However, Abhishek did not disappoint with his debut performance in JP Dutta's Refugee (2001), which also marked the debut of Kareena Kapoor. The film is about a love story that transcends borders. Abhishek left a mark as a the silent and stoic Refugee, who falls in love with one of the clients he's supposed to ferry to the other side of the border. Film critic Tanuka Chakraverty wrote, "Abhishekh Bachchan does whisk nostalgia. There's something about the boy that strongly reminds us of Amitabh." Junior B won Best Male Debut for the role.
Abhishek-Aiswarya in Dhai Akshar Prem Ke
After Refugee, however, Abhishek did a series of films like Dhai Akshar Prem Ke (in which he starred opposite wife Aishwarya Rai for the frist time), Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya, Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai and Shararat. All these films failed to leave a mark, both critically and at the box office. By 2003, Junior Bachchan had only achieved a spate a flops, making him look like nothing but a flash in the pan.
In 2003, Abhishek acted in the love triangle Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon along with Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan. Although, once again the film didn't do too well, Abhishek got nominated for Best Supporting Actor. According to the figures provided by Boxofficeindia, all of 2003, Abhishek was unable to deliver a single hit, whether it was Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost, Tujhe Meri, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, Zameen. His second film opposite wife Aishwarya Rai Kuch Naa Kaho, too, was a flop.
It was only in Mani Ratnam's Yuva (2004), that Abhishek redeemed himself by proving his acting prowess in the role of the rowdy goon Lallan Singh. He won Best Supporting Actor for the role, the film wasn't so lucky although.
17 flops later, Abhishek Bachchan finally got his first commercial hit: Dhoom. A YRF enterprise with an all-star cast, the film saw Junior Bachchan in the lead as ACP Jai Dixit.
2005 was a good year for Abhishek as he delivered four commercial hits. He starred in Shaad Ali's Bunty Aur Babli opposite Rani Mukerji. The film was a critical and commercial success becoming one of the biggest hits of 2005. In July, he appeared in Sarkar, which was not only a success at the box office but was also greeted very well by critics. His performance earned him another Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. In both these films, Junior Bachchan was seen sharing screen space with dad Amitabh Bachchan, much to the delight of fans. His third film was Dus was a commercial success. He starred in Rohan Sippy's Bluffmaster was a moderate success. He also received his first Filmfare nomination in the Best Actor category.
Things began to look up for AB Jr as more of films became hits. His role of the young and immature Rishi Talwar in Karan Johar's star-studded film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna won him Best Supporting Actor once again. The film also starred Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji. Once again, Abhishek was cast opposite Aishwarya, this time as a Nawab, in Umrao Jaan, though the film was more about the latter and failed to gain success at the box office. His last film of 2006 was Dhoom 2, which saw Junior Bachchan reprise his role of Jai Dixit, although, according to many critics, it was the villain-turned-anti-hero Hrithik Roshan who stole the show.
2007 saw the release of Mani Ratnam's Guru, which was critically acclaimed and a big box office success.
And then came Guru. If anyone ever had a doubt about Abhishek Bachchan's acting skills, he put them all to rest with his performance in this film that not only got commercial success but also won the actor tremendous acclaim from both Indian and international critics. He was also nominated for Best Actor.
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave a four star rating to the film and claimed in his review, "Reserve all the awards for Abhishek. No two opinions on that! His performance in Guru is world class and without doubt. From a sharp teenager in Turkey to the biggest entrepreneur of the country, Abhishek handles the various shades this character demands with adroitness."
Khalid Mohamed of Hindustan Times wrote, "Above all, the enterprise belongs to Abhishek Bachchan. He is astonishingly nuanced and unwaveringly forceful in his career-best performance after Yuva. Ratnam and Bachchan Jr have given you a film that's as close to life as say, business is to politics. For the discerning viewer, satisfaction is guaranteed.. and some more."
After Guru, Abhishek's next commercial and critical success was Sarkar Raj, in which he's seen playing a character similar to Michael Corleone of Godfather. In this film, he starred with both his wife and father. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the role.
Abhishek then starred in romantic-comedy Dostana with Priyanka Chopra and John Abraham, which was a commercial success.
In 2009, Abhishek was seen in two critically acclaimed films. The first was Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi-6 which was themed on communalism, which majorly failed at the box office. The second film was Paa, which got him the award for the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer; the film however, was his father Amitabh's show all through.
