'They (stunts) are audacious and they are a risk. But then, I could well slip on a banana peel and head to Thy Kingdom come.'
Amitabh Bachchan has not given an interview for almost a year.
As 102 Not Out gets ready for release, the actor gets ready to take questions from the media.
Directed by Umesh Shukla, 102 Not Out features Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor and releases on May 4.
The Big B tells Subhash K Jha how life has been treating him lately.
Why have you stayed away from giving interviews?
Interviews mean being questioned by one, and the need for an answer by the other.
I have had nothing to say, so what is the need for an interview?
Now, there is a film on release and protocol and obligations towards the media and interviews are the need of the hour for promoting what we have created, for the audience.
So here I am, selfishly, presenting myself for questioning.
How has life been treating you during the past months?
There were sporadic reports of ill health and injury.
Has the body repaired and are you, as usual, infused with inspirational energy?
I have had some injuries during my work recently, which persist.
These are related to some old action injuries of the past catching up as the body ages.
Treatments are on and to expect the body at this age to repair completely is wishful thinking.
So one stumbles along.
I believe you are doing some audacious stunts in Thugs Of Hindostan. Aren't these risks not worth taking at the cost of your health and well being?
They are audacious and they are a risk. But then, I could well slip on a banana peel and head to Thy Kingdom come.
So, we try to live up to the professional demands required of us and proceed subsequently with adequate precaution.
You play a 100-plus man in 102 Not Out.
The script and character analysis that was narrated to me by Umesh Shukla and writer Saumya Doshi was to play a youthful 102. An attempt has been made.
Your beard and white hair makes you look uncannily like M F Husain.
Never thought about that... but since you say so, I shall go with it.
The film reunites you with Rishi Kapoor after decades. What was it like shooting with him after all these years?
It was as glorious as it was all those past years and the historic films we did together.
It's not like we were separated at birth and were meeting after 27 years!
102 Not Out addresses the questions of mortality and longevity. Did you have discussions about these themes with the director and your co-star?
I do not possess the intellectualism to delve into such deep philosophies.
But yes, I do know that we are born to perish someday and how wonderful if we can live that life with the fulfillment, the joys and the happiness that life brings.
Your daughter Shweta has turned novelist.
I am a very proud father and am delighted that my father's legacy continues.