MUMBAI: His talent and successes have won him the title of megastar, but Amitabh Bachchan, who features in the wish list of every director, seems to be in awe of fresh talent and says he’s not in the same race as them.
Even at 71, Big B still commands lead roles, a rare incidence in the Hindi film industry. Currently, the National Award-winning thespian awaits the release of Bhoothnath Returns.
In an interview, the Bollywood kingpin shared what it feels like to get connected with children through films like his latest one. “Bhoothnath is a loveable character. I presume kids love to connect with him. We hope they shall do that in Bhoothnath Returns,” he said.
A husband, father and grandfather of three, Amitabh holds family and familial values close to his heart. “These are all the most welcome positions in life. I am blessed to be [all of the abovementioned],” he said.
From his relationship with his grandchildren, he quipped that he has learnt a “child is the father of man!”
With the release date of Bhoothnath Returns (April 11) falling during the period of India’s forthcoming general elections (April 7 till May 12), Amitabh hopes that his film’s reception doesn’t get jeopardised. “The production and direction teams rather hope the opposite happens,” he shared.
On the evolution of the Bollywood industry, Amitabh said he feels that there has been a marked change in every aspect of film-making. “Thinking, concept, storytelling, music... everything [has changed]. There have been great advances in technology and [in terms of] professionalism. That bodes well for the film industry.”
Despite being touted as a ‘superstar’ or ‘megastar’, Amitabh feels like he is a ‘normal person who leads a normal life’. “I am none of [these things]. These are epithets that are media creations,” he remarked.
The challenge of experiencing one creative journey after the other keeps him going as an actor. However, he feels that he is not at par with the new breed of actors. “I am most certainly not a patch on them,” he said.
Modest and grounded, Amitabh feels that he has not achieved anything so far. His biggest fear is ‘not being able to live up to the expectations of the audiences’.
Having faced a good share of ups and downs in his career, Amitabh is more resilient than ever. He acknowledges that ‘ups and downs are constants in life. No life on earth can avoid them. They cannot be categorised. Life is a daily struggle; you learn to deal with it. There are no definite solutions’.
Despite frequent health issues, Amitabh continues to embark upon a timeless journey in filmdom.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2014.
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