"I'm really proud of it. It's one of those things that from the onset, it had this great mood they set up in the documentary. It's got a sense of mateship and joy that only occurs between likeminded friends holding on to their childhoods.
"From my perspective, it's lovely to hear a genuinely positive response from both critics and audiences. If you come along for the ride and enjoy it for what it is, it's great fun."
But Stephen says don't think this one is just for the cricket diehards he says there is plenty everyone can chew on.
"I don't think (it's just a movie about cricket)," Stephen says.
"It's about mateship and the tribe I guess. And for women, it's probably a nice little peep behind the curtain when the boys don't think the girls are watching. Whether that's frightening or not is probably another question entirely."
That said, Stephen reckons cricket lovers will still be in their element with this one, too it's the balance that makes Save Your Legs! the success that it is.
"There is certainly something for the diehard fans, every character in there is a very recognisable cricket club type," he says. "You've got the statistics nerd, the guy who will hopefully not turn up hung-over, the guy who thinks he's a contender to play for Australia and that guy who always wins the trivia night. It's archetypical club cricket, and if you've ever been a part of that, you'll love it."
Stephen says they certainly had the right help bringing the colourful characters of the Abbotsford Anglers to life as accurately as possible, with both director Boyd Hicklin and co-producer Nick Batzias original members of the squad that travelled India in 2001.
"Spending time with those guys was great; we got a real sense of where they were coming from and what the trip meant to them," he says.
"They were really generous and open about their experiences which allowed us to make the best film we could.
"The other thing was, they knew the conditions in India. It's different shooting a film there, it's so much more full-on.
"Everything is heightened when you're sharing a country with a billion people. We're lucky we had a bunch of people on board who played a team game, which gave us a level playing field to shoot the film.
"I don't mean to use all these sporting analogies, but it really was a case of pitching in together and getting it done.
"We couldn't let any egos get in the way."
However one thing nearly did get in Stephen's way right as he came to shoot a crucial scene.
A case of the notorious Delhi belly nearly brought Stephen's tour of India to the abrupt halt but some "method acting" got him through.
"It's a bit hard to avoid, if you want to eat anything there," Stephen says, almost gravely.
"I was extremely sick for four days, two of that during an important part of the shoot.
"I've definitely done the research and I'm not a method actor, apparently.
The scene in question was a cricket game in Varanasi and let's just say without being too visual that I had to wear a man-nappy.
"That day was a really classy day of my life."
He did recommend Delhi belly for anyone who wanted to shed a few quick kilos, though.
"Any catwalk models I highly recommend India (laughs).
"It's a great way to lose a few kilos I lost about six over the week I was sick. I tell you, you come out of that kind of thing thinking 'god exists, and he's not happy'. It was such a small part of the tour, but it was a rite of passage that you've kinda got to go through if you want the full India experience."
Jokes aside, Stephen says one aspect of India he was happy to experience was its massive film industry, which produces more than 1000 films per year, dwarfing the output of Hollywood.
Coupled with their ingrained love of cricket, Save Your Legs! definitely ticks a few boxes for the Indian crowd, too.
"Bollywood stars are like the cricket players, they are absolute deities in their home country," Stephen says.
"That's the thing about India, there is such a huge division between rich and poor, which is very well documented, and they have these people put up on a pedestal.
"Cricket is a religion, and Bollywood seems to be another one. They can't get enough of either, so it was nice to pay a bit of homage to them both."
As for his own cricketing skills in real life, he says like former prime minister John Howard, they leave a lot to be desired. One thing is for sure, says Stephen he's in no danger of being typecast as an actor who plays sporting stars, despite his earlier jaunt as Damien Oliver in The Cup.
"As I proved playing Damien Oliver, I can't ride a horse to save myself and the same goes for cricket," he says with a laugh.
"I was lucky, it's not such a stretch for me playing D-grade cricket, because I'm decidedly D-grade myself.
"If anything, I'm not getting typecast as sporting guys, I'm getting typecast as a guy who doesn't know what they are doing. I've pretty much made a career of it, so it can't be that bad, right?"
Save Your Legs! (M) is out in cinemas nationwide today.
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Full pitch: The cast of Save Your Legs! as the Abbotsford Anglers.