AceShowbiz - A five second pitch to Bruce Springsteen on a London red carpet helped filmmaker Gurinder Chadha complete her dream of turning a pal's book into a movie.
The "Bend It Like Beckham" director knew "Blinded by the Light" - about an Anglo-Indian Springsteen obsessive - would be dead in the water without The Boss' co-operation, so when she heard the rock icon was in town for the premiere of The Promise, she made sure she was at the event.
"(Writer) Safraz (Manzoor) and I have been friends for a long time, since teenagers, and we're huge Springsteen fans," she tells WENN. "When he was writing the book ("Blinded by the Light"), Bend It Like Beckham was a big hit and I said, 'This is a great book. I know how to turn it into a movie but without Bruce Springsteen we don't have anything'.
"Lucky for us, in 2010, Bruce came to London for the premiere of The Promise. I was invited and I took Safraz. We sit on the red carpet as typical fans with cameras and as Bruce came towards us we were like, 'Oh my God, it's Bruce Springsteen! Get your camera!' As we were ready to take our pictures Bruce recognised Safraz from being in the front row of every single concert! He came over and he said, 'Hey man, I read your book. It's really beautiful'.
"Safraz just freaked out and I just had five seconds to do a movie deal with Bruce Springsteen… I just blurted it all out and said, 'Bruce, I'm Gurinder Chadha, I did 'Bend It Like Beckham'. I'm so glad you're here. We love the book and really want to make a movie of the book. Please support us!".
"He stopped for a second and looked at us and said, 'Sounds good. Talk to Jon'. Jon Landau, his manager, was behind him on the carpet and that's how the movie happened".
The film, starring Viveik Kalra, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah earlier this year and opened in the U.K. last week, August 09. It hits U.S. cinemas on Friday.