I am not a Superstar – Amitabh Bachchan
He is an acting legend who has enthralled audiences over the years and continues to do so with every film. The iconic star Amitabh Bachchan talks about his latest film, Shamitabh, and why he doesn’t consider himself a Superstar.
This is your third film with R. Balki. How was the experience this time around?
Yes and in every film he has offered me a different role & story. Working with R. Balki has been a blessing and am thankful that he has always thought about me. Whenever he gets a script for me, the story and characters are unique. We discuss all the stories and then he makes the edits and after many sittings, he makes the final script. There have been times when he tries to explain something which I haven’t understood and vice versa. We work with an open mind.
What is Shamitabh about? How is it different from your past roles where you played a drunkard?
Shamitabh is the story of two people, what one has the other doesn’t and vice-versa. Then an assistant director, portrayed by Akshara Haasan, recognizes this and gets the two talents together which benefits their professions. As the story proceeds, ego comes in between these two people. You’ll have to see the film to know what happens after that. My character in Shamitabh is frustrated in his life and sometimes takes the help of alcohol. There were many roles in the past where I have played such scenes but in every film the situations and the characters have been different. Thus, it all changes the way you perform on screen.
Unlike many actors, do you believe in consuming alcohol for your character?
I strictly believe that drinking alcohol is not good for an actor. There are some actors who drink before doing such a scene but I don’t believe in that and will never do it.
Like your character, have you ever faced ego clashes in Bollywood?
I have never felt like that. I consider Bollywood as my family and there is no ego involved in family.
What is the reason for naming the film Shamitabh?
The name of the film is Shamitabh not because it is a combination of our names (Dhanush and Amitabh). It isn’t for creating sensation and to draw people’s attention towards it. People should get attracted because it is a part of the story.
You have often admitted that performing in front of a live audience scares you. Any particular reason?
For me, performing in front of so many people is scary. I am a normal person. People have a misconception that I am a Superstar! Truth is that I am scared doing everything. Since I am not a singer, I feel afraid to sing in front of an audience.
Our society has changed over the years. How do you cope up with it?
Society has been changing and filmmakers are taking a cue from it. Every 5-10 years society changes, the generation changes and eventually the thought-process also changes. And according to that, the scriptwriters portray a particular character. In 70s the films depicted protests, 80s depicted romance and today’s movies depict modernization.
Times have changed but one thing that has remained constant is that you were a Superstar back then and you are a Superstar now as well.
I am not a Superstar. In every generation, one has to understand, that every artist has a limited career. Actors have a small span owing to ageing and other complications. My era is over and I stay behind. We have new actors coming up whom we have to bow down to!
Like the younger generation learns from you, do you also learn something from them?
I have been lucky to work with the newer generations and learn many new things. I enjoy working with them. But the best thing that I like in today’s times is the increase in number of women working in the industry. In addition to actresses, we now have a drastic increase in them in all departments, be it lighting, production, make-up etc.
– Priyanka Jain