Emily Shah Tackles Rugby, First Executive Producer Role in New Film 'Jungle Cry' (Exclusive)

Emily Shah is ready to make a name for herself in Hollywood. Last week, the Indian American actress was in Wales for the premiere of her new film Jungle Cry, which is about 12 underprivileged children, who have played sports bared foot, beating the odds and winning the U14 Rugby World Cup in England. Jungle Cry is based on a true story and Shah plays the role of Roshni Thakkar who is the team's physiotherapist. Shah is also an executive producer on the film and she told Popculture.com, wearing two hats was an experience she never had before.

"It was an interesting way of learning both at the same time and it's not something I've ever done," she said. "It kind of gets you more of a handle on both ends which is really cool but it's a lot of work."

Shah's role in the film was unique because Roshni Thakkar is not part of the true story. She had the character written in due to the lack of female roles.

"When we were presented with the project, it was so male-driven and obviously rugby is a very masculine sport," she said. "Having everyone in the story be male, it wasn’t something that I thought was going to work."

Emily Shah Jungle CryRussell Baer 3
(Photo: Russell Baer)

"We actually put my character in and it was the only character not part of the true story," she added. "The way that we tied her in was just so seamlessly to the other boys. It ended up working out because every sports team needs a physio. What better way than to put a woman into a position of a doctor for a men’s rugby team."

When she took on the Jungle Cry project, Shah had to do extensive research on rugby and sports medicine as she knew nothing about the sport.

"I didn’t know anything about rugby, the New Jersey native said. "I had no idea what the rules were for how it was played. I didn’t know there were different categories of rugby. I really dove into the research of rugby and medicine and sports medicine specifically. I had to do a lot of research on everything."

Shah is the daughter of Hollywood and Bollywood producer Prashant Shah and his production company, Bollywood Hollywood, produced Jungle Cry which is set to be released internationally in the summer this year. The premiere of the film took place at the Ffwrnes Theatre Llanelli in Wales on March 10 and Emily Shah said it was a big success.

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"It was amazing," she stated. We were hosted by the Welsh government. When something like Jungle Cry comes into town, they take great pride in it. The screening was really successful. Everyone seemed to enjoy the film."

Photo credit: Russell Baer