As an actor,you have to be like a sponge,you have to observe and absorb everything. Like for this instance I can see that every time you look up after scribbling,you push back your spectacles. Who knows,I might use that for some character that I play, says Abhishek Bachchan as we kickstart our interview at his office in Juhu.
Coming from an actor,who is often described as fun,affectionate and extremely affable,a true blue team player,it exposes a diligent side to the actor that often goes unnoticed. In fact,he borrowed the mannerisms of Gurukant Desai,his character in ‘Guru’,from producer Vashu Bhagnani mainly the walk and his exuberance. In ‘Bol Bachchan’,Abbas Alis idiosyncrasies were based on Raju,one of the spotboys,says the actor.
Director Umesh Shukla (of ‘Oh My God’ fame) with who he has signed up for All is Well,says of Bachchan Jr,”His light-hearted demeanour conceals a conscientious,involved side to him. Abhishek is always aware of the scene,he has his suggestions in place but he does not interfere. He will do his shot and check with you if it was fine; if not,hes willing to do it again. As an actor,I also like the raw intensity he exudes his performance in ‘Yuva’ being an example.
Senior actress Waheeda Rahman,who shared screen space with him in ‘Delhi 6’,says that he has,among other things definitely displayed a flair for the comic and pulled off movies like ‘Bol Bachchan’ with great élan.
And therein lies the interesting contrast in the actor who has evolved in the last 13 years to the intense brooder Bachchan started out with,he has added a light-hearted side,always a plus for an actor. If you are a good actor,you should be able to surprise the audience, he says,happy,that he has been able to do so. Over the years,he has also developed the knack of smartly balancing the risky ventures with relatively safe multi-starrers. ‘Dostana’,’Bol Bachchan’ are among projects that have paid off with probable sequels in the pipeline too.
‘Dhoom’ is another multi-star venture that has turned out well for his career. I dont really differentiate between the two (solo hero films and multistarrers). I would do both.
The big multi starcast film coming up next is ‘Happy New Year’,in which Bachchan will be sharing screen space with Shah Rukh Khan,Boman Irani,Sonu Sood,Vivaan Shah and Deepika Padukone. The experience of working with Shah Rukh Khan,he says,has been a wonderful one. It remains an oft-repeated story that Khan asked his father about the role he had in mind for Abhishek,as though,to quote the actor,he was asking for his hand! His humility,dedication and enthusiasm towards his work are admirable; a feature that is common to all the greats in cinema, he says.
Ask him if there is any performance (in a film) that he wished he could improve upon and he replies with can- dour,Each and every one,because I can improve upon each of them. Bachchan admits that with experience,his knack for zeroing-in on the good scripts has improved too. Within the first 15 minutes,you should be able to gauge the sincerity of the director,and his ability to be able to pull it off. There is a teething process you go through,but everybody improves with experience. Press interviews,he maintains are the most difficult part to handle,Its surreal,as though you are analysing yourself. Its always been very difficult for me.
As we go to the press,good tidings are in store for Bachchan. After a successful stay of his film ‘Bol Bachchan’,’Dhoom 3′,the multiple- starrer heist film,according to business fore- cast,is likely to notch up close to ‘ 250 cr. Although the film boasts of an ensemble cast with Aamir Khan and Katrina Kaif as fresh additions to the newest installment of ‘Dhoom’ franchisethe first released in 2004 and the second in 2006 with super villains to boot. While the first starred John Abraham as Kabir,a cool biker thief,the second had Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan play robbers Aryan and Sunehri and both editions had done extremely well. The common thread between all three,however,is the Abhishek Bachchan-Uday Chopra duo as the cop Jay Dixit and Ali,a small time crook who becomes his assistant. Over the three editions,the Jay Dixit track has become an intrinsic part of ‘Dhoom’,even as the antagonists in the story keep changing.
’Dhoom’ is a great franchise to be a constant part of and ‘Dhoom 3’ turned out to be everything we dreamt it to be. We must thank the audience for accepting it with open arms,
avers the actor. And frankly speaking with the huge success of ‘Dhoom 3’,Bachchan is in a secure space. Besides ‘Happy New Year’ coming up in 2014,theres director Umesh Shuklas All is Well,a film with Sanjay Gupta and yet another with Amit Sharma,who directed him in the Idea commercials. Sharmas film would be under the AB Corp banner.
Describing ‘Dhooms’ latest edition,he says,It has style,youth,attitude and everything that it has had from the start,except that the latest edition is edgier and darker. There was a certain frivolity in the first two,but this one will linger with you a little longer. A large reason why we do ‘Dhoom’ is because Uday and I love working together. The banter that our characters share and the repartee is very watchable.
About the change of directors he,says Victor (Vijay Krishna Acharya) being the writer of the film was best choice for the job at hand. He enjoyed working with Aamir who,he says,is fun. The medias tag of Aamir being a perfectionist is almost like his albatross to bear. It was a pleasure working with him. He is great fun and also very mischievous!
I can do Jay Dixit in my sleep,Bachchan says,adding that most of the prep for the film was in getting the physicality right. Prepping for a role is not new,it has always been a part of our movies,its just that we talk a lot more about it now, he explains. And what of the hysteria and hype surrounding washboard abs and suchlike? Its sad that there is less emphasis on acting. Sure,you should look the part,but you have to resign yourself to the character completely.
Bachchan counts among the few,who is not a blind follower of the trend,better known for his performances than physique.
Speaking of good performances,the best compliment he has received so far has been from his father who,after watching ‘Guru’,said,I am proud of you.
As of now,Bachchan a young father himself,is assiduously dividing time between work and paternal duties. He has his hands full with ‘Happy New Year’,but he does make time to spend with daughter dearest too. Its important, he says,
of striking the work- life balance. As for our next query of featuring in the next edition of ‘Dhoom’,he replies,Am I going to be part of the next one? Sure,if the script is some- thing I like and feel like doing at that point of time.