Move over Brett Lee – Jamberoo Pub part owner Jamie Warren could be the Illawarra’s next Bollywood movie star.
An Indian film crew has been in the country village this week filming a new Bollywood blockbuster The Return of the Sardaar Ji, and Mr Warren has scored himself a speaking part.
A love story, the movie is due for release in June 2016 and stars one of Bollywood’s biggest names Diljit Dosanjh and rising star Sonam Bajwa.
“Diljit Dosanjh is a massive star in Bollywood,” Mr Warren said. “He has a song out at the moment that is the biggest song in India. I had no idea.”
The Bollywood film crew were in Jamberoo last Friday afternoon and again on Thursday filming scenes in and around the historic pub, including a high speed car chase in Allowrie Street. A bright pink ice-cream truck, vintage red sports car and black van parked outside the pub have also been used during filming.
Mr Warren said the film crew approached his father and pub co-owner Ross Warren a couple of weeks ago about filming at the local watering hole.
“They just popped into the pub one day and spoke to dad about doing some shooting.”
“Apparently the movie is a love story and they come to Australia to run away from loan sharks.”
He said a member of the crew had mentioned Illawarra’s favourite cricketing son, Australian fast bowling legend and former former Oak Flats Rat Brett Lee may have a small role in the film but this has not been confirmed. Lee made his Bollywood film debut last year in UnIndian.
Meanwhile Mr Warren scored himself a role, as the bartender of course, who serves a beer to the lead character, played by Dosanjh. In all Mr Warren appears in three scenes, although he concedes his work may end up on the cutting room floor.
“I have a very small part and get to say a few lines. I was just at work and the director said he needed someone to do the role and asked me if I wanted to do it.
“I say something like ‘is that all sir’. He gives me some attitude across the bar and then I just say ‘will that be all mate’. He then gives me some more attitude and then I walk off.
“In another scene I am handing him a salad across the bar and then the two female co-stars come in and start talking to him, and then there is another scene where I hand a beer over to him.”
While 45-year-old Mr Warren said hadn’t previously thought about acting as a career, he might now reconsider.
“The director told me I was ‘a very good artist’, so that was a huge compliment from a director who is as well respected as he is.”
Mr Warren said locals who just happened to be at the pub during the filming were also welcomed on to the set, with some filling in as extras.
“The locals were very excited about it, and what a great thing it is to have Bollywood in Jamberoo. They have never seen anything like this before.
“Some of the locals were in the shoot last Friday. They were just sitting in the bar having a drink and the crew were shooting in the dining room out the back and needed some extras to sit at the tables so four or five of the guys from the bar went out the back and did their bit.”
The film crew moved on to film at historic Terragong House in Jamberoo on Friday and are believed to be staying in the area for the next week or so to complete more filming.
Mr Warren has posted photos from the film shoot on the Jamberoo Pub Facebook page, saying “The Pub was buzzing at lunch time yesterday as around 50 film crew and some of the biggest names in the Bollywood film industry transformed the Johnny Warren Museum into a Bollywood movie set.
“We hope you enjoy this photo album of the day's events and we will update the album and provide more information as to the progress of the movie as it comes to hand.”