Even at 73, Amitabh Bachchan is, inarguably, the most celebrated Bollywood celebrity. Apart from working in back-to-back films, the senior actor also endorses brands, and attends promotional and social events. He also ensures to take time out for his fans by tweeting and writing his blog. Clearly, there is no slowing down for Big B. He received his fourth National Award recently. Here, he talks about the honour, his upcoming film, and more.
How special was it to receive your fourth National Award?
This government recognition has its own stature and importance. The President of the country gives you the award. It was a great feeling to be awarded by such high dignitaries.
You have achieved so much in your career. Is there any desire that is yet to be fulfilled?
I don’t think one should look at it that way. Each person has some weird desire. I hope I can continue to work as long as I can. I can’t choose what I want to do. But [I am glad that] there are many directors and writers who come up with unique ideas. I’m so proud to see the younger generation do so well. People like Shoojit Sircar (film-maker), Sujoy Ghosh (director) and R Balki (film-maker) come up with such unique ideas. It’s wonderful to be associated with them.
T 2274 - Meeting the Press the entire day almost .. and admired their questioning .. on cinema and TE3N pic.twitter.com/WINqtkEpgS— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) June 1, 2016
Despite being 73, you are still giving tough competition to the younger actors…
It is a fallacy. All of us struggle daily to find work and keep ourselves occupied. It has not been easy. Yes, I have been fortunate that I still get to do some work.
You are active on social media. You tweet as late as 3am and 4am, and also get trolled at times. How do you deal with that?
It’s important to be abused, because nobody is perfect. It is fine. It gives you an insight of what people think about you at times. It will not always be good, so what is the harm in that. If harsh words and unprintable language is used, then I tell them to not use it.
Vidya Balan played your mother in Paa (2009), and you are working with her again. Nawazuddin Siddiqui will also star in the film. Tell us about the experience.
Vidya is a wonderful artiste, and so is Nawaz. It’s a delight to work with such accomplished artistes. You may be doing your job, but if your co-artiste is not good, you won’t look good. So, it’s important that your co-artistes also perform well so that you come out looking good. I remember Nawaz did a walk-on part in a yet unreleased film, Shoebite. After he did the scene with me, I asked Shoojit, “Where did you get this guy from? You are giving him such a small part…” And look where he is today.
You got confused about your granddaughter, Navya Naveli’s Twitter account, and retweeted a fake account’s post...
Abhishek told me that it’s a fake one. In fact, recently I also discovered my own fake account. He (the owner of the account) has put up the same DP as mine, and writes the way I do. It’s just that he misspelt my name.
You will be singing in your next film. Why have you always stayed away from calling yourself a singer?
I’m not a trained singer. They (the music composers) have a fantastic machinery. You can sing whatever you like and they can put you in tune. It’s a great feeling to sit in a studio. I used to sit with Aadesh Srivastava (late composer). Unfortunately, he’s not alive. We used to start chatting and jamming late in the night, around 10pm, and all that would get recorded. We used to do a lot of things for fun.