Ameet Chana celebrates Bend It Like Beckham at 21: ‘People still come up and say if it wasn’t for that film, they wouldn’t have been able to come out’

Ameet Chana

Ameet Chana’s new film is the Slough-based comedy-drama Little English (Picture: Getty)

The actor and DJ Ameet Chana, 47, aka Adi Ferreira in EastEnders, has wooed us with his love of Metro’s famous 60 Seconds slot. He stars in Little English, a new film set in the sunny uplands of Slough.

Here he talks about why Sly Stallone was a childhood hero, his love for bhangra and how Harrow (the town, not the school) widened his horizons…

Welcome to Metro 60 Seconds.

I am already very familiar! It’s always the first thing I read in Metro.

That’s lovely to hear! OK, tell us about your new film, Little English.

Little English is a comedy-drama set in Slough. It’s about a middle-class Punjabi family, who have arranged their son’s wedding to a young girl from a village in Punjab. On the night of the wedding, he does a runner. So, this young girl ends up stuck in his house where she doesn’t know anyone and she knows ‘little English’ – meaning her English isn’t brilliant. The film basically tracks her journey finding her place in this new world.

Who do you play?

Bobby is just this nice guy. He’s a turban-wearing Sikh from India, who married the older daughter in the family five or six years ago, and basically became the do-it-all son-in-law.

So, if anything needs doing – the house needs decorating, the car needs fixing, someone needs dropping to the supermarket, Bobby’s the guy. His wife is always saying ‘Oh, don’t worry – Bobby will do it.’

How about you, are you your family’s Mr Fix-It?

My wife would love me to be! But I’m not that guy. Ironically, I come from a family of carpenters and builders, but I’m the first person to pick up the phone and get someone else to do the work.

Give us three words that describe you.

I would say I’m a realist. I think I’m funny and I’m a loyal friend.

Do people still mainly recognise you from EastEnders?

While UK Gold existed, I always knew when our episodes were on, because you’d suddenly get people on the street recognising you again. But definitely Bend It Like Beckham still lives with me. It’s going to be 21 years old this April. It’s magically timeless. On the surface, it’s about a young Indian girl who wants to play football but, subliminally, that film is about anyone who’s wanted to do something, who had restrictions in doing it, chasing their dream.

It speaks to people on so many different levels across all cultures and languages. And I still get people coming up to me now, saying, ‘You know what, if it wasn’t for you and that film, I wouldn’t have been able to come out.’ [Chana played the gay best friend]. So, it is a film that will proudly stay with me forever.

Ameet with his on-screen brothers Ray Panthaki and Raji James (Picture: BBC)

Are you still in touch …read more

Source:: Metro


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