The many, many, MANY faces of Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan has altered his appearance quite a few times.
Getting under a new skin, donning various garbs, impersonating someone is the prerogative of every actor. And Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, the biggest one of them all, has consistently lived up to such entitlement and produced memorable imagery.
Right from the disheveled, unshaven look in his first film Saat Hindustani to the latest Complan commercial, the 71-year-old superstar has altered his appearance for quite a few films.
Here’s a quick dekko.
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Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Complan advertisement
As the fearsome albeit friendly ghost Bhootnath, all set to reappear in a sequel, AB’s spooky Casper opts for a blend of tattered clothing and powdery makeup that’s more goofy than ghostly.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Bhootnath
The actor wore layers of sophisticated prosthetic to portray Auro, a 12-year-old schoolboy suffering from a rare case of Progeria in R Balki’s moving tale, Paa.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Paa
AB settles for over-the-top flamboyance in velvet and zardozi with a mop of curly locks in place to play an eager-to-please genie in this lukewarm take on the popular Arabian fantasy.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Aladin
Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Call it bizarre, ridiculous or rad, Big B’s larger-than-life hippie in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom belongs to the ‘love, hate but cannot ignore’ category.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
Modeled around an influential politician, Bachchan lends unmistakable starkness to the self-styled Sarkar in Ram Gopal Varma’s film of the same name.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Sarkar
One of his most effective performances in the recent phase of his career, AB hits a stunning traditional note to play the loyal defender of a royal family in and as Eklavya.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Eklavya
The Last Lear
As the theatre actor consumed by Shakespeare, Bachchan SR recognises and conveys the whims and instincts of an artistic intellectual in words and wardrobe.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in The Last Lear
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Flamboyance thy name is Sexy Sam. AB’s quirky fashion sense in Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna could give Sonam Kapoor a run for her wardrobe.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo
Every Bollywood actor dons the pagdi to play a Sikh character at some point in his career. As does AB in the little remembered, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo
Big B sports slick platinum streaks in this all style no substance Man on Fire rip-off co-starring Arjun Rampal.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Ek Ajnabee
Thanks to Preity Zinta’s fierce bangs to AB’s blindingly white rug, Armaan is poised to go down in history as the movie with the most cringe-worthy hairpieces.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor in Armaan
Hindustan Ki Kasam
At one point, he’s wearing a moustache that aims to compete with Nathulal. On another, he’s turned into a modern-day Bheeshma.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Hindustan Ki Kasam
Bachchan looks every bit of a local in typical Rajastani attire for his climatic cameo in Amol Palekar’s Paheli.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Paheli
Other than playing almighty in Hello Brother and God Tussi Great Ho star, AB hits the divine note rather significantly as the bearded Indra of Agni Varsha.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Agni Varsha
In the dark enigmatic ambiance of Aks, Amitabh Bachchan puts on a dark, mysterious and volatile face of mischief.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Aks
Boom may be a sore spot in his career but his all-white wacky appearance aims to distract us from the obvious.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Boom
While many debated on the 'armyman sporting beard' aspect, fans couldn’t care less as Major Saab Sona Sona-ed his way to the bank.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Major Saab
AB plays the stern-faced conservative patriarch to himself with the complete paraphernalia -- dhoti, kurta, mooch, dadi, tilak -- in Sooryavansham.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Sooryavansham
Shashi Kapoor’s superhero fantasy tanked at the box-office but Amitabh Bachchan’s peculiar get-up in and as Ajooba still lingers in memory.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Ajooba
As the Afghani pathan who keeps his word at the expense of his family, AB nails it quite nicely in both the performance and costume department.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Khuda Gawah
Amitabh Bachchan goes on a vendetta spree as well as stops his father from taking the law in his own hands in the father-son double role drama, Aakhri Raasta with lot more than cosmetic distinctions to tell them apart.
Image: Aamir Khan in Aakhree Raasta
It’s the *baap* of all looks -- the chain arm, the leather suit, the flappy salt-pepper hairdo.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Shahenshah
How to do a drag act and enjoy it too? Watch and learn from a no-holds barred Bachchan during the Mere Angne Mein jig of Laawaris.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Lawaaris
Quite a few to choose from -- the tribute to Gumnaam’s Mehmood, the bespectacled revolutionary and, of course, the inappropriate but hilarious painted turned as 'Gore Nahi Hum Kaale Sahi.'
Image: Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan in Desh Premee
Trust AB to keep a straight face while looking like that wearing that wig to pull off yet another double role scenario.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Adalat
For one of its on-duty investigation scenes that ends up in romancing Neetu Singh instead, Bachchan plays a cop who dresses up as a foreigner with auburn hair and beard.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Parvarish
Bollywood is still hung up on this laughable notion that a beard is all an actor needs to make him virtually unrecognisable to the world. So while Rekha remains clueless, the viewer knows its AB all along.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Do Anjaane
Bachchan plays a self-centered jaggery trader of a rural town who pays heavily for holding beauty over brains in the parable Saudagar.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Saudagar