Abhishek was seen for the first time as the anti-hero Beera in Raavan (2010). Although the Mani Ratnam film brought out Junior Bachchan's acting prowess and won him critical acclaim, it failed to perform at the box office.
After Raavan, Abhishek didn't see much box office success, except for Dum Maaro Dum, which managed to recover its costs.
In 2012, however, Abhishek's double role film Bol Bachchan turned out to be a huge hit, in fact, one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time in India. In this film, Abhishek played two characters, Abbas Ali and Abhishek Bachchan. In her review, Anupama Chopra of Hindustan Times wrote, "The best thing about the film is Abhishek Bachchan, who lets loose without inhibition. He manages to sparkle even in a script that is lazy and determinedly lowbrow, so the alter ego Abbas is an effete dance teacher who wears flowery shirts."
2000 Dhai Akshar Prem Ke
2001 Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai
2003 Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon (Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor)
2003 Kuch Naa Kaho
2004 Yuva (Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor)
2005 Bunty Aur Babli (Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Actor)
2005 Sarkar (Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor)
2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor)
2006 Umrao Jaan
2006 Dhoom 2
2007 Guru Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Actor
2007 Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
2008 Sarkar Raj (Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Supporting) Actor
2008 Dostana (Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Actor)
2010 Jhootha Hi Sahi
2010 Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey
2011 Game Neil Menon
2011 Dum Maro Dum
2012 Bol Bachchan
2013 Dhoom 3: Back in Action
2013 Dostana 2
Abhishek Bachchan was first supposed to get engaged to actress Karisma Kapoor when his father Amitabh made the announcement at his 60th birthday but the marriage was eventually called off. Although the reason was never confirmed some say it was because Karisma had been asked not to act any more. The two broke off when they had a major showdown at a function in New Delhi at common friend's wedding.
However, Abhishek claimed that he fell in love with current wife Aishwarya Rai after they met in 1997. Aishwarya, in an interview, however said, that the two actually fell for each other during the shooting of Dhoom 2.
The couple was married on 20 April 2007, according to traditional Hindu rituals of the Bunt community, to which Rai belongs. The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence, Prateeksha, in Juhu, Mumbai, but was heavily covered by the entertainment media. The couple appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on 28 September 2009. They have been described as a super couple in the Indian media. Aishwarya gave birth to a baby girl on 16 November 2011 and before being christened, she became quite popular by the name of 'Beti B', a name suggested by fans and the media. The baby girl was finally named as Aaradhya Bachchan in March 2012 but she was kept under wraps away from the glare of the media. And finally, it was only after she was almost a year old that fans and followers got a glimpse of Beti B.
On daughter Aaradhya
My daughter is not an object to flash around or a prized item to put on display. She's a small baby. As a parent, it's my choice how I want to bring her up. I had a middle-class upbringing. We weren't given special treatment. I didn't realise dad was a star till my teens He was Pa, and mom was Ma. We were not made aware of their celebrity status. Mom ensured that. I want my daughter to grow up as normally as I did.
On his flops
There are no free lunches in life. You have to earn it. I am paying my dues. People have accused me of having it easy because I am Amitabh Bachchan's son. Yes, I am his son, and I've never run away from it. I work hard to make him proud. I know I have a silver spoon in my mouth, and there are other talented people around, but I never thought it my place to refute that. People won't understand. Yash (Chopra) Uncle told me during the premiere of my first film, Refugee (2000), that people will come for the first show because of my lineage, but after that, if I'm not good, it doesn't matter who I am. I've experienced it, and I paid my dues. It's God's way of saying, 'You had it easy, so now pay for it'.
On commercial success of Bol Bachchan
I feel on top of the world. We work for appreciation from audiences and critics alike. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, and I take it in my stride. I don't believe in moping over the past. I live for the moment and, currently, the moment is very nice.
On filling dad Amitabh's shoes
It's a blessing to be my parents' son and my grandparents' grandson. My child will grow up saying her parents are actors. But I don't want her to use that as a crutch. She will have to work her way around things the way her parents and grandparents did," states Abhishek, whose forthcoming film, Players releases this Friday.
Date of Birth: February 5, 1976
Place of Birth: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Parents: Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan
Spouse: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Children: Aaradhya Bachchan