Hundreds of films, millions of fans, and two glittering legacies between them: when Robert De Niro and Amitabh Bachchan embraced on stage at the THiNK festival in Goa on Friday, the impromptu moment made for a perfect tableau.
De Niro was in the audience for Bachchan’s session, even as the Indian icon upheld De Niro as one of his inspirations.
Bachchan, a superstar who has exhausted superlatives, said he had no real method of choosing his films scripts, in his chat with moderator Tarun Tejpal. “I’m bad at picking scripts,” he said. “I just look at the opportunity of getting work.” Later he enlarged on his approach. “It’s the role,” he said. “If it’s exciting enough for me to play that role. Yes, the director has to be one I believe in. But even a new director and if the role is interesting I would do it.”
Going on a journey in his life and career on Friday evening, Bachchan reflected on his early years, his famously documented rejection by radio and his string of hit films followed by his financial failures. And then, his definitive return: on television.
“From 70mm to 25 inches; it felt like reducing (in) stature. But there were compulsions and I went ahead and now we’re in the twelfth year of Kaun Banega Crorepati,” he said.
Bachchan refused to reflect on his unsuccessful films as regrettable decisions. “Sometimes we do films because we believe in the person making it, sometimes it’s a gesture... I will not deride any film I’ve done, I will stay with every film I’ve made, I had a great time making them irrespective of what happened at the box office."