Hope our show inspires people to preserve grounds: Varun Mitra on Bombers
Varun Mitra portrays the lead player of a resurgent Bengali football club in ZEE5's first sports-themed web show, Bombers
In ZEE5’s new original show, Bombers, Varun Mitra plays the sole survivor of a Bengali football club after his teammates are killed in a bus accident. Written by Vishal Kapoor and directed by Vishal Furia, the show follows the resurgence of Bombers FC, in Chandannagar — as Badol (Varun) teams up with coach Debu (Ranvir Shorey) to rebuild his club.
“I used to play football in school, in Delhi. I was a left midfielder, although I am not left-footed. For some reason, I was able to cross the ball from the wing to the strikers,” recalls Varun, who made his acting in the 2015 independent film Kaash, and was seen in the romantic drama Jalebi (2018), opposite Rhea Kapoor.
Speaking about Bombers and how it stands apart from other sports-oriented shows and films, Varun adds, “This show delves into the origins of a sportsman, his spirit. You see, unlike how, in the past, we had sports icons like Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, who had an aura of their own, Bombers explores the rise of a player through the journey of his team. It's very much tied to the collective energy in a sport.” The actor confesses shooting for the show was a gruelling experience, but commends his co-stars for executing the on-field action convincingly (the show was shot in real locations in West Bengal and elsewhere).
On the state of footballing culture in India, Varun comments, “We are as much a football-crazy country as we are mad for cricket. Living in urban cities, we have access to designated turfs and grounds. But while scouting locations for the show, we realised there is a genuine dearth of proper football fields across small-town India. The fields that exist are not maintained and are risky to play in. I hope, through our show, people get inspired to create and preserve more grounds.”
The series also stars Aahana Kumra, Zakir Hussain, Sapna Pabbi, Prince Narula and Meiyang Chang.
(Bombers is currently streaming on the ZEE5)