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'Who wouldn't want to work with Amitabh Bachchan?'
Subhash K Jha |
April 28, 2003 15:21 IST
Abhishek Bachchan may not have a single hit to his credit, but he is still one of the most sought-after actors in Bollywood. According to trade pundits, his next film, Apoorva Lakhia's Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost, may finally see him overtake his competition.
Abhishek, who is one of the most cultured and soft-spoken actors in the industry, says, "I do not know about overtaking competition. I guess I am blessed. Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost is extremely close to my heart. I hope it gets its due recognition. Everyone has put in his or her best. The atmosphere [during the making of the film] was very conducive to creativity. Once I was in costume and on the village sets in Jaisalmer [Rajasthan], I remained in character throughout. Apoorva's greatest asset is that he is always prepared. He knew every dialogue, shot and moment in his film beforehand. I never felt the need to try and dissuade him. He visualised the entire film in his head. I cannot categorise the film as a social satire, romantic or dramatic film."
Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost also stars former Miss Universe Lara Dutta.
Abhishek's friends claim his career and personal setbacks (his much-publicised engagement to actress Karisma Kapoor broke up followed by his grandfather Harivansh Rai Bachchan's death on January 18) have made him a better actor.
Says Abhishek, "I am bound to feel the pain. But I have to rise above my personal problems. Films do not have subtitles explaining I look listless in a scene because I shot for it after shooting for 36 hours at a stretch. My dad [Amitabh Bachchan] taught me to never be afraid of retakes because the audience will only see the final take. As for my personal life, no one can force me to talk about it. It is my problem and my pain. The only ones I am answerable to are my parents and immediate family."
Some of his future films include debutant directors Rohan Sippy's Kuch Na Kaho, which is a mature love story with Aishwarya Rai and Rohit Shetty's Zameen, his first full-fledged action film. He is also pitted against Hrithik Roshan for the first time in Sooraj Barjatya's Mein Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, which stars his Refugee costar Kareena Kapoor.
Abhishek is also doing films with Mani Ratnam and Raj Kumar Santoshi. In fact, the latter's project will see the father-son duo on screen together for the first time.
Adds Abhishek, "Raj Kumar Santoshi was keen I do his film, Zakhm. I have always been keen to work with him. While working on the script, he told me there was a part that would be fantastic if my father did it. Dad agreed. After all, who wouldn't want to work with Amitabh Bachchan?
"I am excited at the thought of standing in the same frame as him. I don't care if I do not have a single dialogue."
In May, the Bachchans will see their respective films premiere at the International Indian Film Awards in Johannesburg. When asked how it feels to be pitched against his father, Abhishek replies, "My film can never be pitched against his. He is far too great an actor. Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost will be premiered along with his film [Honey Irani's Armaan] at Johannesburg. It is a great honour to be given a world platform. More so, since they have chosen a new crew like ours."
Abhishek is very pleased with what the Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost team has achieved. "My producer Vicky Nihalani [son of veteran producer-director Pahlaj Nihalani] and Apoorva represent a new breed of filmmakers in Mumbai who want to break the mould without being patronising about mainstream conventions. My generation of filmmakers have often been accused of making frivolous films. This film will prove the cynics wrong. Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost is not frivolous. Do you know what Apoorva discovered during his research? There are more than 80,000 villages in India without electricity. And we live in the 21st century!"