The Big Boss of Bollywood is just back from his 'Unforgettable Tour' and has immediately donned up his actor uniform to promote his recent release THE LAST LEAR. Sreya Basu caught up with Amitabh Bachchan during the premiere of his film in Kolkata. You are just back from 'The Unforgetable Tour'. How has the experience been? Oh! It's lovely...I still cannot believe that people all over the world love me and Bollywood so much.
Are you satisfied with your performance during the tour? More or less, yes. The young folks like Abhishek (Bachchan), Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) and Ritesh (Deshmukh) forced me to take the stage everywhere. But trust me; dancing is not something I look forward to. It's a pain for a 66-year-old man to shake his waist and dance. Besides I don't know why but I am frightened of dancing since 1969... and the fear still continues.
Where did you find the idea for blogging? And do you write the blogs yourself, or get it written by someone else like Salman Khan does? Really? Salman gets his blogs written by someone else! I never knew that. As for my case I am more comfortable writing them down myself. You can come and sit with me every day when I blog to crosscheck. But I am sure you will be bored. As for the idea for blogging, Abhishek and I had been thinking for quite some time to do something for our fans and well-wishers. Abhishek suggested a Bachchan family website since all four of us-Abhishek, Aishwarya, Jaya and me-are actors and have our respective fan-following. But I thought blogging will be more direct and more personal.
We heard that you are a gadget freak as well? I guess you asked this question eyeing my new iPhone! This is a gift from filmmaker Ravi Chopra after completion of his film BHOOTNATH. Yes, of course I was, is and will always remain a gadget freak. In my childhood I was obsessed with cameras but could not afford one. After much persuasion my father Harivansh Rai Bachchan bought me a box camera which I treasured for years. Initially I clicked trees and nature and as I grew up started noticing prettier things-motorbike, sleek cars and cool girls. But the hamartia of life is when you desire something you cannot afford it and when you are able to afford it you are too old to use it. Now I don't need all gadgets but it's satisfying to know that at least I can afford them.
You keep on saying you are growing old. But women folk still find you hot and interesting. Where are those women? Please send them to me, give their mobile numbers or convince them to blog me.
These days we are seeing Aishwarya and you almost on every occasion. Is she more like a friend than a daughter-in-law? She is not like a friend but a friend. In fact she is my daughter and not daughter-in-law. If you are noticing us together on every occasion it's because situation demands so. Neither Aishwarya nor me are self-appointed detectives trailing each other.
After spending so many years as an actor, do you never want to try your hand at direction? I don't know anything about direction. I am still trying to learn acting.
Critics are saying that you have given your best performance in THE LAST LEAR. Do you think so too? I don't think its just to categorize my films and label them as good, bad or best. It is not healthy for the career of an actor...it limits his creativity. I have done over 150 films so far and if you ask me all of them have been my best performance irrespective of box office results.
You are playing a Shakespearean theatre actor in the film. How difficult it is for an actor to play an actor? That's a good one. See, the craft of a theatre actor is superior to that of a film actor. This stage actor - Harish Mishra - has a huge ego and arrogance in him. It is psychologically very difficult for a film actor to portray such a character. People from stage are a bit louder than normal people. Mishra too shakes hands while talking...actually he speaks in a manner as if his real life too is an extension of the stage.
Any regrets that the Mumbai premiere was cancelled? It would have been better if I could share my film with the Mumbai audience too. But there are no regrets as the premiere is being held in Kolkata-my second home-where I started my acting career.
You apologized to Raj Thackeray on behalf of your wife Jaya. But do you really think he acted rationally by cancelling the premiere of The Last Lear in Mumbai? That chapter has ended. All I would say that I am convinced that I am not alone...all people of India are with me and as long as I have the strength, faith and support of the people none can harm me.
Did Sonia Gandhi extend her support to you in this matter? I read about it in the newspapers. But personally, I am unaware of this news.