His father has done it in many movies and he has repeated the act in more than a couple of flicks. But actor Abhishek Bachchan says it’s unfair to compare him with his megastar father Amitabh Bachchan for the Khaki-clad roles.
“I enjoy playing a cop. Every boy grows up, playing chor-police. If you’re an actor, one of the things on your bucket list is that you have to play a cop,” says the 35-year-old, who has chased goons in Zameen, Dhoom, Dhoom 2 and now, will don the uniform again in this Friday’s release Dum Maaro Dum (DMD) and the upcoming Dhoom 3.
Talking about his character ACP Kamath in DMD, the actor says, “It’s a fun character. When I heard the script, I automatically gravitated to the character. He is very intense, but has a very wry sense of humour. It was a challenge and that’s why I chose to do it.”
“I’ve played a police inspector in a couple of films. But it’s the script that has to excite you. And comparing me with my dad just because he’s played a cop too, in many of his movies, is slightly unfair,” he adds.
The actor is badly in need of a hit and DMD just could be his acid test at the box office. Abhishek’s last three outings Game, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey and Raavan bombed badly. But he is unperturbed.
“I review my films, irrespective of box office figures… (though) there’s always a pressure to deliver a hit,” he says.
“I don’t know any one actor who delivers only hits. There has been no actor in the history of Indian cinema, who has only given hits. We all have our share of success and failure. You just have to take it in your stride and improve,” he adds.
Not many know that director Rohan Sippy actually wanted Abhishek to play Rana Daggubati’s character of a Goan musician in the movie.
“Rohan wanted me to play Joki and in Bluffmaster, originally he had cast me in Riteish’s character but I ended up playing Roy Kapoor,” giggles the actor.
Apparently his character doesn’t have any female lead in the movie. Ask about the same and he says, “The character has a definite past which explains why he doesn’t have a female lead in the film.”
DMD has also been a part of a slew of controversies, however, the actor is taking it with a pinch of salt.
“It’s unfortunate. You don’t make a film to court controversy. The intention is to make an entertaining film. It’s part and parcel of the work that we do. We take it in our stride,” he says.
A lot of lewd has also gone into the lyrics of the title track of the movie, which is a contemporary modulation of the song Dum maaro dum from Dev Anand’s classic Hare Rama Hare Krishna. But Abhishek doesn’t think so.
“I think they suit the film and its attitude perfectly. If everybody would have found it so offensive, it won’t have been the number one song in the country,” he says.
Apparently Arya Babbar is upset with the actor as the former’s half brother Pratiek has come on record to refer Abhishek his elder brother. Ask about the same, he asserts, “That’s his opinion. I can’t fault him for his opinion. I’ve worked with Arya in Guru and he’s a wonderful chap, very sweet and very loving. He has always been very respectful and very forthcoming with me. But I can’t react on his opinion.
As far Prateik is concerned, he is a sweetheart. He is the youngest in the crew. It’s his third film (DMD) and he is a fantastic actor,” he adds.
Talk about his future projects, Abhishek’s kitty is full with projects — Players, Bol Bachchan, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dostana 2, a Puri Jagannath movie, besides Dhoom 3.
Ask how he plans to juggle the ventures, he says, “I’m currently shooting Players and then I’ll shoot for Bol Bachchan. I’ll finish that and then move on to Ladies and Gentlemen and then move on to Dhoom 3.”
“We usually finish one film and then move on the next. Shooting in periods has become a lot more concentrated these days,” he adds.
Name Players and arises the question, which actor among Bipasha Basu and Sonam Kapoor is actually starring opposite him in Players? Ask him the same and he chuckles, “Both are opposite me. Since Rohan didn’t give me any girl in this one, so now I get two of them.”
Prod on the much anticipated Dhoom 3, which has now Aamir Khan as the villain, he says, “We’ll start shooting Dhoom 3 early next year and we’ll release it end of next year. It’s a great script. We’re very happy to invite Aamir to the Dhoom gang. Dhoom is not Dhoom without Jai Dixit and Ali, so Uday and I are constants.”
But what about it’s female lead”
“Nobody’s been cast yet,” he says.
Abhishek’s career took a different high after the success of Mani Ratnam’s biopic on Dhirubhai Ambani. So will he explore the genre again?
“None of the scripts as of now are just about one particular character. Guru was a great journey for me and I really enjoyed making the film. The forthcoming films are not in the Guru space or a biopic as such,” he says.
But is he planning to undergo any method acting techniques for any of his future roles like the way he did for Guru for putting on weight?
“I don’t employ method acting as such. I think method acting is very difficult. I’ve trained in method acting but I’ve never employed the system for any of my films,” he says.
What about his looks in his upcoming movie? “Every film has a different look. I believe in looking like the character. If you look the part then half your job is done,” he says.
The actor also turned producer with National award winning Paa starring his father. He has now cast his dad again in Buddha Hoga Tera Baap. Talk about it and he beams.
“Buddha will be released in early July. We are currently in our last schedule of shooting. It’s directed by Puri Jagannath. Puri and I were sitting on a script which we start next year and in the meantime I heard this idea that he had called Buddha. I absolutely loved it and said this film dad has to do. So I asked him to hear it out and he was very excited,” he says.
“What I loved about it is that we’re missing the angry young man of the 1970s. We are missing that Amitabh Bachchan. I want to see him back in that kind of a film. He’s a bit older but he is still very angry. There’s a lot of action. Puri’s written a wonderful film. When he (Amitabh) heard the script he immediately said yes,” he adds.
Does he also rub shoulders with his celebrated father in the movie like in Paa?
“No. I don’t star in the film. I’m just producing it this time,” he says.
Ask what kind of production model is AB Corp looking into now, he says, “Currently AB Corp is doing just one film at a time. I don’t think we have the kind of infrastructure or production team to do multiple films. We’d much rather do a passion project and concentrate on it completely and then release it.”
“After Buddha comes out, we have two regional films that we are going to make. One is a Gujarati film and another is a Marathi film. After that next year we’ll do another Hindi film,” he adds.
Initially called ABCL, the Bachchan’s production wing has strongly concentrated on regional films since its inception. Ask about the same, he says, “That’s my mother’s baby entirely. She feels very strongly about regional cinema and about giving especially new directors an opportunity to make movies.”
Talking about his mother Jaya, so when is she expected to star in a movie?
“She is very selective about the work she does. She is not doing anything right now. She is handling AB Corp’s regional wing. But she is very open to it,” he says.
What about the whole Bachchan clan doing a film together?
“We keep hearing about this but nobody’s really given us a script yet. And once you give us a script, we won’t do it because each among four of us has to be individually excited about the role,” he says.
Abhishek also had a successful TV stint with the game show Bingo. So any plans to return to the small screen with its sequel?
“Not as of now. I’m too busy with my film line ups. I don’t really have the time. I’d love to do TV again. I enjoyed doing it. I enjoyed Bingo. It was wonderful to connect to the common man,” he says.
How about doing some other show than Bingo?
“If something else comes up then why not,” he smiles.
Post DMD’s release, the actor is flying off to Russia for the second last schedule of Players and will even miss on attending the Cannes International Film Festival this year alongside his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.