"My father is my best friend and I have to talk to him daily", says the man of the moment, Abhishek Bachchan
The young actor has been walking down Rough Street for quite some time now. Though he debuted with stalwart J.P.Dutta's Refugee he received lukewarm response. His debut film ran well initially, perhaps drawing curious crowds keen to see the son of the famous father. He bore a heavy cross when he stepped into the highly competitive world of Hindi films. He is the son of Amitabh Bachchan, the greatest living icon of the big screen. There was immense pressure on the son to live up to the reputation of his father. What is apparent is that he lives in his father's shadow and idolizes him beyond reason. And ofcourse it needs no psychoanalyst to explain this phenomenon.
On the career front Bachchan Junior moved on to do films like Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya, Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai, Shararat, Main Prem Ki Deewani, etc. but none of them worked in his favour. So we wait for him to break the box office jinx with his current releases, Dhoom and Phir Milenge. And going by the positive responses to both the films, he has a lot to look forward to.
He does not talk about his private life as he says he belongs to a family, which guards their privacy very fiercely.
Though he did not detour from this he did speak about his relationships, but which were of a different kind. His equation with his father, his directors, his co-stars and most importantly with himself.
You appear a very serious, quiet kind of person. Are you really so?
I am a normal human being. People have their moments. And its not just fun-times all the time. When at work my mood depends on whether I am required to be doing a serious or light scene. Being an actor you should know when to switch off and switch on. One should also be able to introspect to be able to understand one's self better and to be able to let off steam when required.
What is it like being the son of AB? How do you live up to this pressure?
Having AB as a father means much many public expectations to live up to. But rather than cracking down I believe in living up to them. The moment I opted to act I mentally prepared myself to remain unruffled by any comparisons to my dad. It's just his physique that I have inherited. As far as acting is concerned I am not even half as good as him.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of his that you have inherited?
My father has no weaknesses. His strengths are his morality, integrity and humility. Both Shweta(his elder sister) and me were most importantly taught to be good human beings above everything else. As we grew older my parents stressed on the virtue of being true to yourself. My strength is to stand quietly behind and observe. I think it is very essential for an actor to do this as he learns a lot by just observing.
What kind of a childhood did you have?
I had a brilliant childhood. Every child lives in his own world and so did I. I did my High School in Switzerland and went on to study business in USA. But as I was keen on joining the world of films I returned to India.
The most important thing was that my parents never allowed us to be abnormal. Though we were exposed to so much glitz and glamour we were never affected due to our upbringing. We often went to his sets and I recall that even then it felt fantastic being on the sets and seeing him work. The smell, the people, the sounds, it's the greatest feeling one can have when one just walks in on a set. He was my father first and Mr Bachchan later. And he was very conscious of this fact. He is my best friend and I have to talk to him daily.
How different is the approach of your father's from yours when you approach a script?
My approach is very similar to that of my dad. We hear the story, and then decide whether the director will be able to do justice to the script. Then we go to sleep over it. My father says if you get up the next morning thinking about it, you must do the film.
It is known that you share great vibes with Hrithik. Tell us about your equation with him?
It is common knowledge that we grew up together. He is a dear friend and his greatest quality is his ability to work really hard. When working together we exchange notes and give each other our feedback. If he feels I could have done better he tells me so and so do I.
How important is it to vibe well with co-stars?
Your working atmosphere must be conducive to creativity and hence one must get along with your co-stars. I love being in multi-starrers. It is interesting to work with different actors as you learn a lot. I also don't subscribe to competitors. We are all a part of a team and each of us has to do well individually and collectively in order that the film succeeds.
You have worked with both seasoned and new directors. Who are you comfortable with and why?
I find no difference in either. I have worked with a senior director like J.P.Dutta and a young director like Suraj(Barjatya).I see no difference in their approach. Both are equally enthusiastic. J.P is as childlike and charged like Suraj. And both use the same modern techniques.
Considering the profession you are in are you insecure?
It's very important to be insecure. It is this that wakes you up every morning and gets you to work. I think I would say I am anxious -not insecure.
Who is your inspiration?
My grandparents - all four of them. I admire all what they stood for, the values they instilled in my parents and what they in turn passed on to me.