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The Rediff Interview
/ Abhishek Bachchan
'You cannot learn to act. You either know it or you don't'
Syed Firdaus Ashraf |
June 27, 2003
When Abhishek Bachchan, son of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, joined the Hindi film industry in 2000, people anticipated the arrival of another superstar.
But hopes were dashed as his debut film -- J P Dutta's Refugee -- fared miserably. The films that followed -- Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa, Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai, Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke, Shararat and Haan... Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya -- fared no better.
The industry was quick to write him off, though some people remembered that his father too had had numerous flops before striking back.
"I disagree with people who say I was good, but my films were bad," says Abhishek. "If I was good, the films should have done well. I think people are just being nice to me on my face."
With his latest film, Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, also starring Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor, releasing today, Friday, June 27, Abhishek Bachchan has his fingers crossed. This, after all, could be his make-or-break film.
Abhishek Bachchan spoke to Chief Correspondent Syed Firdaus Ashraf about what he expects from the film.
Can you tell us something about your role in Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon?
Hrithik Roshan and I play close friends -- we have studied in the same college. I play the chairperson of a company and he works for me. The film is about relationships. I won't like to disclose too much about it now.
Are you the surprise package of the film?
No, I am not. It is a great role. The film is wonderful. Sooraj Barjatya has done a brilliant job.
How different is your role compared to your other films?
Sooraj casts people very well. The character I play is very close to my nature. I think Sooraj knew me well before signing me on.
Do you relate to your role in the movie?
Completely. What I love about my character is his dignity. He has values in life and I like that part very much.
Were you surprised when this role was offered to you?
Yes, I was very surprised. I was shooting in Hyderabad at 6am that day when Sooraj called me. I thought someone was joking before realising it was Sooraj on the phone.
How important is the film to your career?
I think every film is important to one's career. You work in an industry where life is decided every Friday. Your future depends on it.
Which is your favourite song in the film?
[Laughs] The one picturised on me [Aur mohabbat hai].
Are you comfortable doing songs?
I think I am bad at romantic songs.
The song Yeh hawaien from Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai was good, wasn't it?
Oh yeah? Thank you. You are one of the few to say so [laughs]. I feel if you are doing a love song opposite a woman you cannot associate with mentally, it becomes very difficult to act. I mean, it is more difficult for you to convince the audience you are in love with your co-star.
Given an option, would you prefer doing romantic or action roles?
It all depends on the script, screenplay and the co-stars.
How much did your father guide you during this film?
I am very close to him. He is always there for me. He is the first person I call when I am in trouble. There are times I call my dad during shooting, when I don't understand what to do. And he always helps me out.
How was it working with Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor?
Hrithik is a great guy. Both of us used to go to the same school. He is very sincere and takes his job seriously. At the same time, he is very co-operative. He makes you work hard just like he does himself.
Bebo (Kareena) has evolved as a person. She is just fantastic.
When you faced the camera for the first time, there were thousands of people watching you. Have things changed now?
Yes. That was my first shot ever. I was scared then. I think you learn in this fantastic profession. You learn something new on the sets every day. The more you act, the more you learn.
Is acting inborn?
Yes. I think you cannot learn to act. You either know it or you don't. Only if you know how to act can you polish it.
Your father got a hit [Zanjeer] after 12 flops. What is your benchmark? Do you expect a lot from this film?
As I said, I expect every film to do well. I work equally hard on every film. I don't give stepbrotherly treatment to any of my films.
Your work has been appreciated, but your films don't do well. What do you think went wrong?
I disagree with people who say I was good, but my films were bad. If I was good, the films should have done well. I think people are just being nice to me on my face.
You mean to say your acting in Refugee and other films was not up to the mark?
When I see my films now, I think I should have done this scene in such a way. But then, if I had known earlier I would have been very rich by now. It all depends on the audience. Nobody knows what they like and what they don't.