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'I am just another performer'

March 07, 2019 11:04 IST

'The affection and love and blessings of the audience is all that matters.'
'That is most important for me, nothing else.'

Amitabh Bachchan on the Badla poster

Amitabh Bachchan, who celebrates 50 years in cinema this year, is as excited about his new release Badla, which brings him together again with Director Sujoy Ghosh and with his PINK co-star Tapsee Pannu as he was when his first film released in 1969.

"Why do you say this spirit of generosity is lacking in the film industry? It is NOT!", Mr Bachchan tells Subhash K Jha.

Abhinandan Varthaman is home. Your thoughts?

Can there be any other thoughts than the joy and relief that he has come home?

Before I say anything else, I wish to pay my condolences and respects to our bravehearts that sacrificed their lives in Pulwama, and those bravehearts that stand and fight to save and protect us.

 

Taapsee with Amitabh Bachchan in Badla. Photograph: Kind courtesy Taapsee Pannu/Instagram

IMAGE: Taapsee Pannu with Amitabh Bachchan in Badla. Photograph: Kind courtesy Taapsee Pannu/Instagram

Badla brings you and Tapsee together again in a most unusual and unexpected combination. That you and she can be cast in the lead, is that a sign of maturity of Hindi cinema?

I am not the lead in the film. I am just another performer. Credit titles adhere to the age old formula of bringing the names up with regard to age and seniority in the industry!

How different was it working with Tapsee this time as compared with PINK. She tells me she had loads of fun shooting with you and can't wait to do a film with you again.

Taapsee is a competent and comprehensive artiste. It has been a joy working with her. I am humbled by her remark!

Sujoy Ghosh and you go back a long way, to his very first film Alladin. How much has he evolved as a film-maker?

Sujoy is an intelligent mind and he brings that to the forefront when he is creating.

Do you ever feel you have completed 50 years in Hindi cinema?

These issues have never been of any interest to me. The affection and love and blessings of the audience is all that matters. That is most important for me, nothing else.

Amitji, 2019 has already given us some remarkable films -- Uri, Gully Boy Sonchiriya... What did you think of these films? Can we hope for Badla to be as remarkable?

Gully Boy and Uri I have seen and appreciated. Sonchiriya I have not seen. Badla's fate shall be decided on the 8th of March.

Speaking of Gully Boy, you sent tokens of appreciation to the performers and they were so happy and proud. Why is this generosity of spirit lacking in the film industry?

Whenever I have liked a performance I have appreciated and expressed it. I am grateful that they are happy with it. They are deserving of much more.

Why do you say this spirit of generosity is lacking in the film industry? It is NOT!

There is always great affection and praise shown by the fraternity towards the work of others. It may not have been made public, or the media may not have got to know of it, but it has been there ever.

You have also been shooting for Jhund with Nagraj Manjule. How is that experience? Do you love football as much as your son Abhishek does?

Jhund is complete. Post-production work is in progress, and it was a delight to work with Nagraj Manjule.

I try to follow football, but never quite as much as Abhishek.

You and Lataji (Mangeshkar) have shown your gratitude and appreciation for the Indian Army by donating generously to their welfare fund. Do we as a nation need to grow more appreciative of the sacrifices our soldiers make for the country?

Not just this, I have been sending my gratitude, monetarily and through kind, in the past as well to several other institutions... martyrs's families, desperate and despondent farmers, socially ostracised nationals and the needy common man.

It is an individual thought, not for any aggrandisement or public proclamation. I am awkward talking about it.

But if it can become an example for others to follow suit, many other countrymen and women would benefit.

Subhash K Jha
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