Till 'Bol Bachchan' came along, it had been quite a long dry patch for Bachchan Junior. Abhishek’s ears are still ringing with the applause. After his attempts with 'Raavan', 'Delhi 6', 'Game' and 'Players', which didn’t quite stir the box office, 'Bol Bachchan' comes as a bounty. Not only that, Abhishek even has a rather special connection with Golmaal, the film it is based on. A candid chat:
Tell us about Bol Bachchan. Did you expect it to be this big a film?
We all hoped that the response would be positive. But the actual response has been so overwhelming. But the more important thing is that we had a blast working on the film. There were scenes where it was just impossible to keep a straight face. In fact, I doubt if there is a single scene where some actor or other was not cracking up in laughter. We shot for almost 80 days in Jaipur and then Panchgani and it was like a summer camp. We made a great film, but we also made some great memories.
Talking about memories, can you tell us about how you compare Bol Bachchan with its original Golmaal?
Actually, I don’t compare it at all. It’s a radically different film. But it’s a great tribute to Hrishi kaku’s work. I have a lot of memories attached with his films, and not only because my parents worked with him. In fact, we live in the house the earlier Golmaal was shot in. Jalsa, which used to be Utpal Dutt’s house, is the place where most of Hrishi kaku’s work like 'Chupke Chupke' and so on was shot. You know, even the ‘Daaru peene se liver kharab ho jata hai’ scene in 'Satte Pe Satta'. It was then owned by one of his producers. It is quite a historical house. It’s where I live right now.
So what next?
'Dhoom 3'. Although it’s a bit early to talk about the role, there will remain a common thread with the earlier versions. We will be going abroad next month.
And everyone is talking about how Aamir and Katrina are training so extensively for it...
Yes, it’s so sad that people are more obsessed with what an actor’s gym regime is like rather than how his acting prep is. It amazes me that an actor of Aamir’s calibre is spoken about only for the kind of body he is developing. I find that a bit shallow. Every film requires a physical preparation and an action film even more. But physicality is only 50 per cent of an actor’s job.
Do you think that there’s too much pressure on an actor to look a certain way and be a certain shape all the time? Even actresses like Aishwarya and Vidya Balan are not spared this criticism.
Presentability is important of course. An actor can’t be badly turned out. But one can’t take that kind of pressure seriously. Even I faced that criticism when I was promoting 'Dhoom 2'. Everyone talked about how fat I was. But no one realised that I had been shooting for 'Guru' and had had to put on almost 20 kgs. Actors cannot dictate how they look; you meet an actor in between films and he looks like a certain character. That’s not the real us. As for all the criticism about women’s weight issues, I don’t take kindly to people saying things like that about women. I think the media should show more restraint and responsibility.
Tell us about Araadhya. Can you describe her to us?
No. I actually can’t tell who she looks like, she looks different everyday. It’d be terribly scary to have a daughter looking like me (laughs). I hope that Araadhya grows up to realise the love and blessings that the people of this country have bestowed on our family. And we hope that Araadhya never ever takes that for granted.
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