Amitabh's special birthday gift

  Jaya on Amitabh

  Ajitabh, Ramola on AB

  Abhishek on AB

  Shweta on AB

  'Doctor, will I act again?'

  Hema Malini
  Neetu Singh
  Puneet Issar
  Nirupa Roy
  Shashi Kapoor
  Shatrughan Sinha

  Prakash Mehra
  Ramesh Sippy
  Tinnu Anand
  K Bhagyaraj
  Rakesh Mehra

  Slide Show
  AB's birthday gift
  The director's actor
  The family man
   A day with AB

  Neerja Shah
  Anwar Ali
  Romesh Sharma
  Khalid Mohamed

  Age is just a number for AB
  AB, rare class act
  Sweet 60! A factfile
  Jessica Hines

  Readers' take
  'AB is the greatest entertainer'
  Happy birthday, Amitabh!

  AB on Rediff
  AB's filmography

  Who was AB's best heroine?

  Zeenat Aman
  Parveen Babi
  Hema Malini
  Neetu Singh



'He listens to too many people'

Prahlad Kakkar

He is many personas and pulls out each one at different times and sticks to each very consistently for that particular moment. I really couldn't say which persona he really is. I don't know if he knows himself.

I have shot some ads with Amitabh, Pepsi and Mirinda. We shot the Mirinda ad in Chennai in which he was a postman. I saw the professional side of him, which is the only real side. He was suffering from spondylitis and took painkillers. You could see he was in pain but he carried on working.

He is very warm, very proper and runs a very tight personal operation. He does not allow his staff to treat anybody badly. Normally, film stars' entourages are very arrogant. They take on the stars' attitudes. His staff is extremely polite and very accurate.

If he is scheduled to be ten minutes late, they let you know. This shows his consideration and professionalism.

The personal side is closed. You can never get personal with him because he won't allow it.

He will take directions from any one. Anuja, my copywriter, wanted him to sing in that Mirinda ad. He did, but she wanted it different. So she sat in front of him, this tiny thing, very pregnant, and he sang five or six versions to her. It was so funny. She would say, 'No! I don't like this,' or, 'I like this.'

He is very mouldable. He is capable of great performances provided he has a good script and good director. As a person he is very indecisive. You feel he sits and ponders over career moves, he is not a great risk taker.

I once had a chat with him, saying he did not have to follow film industry rules. He could break them because he had made them. You are being trapped by your own standards, now set new standards, I told him. You don't have to be angry and keep bashing up everybody.

He heard me out without saying anything. Then he said we are trapped by the formulae and systems of the industry.

He single-handedly changed the industry; now he is trapped by the industry. If anybody can change it, it is he. But he has to make the move.

I think he listens to too many people.

Prahlad Kakkar spoke to Lata Khubchandani


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