Bollywood God father Amitabh Bachchan joined 'Love Bollywood? for the only LIVE interview of the London Film Festival speaking about forthcoming films THE LAST LEAR and SHANTARAM whilst listeners called in with their questions.
SHANTARAM features Johnny Depp and is due out in 2008. When asked why he had never accepted offers for Hollywood before Amitabh replied, "Because it never came! ....We don't plan things like this - these things just happen! Mira Nair came across to me and said I want you do this role... I liked the role and thought its Mira Nair, its Johnny Depp, its Hollywood, and its Warner Brothers so I thought ok - we'll go ahead- I don't think it's a deliberate plan".
When asked why films flop or not, Amitabh explains that film success is very much about the story not the actors. ?Actors just fulfill a duty I don't think that they have the power to alter the fate of the film purely because of who they are and their presence in the film?.
Amitabh spoke freely about AAG too, the recent SHOLAY remake that flopped. ?It's true it hasn't gone down very well. I had a good time playing the villain, I was very keen to do Gabbar's role when it was first narrated to me. I wasn't allowed to do that then and now I was and it wasn't accepted by the people you just go along with what the people want. It was interesting to play the villain and try and do all kinds of nasty things on the screen - having played and being a goodie for my entire career'.
He also said that maybe a remake of SHOLAY should never have been considered.
?Now that you look back at it the answer would be no, but when we were working at it we said why not? We got our response from the audience and that's where the chapter ends''
About his controversial role in NISHABD where he plays a man in his 60s romancing who is attracted to 18 year old girl Amitabh said, ?All criticism is always fair, because they come from an audience that has paid some money, gone and seen a film and not liked what they've seen, so yes, it's their right to tell us what they didn't like and what they liked. It's for us to take up what we want to do from there? I think what went wrong with NISHABD was that people looked at it as a social and moral issue rather than a challenge for an actor or challenge for a director to make a film on a subject which could be as sensitive as NISHABD and that's what went wrong with the film. They seem to idolize their leading men and heroes and they want them doing all the right things in life. But you know we are also actors and want to be challenged with different situations. I took NISHABD on as a challenge. I do believe Ram Gopal Verma made an excellent film.
Meanwhile is there something going on with SAAWARIYA's Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor?!
Speaking exclusively to ?Love Bollywood? on BBC Asian Network the SAAWARIYA debutants alluded to something more than just a working friendship, putting all rumours about a romance with model-turned-actress Deepika Padukone well and truly to rest!
Love Bollywood's Raj & Pablo asked Ranbir what he meant when he said he definitely didn't have 'brotherly love' for Sonam. Ranbir replied ?I think you should make your own minds up about that!? (Laughs out loud)
When asked who was better looking and a better actor out of Sonam and Deepika Paduke the new heroine in Shah Rukh Khan?s forthcoming film OM SHANTI OM to whom he has been romantically linked he said, ?Sonam [on both counts] - I don't know how Deepika acts!
Heartthrob Ranbir also asked Sonam out on a date. Sonam accepted Ranbir?s dinner date on one condition: ?As long as you take me to eat some meat tomorrow because I'm doing navratri and I really miss meat!?
When asked if SAAWARIYA is the best film for their debut outing? Sonam replied, ?It's a Sanjay Leela Bhanasali film- it cannot get bigger than that? I don't think Mr Bhanasali can ever go wrong because he is so honest and passionate about his film making and I believe a lot in karma and destiny.?
Ranbir was asked about his status as a gay icon following a scene where he has only a towel wrapped around him. Ranbir says, ?First of all I'd like to clear I'm no icon of any sorts - it's just hype right now?. But Sonam was not accepting Ranbir?s modesty exclaiming, ?He looks HOT! He's got the best body ever- he looks like a Greek God! Especially in that song!