Mumbai, Jan 17 (IANS) Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh lost 12 kg and also shaved his head. So amused and exasperated was Amitabh Bachchan, who plays the main lead in his 'The Last Lear', by the physical makeover that he constantly ribbed him about it.
Fondly recalling the experience of working with what the director considers to be the greatest entertainer in showbiz, Ghosh told IANS: 'Amitda wouldn't let me hear the end of my physical change. You see, I've lost 12 kg and I've shaved my head. Amitda nicknamed me 'Adolf' and insisted on holding on to a mock-mood of terror on the sets.
'It was hilarious because my entire unit would suppress their giggles when that Amitabh baritone would boom across the set, 'Adolf, I'm so scared of you'.'
What the creative artiste in Ghosh discovered about the Big B is his unparalleled commitment to the craft.
'Amitda can hold to a particular emotion for as long as he wants. We had to do an abnormal mood one day. Not only did he adopt a particular accent on camera, he held on that accent even off camera throughout the day.'
What unsettled the director was the Big B's undemonstrative demeanour.
'He's very embarrassed by all show of emotions, in himself and others. I was shooting a scene where he had to take off his shoes. I instinctively came forward to do so, as I always do to get the physicality of my actors in place. But he sprang up and said he'd do it himself.
' 'Why, Amitda, what's wrong if I do it?' I protested. 'No, you'll steal my shoes,' he joked. He has internalised all his emotions. You won't catch him off-guard.'
On the last day of shooting with the Big B, Ghosh brought his old and frail father on the set.
'Amitda didn't say a word. But I could see him observing my interaction with my father. Somewhere he stores away all his experiences and perhaps thinks about them in solitude.'
Ghosh is so overwhelmed by Amitabh's work that he wants to cast him in all his films.
'Did I earlier say I'd like to make a dozen films with him? After completing my work with him I want him to be in every film that I make. And I promise you I won't misuse his presence.'