Megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday launched the teaser of the much-awaited biopic on the late Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Keshav Thackeray. The biopic, titled Thackeray, stars versatile actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role and it will be directed by Abhijit Panse. Thackeray is produced and written by senior journalist and Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut.
During the launch, Amitabh Bachchan shared a few heart touching memories of the late political leader, whom he looks up to as a “father-figure”.
Amitabh said, “I have had a very personal and familial relationship with Balasaheb Thackeray. I used to attend every function when Balasaheb invited me. He has been an example for everyone. I met him first, forty years back when I had just married Jaya (Bachchan). He called me and told me that he wants to meet my wife, so Jaya and I went to Matoshree (Thackeray residence in Mumbai), and I was very touched with the way Aai (Balasaheb’s wife Mina Thackeray) welcomed her. She welcomed her the way she would welcome her own daughter-in-law. That day I decided that he was like a father figure to me. I have treated him as an integral part of my family. So, did he.”
Big B then shared how Balasaheb Thackeray’s helped him when he needed it the most. He spoke about the accident on his film Coolie’s sets. The actor said, “when I was hurt during the Coolie shoot, I was hospitalised in Bangalore. I was critically hurt. When I was brought to Mumbai in an unconscious state, it was a monsoon night. It was raining heavily and we couldn’t find an ambulance to drop me at Breach Candy hospital, but Shiv Sena ambulance did it for me. If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Amitabh Bachchan also shared that when he was being accused of various things in his career, Balasaheb stood by his side like a pillar of strength. He said, “There was a time where there some serious allegations on me and my family. Balasaheb would call and check on me. He would call me home and ask me if I am telling the truth. And once he was sure that I was, he stood by me like a pillar of strength.”
Bachchan Sr then also shared a heart touching incident about the late political leader. He said, “I have and will always respect Balasaheb. When he was on his deathbed, I was just hoping that somehow, he wakes up and spreads the energy as always. I was there in his room with Uddhav, Aditya and other coordinates. We were only praying for him, as we all wanted him to live longer. It was a tough time for us to see him in that condition, and suddenly I saw my picture in his room, next to his head. I was stunned and that moment has been captured in my mind forever.”
Amitabh Bachchan also had a request for the film’s writer-director Sanjay Raut. He said, “I am glad that you have taken the step to make a film on Bal saab. I wish you all the luck for the successful making of the film. If you need anything, any contribution from my end in whichever capacity, please allow me to know about it. I will be more than happy to be a part of the making of the film.
He added, “I want to request you not to limit the larger than life personality like him into a three-hour movie. I think in today’s time when we watch so many web series, we can make a series on Bal Thackeray to capture different phases of his life and personality. It will be really interesting for the generation to know a man like him.”