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Amitabh Bachchan: The Present Generation is an Audacious Package of Incredible Talent

A file photo of Amitabh Bachchan. (Image: Getty)

A file photo of Amitabh Bachchan. (Image: Getty)

Up close and personal with Amitabh Bachchan.

With his latest outing Badla getting appreciated by audiences and critics alike, Amitabh Bachchan opens up on the film, completing 50 years in Bollywood, working with younger actors, his relationship with the media and more.

How was it working with Sujoy Ghosh in Badla?

I have worked in the past with Sujoy, I liked the story and the director, the element of suspense and thrill in the storyline got to me. Sujoy has made Kahaani and is restless, seeking perfection from his artistes, very clear in his thought process and how he wants to roll with it. He understands the grammar of cinema intelligently. 

Would you say Hrishida and Pran are your favourites, considering they were both lucky for you in different ways...you made 10 films with Hrishida?

Every director, actor, writer, producer, colleague that I have worked with shall ever remain my favourites.

Did you learn acting or consciously/unconsciously imitate someone or does anyone influence your work?

No, I never took any acting lessons, nor did I consciously or unconsciously imitate someone, unless asked by my makers to do so and there were a few such occasions. I have no idea on the method of acting.

Many of your roles would have required major preparation. If you could explain your craft for such difficult roles?

I have no craft and no idea of what the others do in what they do so brilliantly. I have followed as diligently as possible the written words of the writer, and the direction given to me by the directors.

During a large part of your peak years, you actually had a very difficult relationship with media. But today, you relationship is fabulous. Did you work towards bridging the divide?

I am certain you are more than aware that one can never be too close to the media or too far away from them. The media is the fourth estate, the conscience of the nation. I shall have the capacity, or the audacity to live with my conscience, but not that of the media's. It would be foolish of me to think so.

Fifty years of greasepaint and yet the fire remains undiminished. Where do you get your energy from? Or is it respect for work which defines your underlying ethic? 

I am at loss as to why you or many others ask me this question.

Is Hindi cinema in good hands with young directors and middle-of-the-road actors telling simple tales that resonate with people? Is the boom in biopics due to lack of original scripts or they are the flavour of the season?

Times and circumstances change. They change for every profession too. Films are no different. The present generation is an audacious package of incredible talent. I am in immense admiration of them, and am fortunate that I get to play a small part in their company. It is an education for me. They provide a different and alternative world-view and that is educative.

Never ever underestimate the credibility, dexterity, adroitness and skill of the writers and makers of today's entertainment world. They have been the reason and cause of the flourish and proliferated blossoming in our creativity for the past 100 + years. To have a meaning and standing after 100 years is not a joke. It deserves respect and dignity. Originality is a dichotomous terminology. It needs to be used and expressed most carefully.

Do you get irritated that now actors have to market and promote their films aggressively?

Look around and about you, dear sir. Not just actors, but does not everyone in today's times have to sing for their supper? 

From eight releases in a year in your time, stars now do one movie in a year or in two years…

It is a recognition of better management, both financial and personal. The good thing is that music and melody are back in Hindi cinema.

From parallel cinema to now small cinema like Raazi and Badhai Ho taking on pulp, doyou think the palate of Hindi filmgoers has changed?

I do not know what is 'pulp' or 'parallel'. Cinema is cinema—size and girth, small or big are measurement tags on apparel. The palate of every generation in every corner of the world changes not just for film but for every walk of life.

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