At 60-plus, Amitabh Bachchan is all set to give stars one-third his age a run for their box-office money. On son Abhishek’s prodding, Bachchan returns to his ‘angry young man’ avatar from the stormy ’70s and admits that after playing “sublime, subtle and humble” roles for the last few years, it feels great to take on a situation rather than submissively accept it. “Irrespective of his age, a hero has to do something heroic, otherwise, why call him a hero?” reasons the superstar.
Bachchan points out that it takes guts to rise to a situation, rather than take things lying down.
And when anyone does that, there’s a sense of elation within him and a feeling of admiration among those around him. “The characters I’ve played in the past spoke for a million people and I felt good playing them. The fascination with filmmaking is that it puts you in all kinds of situations and age groups and makes you do all kinds of things,” he smiles.He admits that even Abhishek is happy to see his father retaliate in their soon-to-release home production, Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap, instead of standing around with folded hands in yet another compromising patriarchal role. "As a child, Abhishek has seen me in countless ‘heroic’ movies and he took personal pride in the fact that his father had the capacity to bash up a 100 people at the same time. He pointed out to me that this was what he and others identified me with when this script came along," says Bachchan. "For me, it’s just another role."
Didn’t returning to his ‘heroic’ avatar at 68 take a toll on his health? Bachchan admits that although a lot of people ask him how he does action at his age, he has no answer. “It’s not as if there’s a mechanism inside me that soups up my body. I’m committed to doing a particular task and if I can do it, I will. If the body doesn’t respond to the challenge, I tell my director I can’t. Simple,” he shrugs.
Will seeing him shake a leg with leggy beauties and gunning for the baddies give a boost to those of his generation who have turned into fossils? “That I can tell you only after the film releases. I’m keen to see how my grandchildren (Navya Naveli and Agastya) react to it and how they interpret this reaction,” says Bachchan, who’s gearing up to become a granddad for the third time to Abhishek and Aishwarya’s first born.
He admits that while on concert tours, he often has young fans marvelling over his boundless energy when their fathers sit around at home doing nothing: “There’s nothing wrong in sitting around the house, but I’d rather be in the studio, before a camera.
I enjoy the jitters the night before a shoot. Once that urge and nervousness to perform goes, I too might lose interest,” he says. For now, there’s little chance of that happening because the ‘angry young man’ is back with a vengeance!