Abhishek Bachchan, the Dark Horse
Abhishek Bachchan, The Dark Horse. Abhishek Bachchan turned 38 on February 5. He entered the 100 Crore club with ‘Bol Bachchan’ and with ‘Dhoom 3’ he crossed the 300 Crore club.
The failure phase was very bad, every Friday morning I woke up with a sinking feeling to add one more disaster on my list. It was happening ruthlessly and rapidly and after a while I turned numb
- Bachchan Junior
Abhishek Bachchan turned 38 on February 5. He entered the 100 Crore club with ‘Bol Bachchan’ and with ‘Dhoom 3’ he crossed the 300 Crore club. At the end of 2014 his film with Shah Rukh Khan ‘Happy New Year’ will hit the screens. In his fourteen year-long career Bachchan Junior has seen many highs and lows but never lost courage. He looks back on the good and the bad times.
You are the constant factor in ‘Dhoom’ franchise?
Yes, feels good, was wonderful experience to be a part of the series and work with different actors at different stages. Before we started shooting ‘Dhoom’, the entire star cast was assembled before the producer, Aditya Chopra. He explained very clearly that ‘Dhoom’ was not designed for winning awards. It was meant to be a roller coaster ride to entertainment and that's how it should be treated.
When you look back on ‘Refugee’ today, is there anything you would like to change?
Sure, I would like to change everything, today, when I watch the film I cringe in embarrassment. I find myself grossly inadequate and unprepared to be working with a filmmaker of the caliber of JP Dutta.
Would you agree you were over confident in ‘Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya’?
Nobody said that to me that but I'm willing to accept the observation. In hindsight though I wonder if the over confidence was perhaps an extension of the love and reassurance from my producer Vashu Bhagnani. I did the film for two reasons. First, was Vashu Bhagnani, I would do anything for him. Second, the story and the character were in complete contrast to my debut film and I felt it would make an appropriate second release.
Aishwarya Rai was a star during ‘Dhai Akshar Prem Ke’ while you were a beginner, did that make a difference?
Aishwarya has always been a supportive co-star and Raj Kanwar is amongst the few directors who had faith in me before my debut release. I have believed that what’s meant for me cannot be taken away.
Show business is ruthless; do you ever fear losing your conscience?
I will never lose my conscience because I saw what happened to Suraj in my film ‘Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hain’. In front of the camera I saw what greed led him to and I’ll never let that happen to me as an actor or person.
How traumatic was the failure phase?
Very bad, every Friday morning I woke up with a sinking feeling to add one more disaster on my list. It was happening ruthlessly and rapidly and after a while I turned numb. I began watching the whole process from a distance like an outsider. I thought everything would just fall into my plate. When it didn’t, I turned defensive and shunned help from everybody because I wanted to do it on my own.
So when did the wheel of destiny turn for you?
Gradually, Paa always said it would and we must not attach undue importance to success. He said to just continue working, giving every day, every scene my best shot and someday, I will strike the right ball and then I would be able to swing it. I trusted him and he proved right. ‘Bluff Master’ happened out of the blue.
Few people are aware that you started your career as a production assistant in AB Corp in-charge of looking after Ajay Devgn in ‘Major Saab’…
Ajay Devgn is like an elder brother to me and no matter how casual we may be with each other; I can never forget that my first job was under him. He was an unrelenting support during the making of ‘Major Saab’ to our family. What's further remarkable is that when we began working together in ‘Zameen’, he treated me like an equal.
You did two films with Mani Ratnam?
Mani Ratnam sent a word with Shaad Ali that he wanted to cast me in ‘Yuva’. When we met, he began narrating the story then suddenly stopped to say, 'I'm sorry I forgot to ask you if you will do my film?' That is Mani sir, never taking anybody for granted. He is a keen observer of human relationships and ‘Guru’ and ‘Raavan’ were enriching experiences.
Last, are you embarrassed when your parents watch you romance on screen?
I was shy initially but not anymore. Ma has been used to watching Pa romance all his leading ladies for years, it is at times a bit awkward to watch it together but it is part of the job.