Abhishek Bachchan says he has worked towards establishing himself as an actor.

Abhishek Bachchan is literally emerging as a man of ideas in an industry where people love to repeat success. After “Yuva” and “Sarkar”, experts expected him to be the new face of mannish intensity but the actor went on to do “Guru” and “Dostana”.

His commercials are content ridden and last year, he proved that he means business when his first production “Paa” turned out to be a success story, both with critics and box office.

Now when he has made a foray into television he has apparently broken all previous records. If Colors is to be believed, “National Bingo Night” has got better opening TRPs than what Khans managed on television game shows. “It is not by default,” says Abhishek as he settles down for a chat. “I have worked towards it and I am happy my efforts to do things differently are being acknowledged. From commercials to films, I want to offer a variety to my audience. If I end the year with a ‘Dostana', I want the next to start with a ‘Delhi 6'.”

Has this intrepid attitude got something to do with his brush with failure early in the career? “Not really, I still fear failure but I don't want to be shackled by success. It is an easy choice but difficult to practise.”

An indictment?

His recent comment on his father's acting prowess on Twitter has raised a few eyebrows. He has said that we don't deserve a talent like Amitabh Bachchan.

Is it not an indictment of filmmakers who have played a part in moulding the myth of Amitabh? “The comment should be seen in the right context. It is a comment made by a son on his father. After watching his performance in ‘Rann', I felt overwhelmed. I felt as an actor he has so much to give to the character. It is in no way an indirect comment on Ram Gopal Varma. I have worked with him. He is one of the most influential directors of our times and I don't think Ramu has underutilised him in the film.”

Basking in the success of “Paa”, Abhishek says he never had doubts about the commercial viability of the project.

“To me, commercial success is a key factor before deciding on a subject. But every subject demands a certain budget to be commercially viable. We spent around 14 crores on ‘Paa' and the film has already done a business of 60 crores.” Certain critics have pointed out that Amitabh Bachchan has been cast as Auro because it is an AB Corp film but the subject demanded a short guy. “It was Balki's (R.Balki, the film's director) idea from the time we met over dinner and he narrated the plot. The choice of story and actors was his and I found it plausible.”

His father has admitted time and again about his lack of business acumen. So after “Paa”, is Abhishek going to be the face of AB Corp. “I produced ‘Paa' but as far as AB Corp is concerned I am just one of the directors. We are still busy with ‘Paa' and haven't thought about our next venture.”

As he gives permission to get a little personal, one asks him about his days in Delhi. “Delhi has been my second home as my grandparents stayed here for a long time. I spent a year in Modern School, Vasant Vihar. I think it was class IVth. I used to be quite reserved and was certainly not a brat as the media generally paints me to be.”

Was he really dyslexic as Aamir Khan made public in “Taare Zameen Par”? “Don't question him; otherwise, he will call another press conference! I was mildly dyslexic and it was corrected when I shifted to a boarding school.”

Proud of Aishwarya

Abhishek is a case study for any behavioural scientist working on male ego, as he married a super successful lady. “Don't you think this thought is medieval? I feel it is.” It very much exists in our society. “It does but I believe it is waning and I am an example. I am proud of Aishwarya.”

Perhaps that is one of the reasons he has accepted to host “Bingo”, as housie is traditionally a game that appeals to women. “Women love it and when your wife likes something, you have to develop an interest in it. To me it is a fun show which doesn't test your knowledge and it gives me an opportunity to be myself and have fun with my friends.”

His next experiment is called “Ravan”, releasing this summer. “If Mani Ratnam calls you for a role, you don't say no.” Isn't it a reinterpretation of Ramayan with a potential for controversy. “There are no such intentions. To me, it is just a wonderful love story.”


Best Feature Film Award for Kutty SrankSeptember 15, 2010