For a 72-year-old, he possesses tremendous energy and zeal for work. But, that's not just what makes Amitabh Bachchan special. His humility does. Basking in critical acclaim, yet again, for his crotchety yet sweet portrayal of a constipated old man in Piku, Bachchan shares his thoughts...
Piku is a sweet, simple story, but in a very subtle way, it has broken several clichès. When you said yes to this role, did you sense that the portrayal could turn out to be so progressive?
I knew there were several factors in the story and writing that were progressive and beyond cliché. What I did not know was, that they would be noticed to the degree that they have. That has been a revelation, and credit must go to the cinema going audience, for it is their insight that has given the film the success it is garnering.
Amitabh plays Piku's (Deepika Padukone) father Bhashkor Banerjee in the film.
Whose reaction - praise or criticism - in your family keeps you on the edge when a new film of yours releases? How did that person react to Piku?
When you have several factors in the family capable of giving opinion, you listen to all. So far there has been unanimity in their opinion of the film. They all have loved it.
Aishwarya will be attending the Cannes Film Festival for the 14th time this year. You went there in 2013. How was your experience, and what are your thoughts on Indian cinema's growing stature at international film events. This year, there is a Punjabi film (Chauthi Koot) that's made it to Cannes.
Cannes is a prestigious platform and has its importance in the world of cinema. Aishwarya attends Cannes this year as in many other years, for a brand that she endorses. Cinema has no language. I am happy that a Punjabi film has been chosen to represent Indian Cinema this year!
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at Cannes red carpet in 2014.
Shoojit Sircar recently told us that you must be the only legend in cinema, who despite reaching at this level, rehearses a scene several times like a newcomer. What keeps this 'student' alive in you who's always keen to learn and improvise?
No one is perfect. Perfection needs effort to get it right. I need to rehearse for it. Many others who are greatly more efficient than me, do not. To each his craft! And I am no legend!
Your thoughts on working with Moushumi Chatterji after so many years.
It was wonderful then, it is wonderful now. She is a committed artist and a joy to work with.
First the toilet song in Shamitabh and now a whole movie on constipation, what is making the filmmakers insist on dragging Amitabh Bachchan to the loo?
Ask them! I don't have a problem with that!
(Interact with Sonal Kalra on Twitter@sonalkalra)