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Home > Movies > Interviews

The Rediff Interview / Abhishek Bachchan

Abhishek Bachchan: It is a great honour to be in Yuva

Syed Firdaus Ashraf | May 17, 2004

There is an interesting story behind how Abhishek Bachchan bagged Yuva.

Abhishek BachchanApparently BachchanJrdoes not answer phone calls from unidentifiednumbers. So when Mani Ratnam called him up, he didn't take the call. Thank God for Bachchan's friend and Ratnam's former assistantShaad Ali (Saathiya), whointervened and got the two talking.

That's how Bachchan landed a plum role in Yuva.

The 28 year-old's rustic andintense look as LallanSingh, as seen in the promos of this much-awaited film, has come in for much appreciation.

Will Yuva be that elusive hithe has been waiting? The actor doesn't know. What he does know is this: try and try until youget it right.

In acandidinterviewto rediff.com, Abhishek Bachchan tellsChief Correspondent Syed Firdaus Ashraf why it is an honour towork with Mani Ratnam and about Yuva.

In Part II of the interview, which we will carry tomorrow, he talks of that elusive bird, success. Don't forget to log in.

Was Yuvamade in Tamil and Hindi simultaneously? Were youinvolved in any aspect ofthe Tamil film?

The Hindi and Tamil versions of Yuva are separate. The only common things between the two areEsha Deol and the technicians. Both the films were shot separately and have adifferent star cast. They were not shot simultaneously. Yuva went on the floors first and then Tamil version too went on. But we never shot together.

What was working with someone as reputed as Mani Ratnam like?

Nothing short of GREAT! Mani, as we all know, is a highly acclaimed and respected director. It was definitely my dream to work with him. I am happy I worked with him early in my career. He is just brilliant. I do not have enough words to explain the experience of working with someone like Mani. It is a great honour to be in his film. Apart from what he does in films, he is also a great guy.

How did you bag a role in Yuva?

Mani was calling me and I didn't pick up the phone. I don't take a call unless I recognise the number that flashes on my screen as people uselessly call and disturb me.

Then Shaad [Ali], a dear friend of mine and his [former] assistant, called me. He told me Mani Sir wanted to get in touch with me. I asked why. He said Mani Sir wanted to meet me as he was in Mumbai. I said okay.When we met, Mani narrated the story of Yuva. He then asked me whether I would like to work with him. I thought that was bit weird [laughs]. I agreedimmediately. That is how it happened.

Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji in YuvaWhat is Yuva's basic plot?

It is a story of three individuals -- Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi andmy character. Theylive separate, independent lives. Until one incident brings them together.

From then on, destiny takes them in a different direction.

I cannot classify Yuva as an 'action film', a 'romantic film' or a 'dramatic film'. The only thing I am sure about is: it is a 'Mani Ratnam film'. He was behind the camera. So, obviously, it will be a good film. I hope Yuva turns out to be a good film for audiences too.

Tell us about your character in Yuva.

I play Lallan Singh who belongs to the streets of Kolkata. He has to fend for himself from a very young age. He has no parents, only an elder brother. Having grown up on the streets, he has developed certain traits. If he needs something, he does not ask for it. He goes and grabs it.

His main concern is his own survival. He does not bother what people say about him. He is a rugged character.

He is avery passionate person, regardless of what he is doing. If he loves you, he loves you to death. If he hates you, he can probably kill you. He is a very interesting and complex kind of person. It was enjoyable to portray this character.

Coming from well-to-do family background, how difficult was is for you, as an actor,to play a street guy without seeing the harsh reality ofstreet life?

We are actors. Our job is to act. At the end of the day we have to remember we are acting.

I try to bring in as much realism as possible. I do that bybecoming observant. I sit with the director and understand my character and what I need to bring out in that character.

If I come from a privileged family, it does not mean I cannot understandthat character.Besides, Maniwas very clear about Lallan Singh. It was not tough at all because he knew what he wanted from me in this film.

A R Rahman's musicfor Yuva is a hit. Which is your favourite number?

I like all the songs. Two songshave been picturised on me.

Mani and Mr Rahman have come up with anew sound and style.

All the songs are my favourites. It is very difficult to choose one among them. It is an enjoyable album.

How different isMani Ratnam's style of working in comparisonwith that of Bollywood directors?

A still from YuvaA director is a director.

Like every actor, each director has his own unique way of working. They have unique approaches to their art and craft. Mani is no different. Like other directors, he has his own style.

Every time you sign with a new director, you have to adjust and find a rapport with them. It is just that it takes time a rapport to form between an actor and a director when they work with each other for the first time.

There is no difference between a directorfrom the south and a director from the north. We all are making a film.

This is an entertainment industry. We all want to make good films.

Any particular shot inYuva that satisfied you immensely?

The whole film was creatively very satisfying. There is no particular day that I can remember [as being better than the others]. Theentire making[of Yuva]is memorable for me.

Generally, Hindi films aren'tshot at Kolkata. How come Yuva is setthere?

I don't know! I guess,visually and cinematically, Kolkata suitedthe background for the film.

What was working withAjay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Rani Mukerji,Kareena Kapoor andEsha Deol like?

It is wonderful to work with so manycast members. They are all my good friends.

In this film, I only had the opportunity to work [shoot scenes] with Vivek, Ajay and Rani.

I have worked with Rani in my earlier films. She is a good friend. Ajay is like an elder brother. This is the first time I am working with Vivek. He is a great actor.

Abhishek Bachchan in YuvaIt was one big team.Itbecomes like a family when you shoot a film outdoors. I only hope this reflects on the screen.

There was a great sense of camaraderie on the sets. If you have people like Ajay and Vivek on the sets, it will be fun. We kept fooling around.

But it was tragic when Vivekgot hurt. We were supposed to finish the film in that schedule. We all were concerned about him.

Log in tomorrow to find out why success is still eluding Abhishek Bachchan. What are his plans for the future?



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Number of User Comments: 25




Sub: i love uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu abhiiiiiiii

hes jus awsome cant xpress my feelings but i can say 1 thing ..aap jaise koi mere zindagi meinaaye to baat ban jayeee.....xcellent acting i ...


Posted by poonam





Sub: AB Jr was superb !!!!!!!!!

fine, it was really difficut to portray in reel life of that kind of person you never concerned with or never seen in real life, ...


Posted by Swapnil





Sub: abhishek is the best actor .

hi abhi, i knew that u are the best.you act well from your first movie till yuva and now iam waiting for your forthcoming movie ...


Posted by shweta singh





Sub: Abhishek and interviews

Why is it that everytime he gives an interview he never says what he likes best .... it is always everything?? Is he trying to ...


Posted by Anesa Hosein





Sub: Abhi is GOOOOOD

I should say that Abhishek has everything in him. Being the son of Amitabh was not an easy job. Yuva was stepping stone for Abhishek. ...


Posted by Shannu




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