Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan gets candid about his upcoming movie Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey and his revolutionary character.
After a long time, we see you without a stubble in Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey.
Yes, I made a very big sacrifice for the film; I gave away my stubble. I feel very naked without it. I did it just to impress my director.
You are also seen in a dhoti in the film. Are you comfortable wearing one?
I love wearing a dhoti, it is very comfortable. I wear a dhoti even in everyday life. I know how to tie my dhoti. I feel really strange that today we have to ask ‘Are you comfortable wearing an Indian attire?’ Have we become that westernized? I prefer wearing Indian clothes to western ones.
Besides the physicalities of the role, how else did you prepare for the role of Surjya Sen?
For almost two years, Ashu (director Ashutosh Gowariker) researched the Chittagong Uprising, Surjya Sen and the other characters who took part in the uprising. There is very little photographic documentation of him and those that were available were from the period after he was arrested. It would have been great if we could get the video footage of them, then we could have really studied them. When playing a real life character you want the portrayal to be as real as possible. But here Ashu told us that we are not making a biopic on Surjya Sen, the film is about the Chittagong uprising and not a single person. So Ashu was okay if we took a little liberty in our portrayal of the characters.
How aware were you of the film’s subject matter?
When Ashutosh told me the story, I was very embarrassed because I didn’t know about Surjya da. Once I learnt the story, I felt that this story needed to be told. On an emotional level, I wanted whatever happened in the uprising to be told on a larger level.
It must be flattering to have Ashutosh choose you but you must also be aware he never repeats his actors.
Every actor wants to work with Ashutosh. He is always so well prepared, I have never seen him tell anyone who asks him a question ‘I’ll get back to you on this’ or ‘I’m not sure’. But it’s not true that he never repeats actors -- he made two films with Aamir, and besides the lead actors there are so many actors in a film. Ashu is one of the most loyal directors I have seen. He doesn’t get a star and think ‘I’m going to make a movie for you’. If he feels this actor suits the role in his film, he get him on board . For his next film, if he thinks Aamir or Shah Rukh or Hrithik or Harman suit the role, he will give them.
Is there any kind of revolution that you want to start today?
We don’t have the British anymore, so we can’t throw them out. Today we don’t have a situation wherein a revolution should be brought about. Today, if we all come together, we can achieve anything.
Surjya Sen was a Bengali; given your lineage how comfortable are you with Bengali?
I’m comfortable though I don’t converse in it.