Abhishek: My daughter is the focus of all attention
Abhishek Bachchan might not have had a successful run at the box office lately but he believes hits and flops are a part of his job.
The 36-year-old actor doesn't mind the repeated failures and is ready to rise from the ashes again with an author-backed role in his upcoming film Bol Bachchan.
In an interview with Sonil Dedhia, Bachchan talks about how he deals with failure of his films and his experience of working on Bol Bachchan.
Let's start with your daughter Aaradhya. Is there any change in your life after you became a father?
The responsibilities have increased. My daughter is the focus of everybody's attention. You are willing to do anything for her. Her innocent presence makes everyone want to spend time with her.
Image: Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with daughter Aaradhya
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'It is never nice to talk about flops'
Your next film is titled Bol Bachchan. Are you cashing in on the name 'Bachchan'?
I have never cashed in on the name till today, so why will I start doing it now?
Many of your recent films did not work at the box office, nor did they find critical acclaim.
It is never nice to talk about flop films, as it is never a pleasant experience. But you have to deal with flops.
Nobody wants to make an unsuccessful film. Everybody works hard to make successful films. Thankfully, you carry on working.
Has your recent run at the box office made you conscious not to work in multiple projects at the same time?
When I was promoting Players, people asked me why I was doing so many films at one time.
Times have changed. I think an actor has far more responsibilities towards a film than acting.
I have decided that I don't want to complain by saying that the editor did not edit the film properly or to point fingers at anybody else. I want complete responsibility by saying that I did everything that I could do.
Has this change in approach come after you became a producer with Paa?
No, my approach as a producer was because of the kind of actor I was. I have been brought up in this industry.
I made Paa in a certain amount because I wanted my distributors and exhibitors to earn money, which they did. The same holds true with Buddah Hoga Tera Baap.
I make films that I believe in.
Image: Movie poster of Bol Bachchan
'Rohit Shetty has become more confident now'
Director Rohit Shetty has enjoyed huge commercial success. What difference do you see in him since he directed you in his debut film Zameen (2003)?
I think Rohit has become more confident now. He is as hardworking and humble as he was when we were making Zameen.
He is one of the most successful directors that we have today and his track record speaks for itself. He is like a machine who works for, like, 20 hours a day.
How was your experience of working on Bol Bachchan?
Ajay Devgn and Rohit taught me that there is a pitch behind every film and you have to match it.
If I am doing a comedy film, I can't repeat myself in the next comedy film that I do because it will not suit the character and script.
My style of comedy was very different from what Bol Bachchan required me to do. Ajay and Rohit helped me unlearn what I already knew and adopt a different style of comedy, which was very difficult for me.
Image: Ajay Devgn and Abhishek Bachchan in Bol Bachchan
'Bol Bachchan turned out to be the most difficult film of my career'
How would you define your style of comedy?
My style of comedy is more deadpan whereas the comedy that I did in the film was very demanding as a lot of energy was required.
We all had to keep our energy levels at maximum all the time (smiles). It took me a week to adapt to Bol Bachchan.
The first one week of shooting was really tough for me. I came with a particular mindset for the film and Rohit wanted something exactly opposite.
I thought this will be the easiest film to do and it turned out to be the most difficult film of my career. The film looks like a fun film and I thought it is a comedy film where I will enjoy my holiday. But I was proved completely wrong.
I have told Ajay if the film does well, he has to send me on a holiday! (laughs).
Image: Abhishek Bachchan in Bol Bachchan
'The film is very different form Gol Maal'
Was it easier for you to work with Ajay and Rohit since you have worked together in Zameen?
I think the most important thing for an actor is to achieve a comfort zone. According to me, an actor has to have implicit faith and trust in his director. As an actor he pairs his soul with the director.
I've known Rohit since the time he was an assistant director and I was a production assistant.
Ajay is like an elder brother to me so there is a huge amount of faith in him. I think that is what clicked. He is the most supportive co-star I have ever worked with and he is a huge bully too (laughs).
The only common thread between Bol Bachchan and Amol Palekar's Gol Maal (1979) is your character. Was it a wise decision on Ajay and Rohit's part to buy the official rights of the film?
Yes, absolutely. I applaud Ajay and Rohit for how they have dealt with it.
It would have been very convenient not to give the original film any credit. But that wouldn't have been right. The film is very different from the original.
Image: Ajay Devgn, Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan in Bol Bachchan
'I think I have been given too much due as an actor'
Do you think the industry has given you your due as an actor?
I think I have been given too much due as an actor. People have been too kind to me. They think that I am a much better actor than I actually am. I have a lot more to do and improve.
Is it true that you are doing Mani Ratnam's next film?
As of now, Mani is busy making a Tamil film. But I am available for him as and when he says. He is like a mentor to me and I will never question him. Even if he asks me to do a passing shot in his Tamil film, I will happily do it.
Image: Abhishek Bachchan