More than twenty-five years ago, Amitabh Bachchan was talking to me in one of my interviews with him and he said very emphatically said that he would never give up as an actor and would continue working even if he had to play a bit role or just stand in a crowd… He has had his ups and downs, but at seventy-one going on seventy- two, he is still playing some of the best roles an actor his age can even dream of playing. He started a new life with Mohabbatein with Shah Rukh Khan as his co-star and from then on he has been playing one interesting character after another, playing a wide variety of roles in between doing the most successful TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati of which he has already completed three seasons and is all set to start the fourth. He is also the most wanted voice as a narrator in some very important films and is also the most wanted face to endorse an entire state and any number of products from biscuits to cement and the most luxurious apartments for sale, besides doing a number of social welfare ads including one for the protection and empowerment of the girl child and women. He has also been a singer whose voice has been the same baritone voice it has been since the last forty-five years. Among some of his best films in recent years are Black, Paa, Cheeni Kum, The Last Lear, ”Buddha Hoga Tera Baap”, Nishabd, Sarkar, Baghban, Baabul, The Great Gatsby (his first Hollywood film), Department, Rann, Dev, Aarakshan, Satyagraha and Bhoothnath. He is still as busy as or even busier than some of the ruling young stars. He has just completed the sequel to Bhoothnath, Bhoothnath Returns and has a line-up of some very plum projects which will keep him busy for only God knows how long. In an exclusive interview from Dubai where he was for the promotion of Bhoothnath Returns, Amitabh in his umpteenth interview with me talks about Bhoothnath Returns and some of his plans for the future….
What do you think about sequels? Do you think they are always a guarantee that they will succeed like the originals?
There is no guarantee for any film’s success, sequel or not. However if the story idea for a sequel is interesting there is no harm in making it …
What was the difference between ”Bhootnath” and ”Bhoothnath Returns”?
The difference was of the story and the director. Bhoothnath was directed by Vivek Sharma, Bhoothnath Returns is directed and written by Nitesh Tiwari.
The film was completed in less than six months. How did you find time to do justice to the film in spite of your very tight schedule?
Time is scheduled and time is made available.
What were the main factors that made you accept the offer to do ”Bhoothnath Returns”
The story and the screenplay…
You have been talking about the performance of the young actor, Parth Bhalerao. What is his role in your life as ”Bhoothnath”?
He is yet another kid in the story that can see the ghost, much like Banku in the original film. His issues with his existence, his problems and finally his desire to take up social and moral issues with the help of the ghost, is what can be expected from this story.
Is the film trying to reflect in any way on the politics of everyday life? Is it in any way a satire on the politics of today?
Yes it does reflect on the state of the nation, its social issues, morals and politics but as you said they are in the realm of a satire.
What is your definition of a horror comedy?
Something that sounds scary, but is indeed humorous …
What was your experience with the young producers, Bhushan Kumar, Abhay Kumar and Renu Chopra?
Extremely comforting, there has been a complete belief in the subject, faith in the director and the capabilities of the producer.
Is there any scope for some good music in the film? Is it true that you have also sung one of the songs?
The songs of the film are already out and have received good attention and no I have not sung any song.
Do you believe in ghosts in your personal life?
Have you experienced anything eerie or ghostly in your own life or heard stories about something ghostly happening to anyone you know?
No …. Not really
What do you think of your co-stars Boman Irani and Usha Jadhav the National award winner?
They are both exceptional artistes and it has been a joy to be in their company in the film
Where does Amitabh Bachchan the actor go from here? What are some of the films that you are going to start work on soon?
I start my next project by the end of the month, R Balki’s film, then there is the completion of the TV serial I am doing 80% of which is done. Then there is the film Piku with Shoojit Sircar. This shall befollowed by KBC and another film of Vidhu Vinod Chopra, directed by Bejoy Nambiar.