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'Aishwarya And I Are Dying To Work Together Again'

June 24, 2024 10:09 IST
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'We are just waiting for the right script.'

As Mani Ratnam's Raavan completes 14 years in June, its star Abhishek Bachchan goes back in time to remembers shooting for the film in the jungles along with his wife, Aishwarya Rai.

"Raavan was the most challenging experience of my life, physically and emotionally. It sapped me in every way," Abhishek tells Subhash K Jha.

How do you recall the Raavan experience?

With tremendous love affection and fondness. It was my third film with Mani Ratnam. I can't wait to work with him again.

You haven't worked with Aishwarya since Raavan.

We are dying to. We are just waiting for the right script.

Shooting in the jungles, weren't you concerned about Aishwarya's safety?

I am a normal man and a normal husband.

I was definitely concerned for my wife's well being and she was equally concerned about me.


I believe she was up to any risk that the role demanded?

Oh, she's very, very strong. But Mani wouldn't allow her to do anything that was unsafe.

Speaking for myself, it was great fun.

Ask any of Mani's actors. They'll tell you they're willing to do anything he asks them to.

Was Raavan a challenge due to the gruelling jungle locations?

Raavan is the most difficult film I've ever done. It offered me my most challenging role to date.

It was deeply challenging for Aishwarya and me because we shot in the jungles under the most severe conditions. Finally, it was worth it.

How do you rate your performance in Raavan?

I can't say I'm satisfied.

When I saw the film recently, I realised there is so much more I could have done with my role.

Given the opportunity, I'd do Raavan all over again, and a lot more.

Raavan was your third and by far, the toughest film with the magical Mani Ratnam.

I believe Raavan is even more magical than Yuva and Guru. It's territory that neither of us had ever visited.

I believe it's Mani's most massy film to date.

You know it's funny, but because Mani has a fantastic aesthetic sense and he's constantly raising the bar with every film of his, it is believed that his films are high art meant for a select audience.

But Mani is for the masses.

How was your rapport with Mani during Raavan?

I go by his judgement and believe he knows best.

Our relationship goes beyond films.

I would want to work with him a fourth time.

The entire industry wants to work with him.

Raavan wrenched you away from your comfort zone.

To shoot in the jungles wasn't easy. But why do a film unless it challenges you to go beyond your comfort zone?

I've always done films that remove me from the comfort zone and put me in a place I've never been before.

That's one of the main criteria for choosing a role.

Focusing on the emotions of your character Beera while doing those heart-in-the-mouth stunts couldn't have been easy.

That was a double challenge. First, I was doing a role that required me to perform the most challenging physical activities.

Then I also had to emote in ways that I had never done.

And one couldn't be compromised for the other.

It was very difficult but the pain was worth it.

Mani allowed me to watch the film as it was being shot. I knew it was something very, very special.

Did shooting in the jungles bring you closer to nature?

It couldn't get any more natural... we were in the jungles with the animals, insects, waterfalls, rain and nature for months.

It was Mother Nature in all her glory.

I've always been very eco-conscious but this experience changed my life.

How was it working with Vikram?

I've known Vikram for a very long time. He's a very sweet chap.

I take it as a compliment when co-stars enjoy working with me.

Making a film should be as much fun as watching it.

Closing thoughts?

Raavan was the most challenging experience of my life, physically and emotionally. It sapped me in every way.

I was really anxious about Raavan.

Mani, Aishwarya and I had to go beyond Guru, which is one of my favourite films.

I knew Raavan could do it. I'm very proud of the film.

I know everyone has given sweat and blood to it.

It was a lot of hard work.

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