The sight of the grown out, gelled back hair, which is touching his suit collar is startling at first. On quizzing Abhishek Bachchan you learn that this is his look for Shaad Ali’s Jhoom Barabar Jhoom in which he plays Ricky Thukral.
“Shaad was keen I grow a moustache and my hair for the film, so I did,” says Bachchan who is also finishing Shootout At Lokhandwala and awaiting the release of Umrao Jaan (November 3).
After making his debut in JP Dutta’s Refugee, it was, in his words, “a foregone conclusion” that he’d be a part of Umrao Jaan “though I don’t expect him to cast me in each of his films, yet I am always available to JP,” says Bachchan.
|Abhishek Bachchan's Umrao Jaan releases on November 3.|
He plays Nawab Sultan and what drew the
to the part was that “he is an individual and at a time when people expect him to conform, he does not. He is a rebel at heart and does what he feels is right for himself,” he explains.
Co-star Aishwarya Rai recently said that as she was working with Dutta for the first-time, Bachchan and Suniel Shetty “would pull rank” as veterans.
“Any actor with JP Films is like one of the family and he usually repeats his actors. The old gang plods along with him, so first-timers might feel out of place but we never rile anyone.” So what is Rai like in the film? “Unfortunately I have not seen the film yet,” is his brief response.
The safa, jewels and royal garb are fairly new for Bachchan, so did he enjoy ‘dressing up’? “It was different and interesting, yes. But also demanding because I am not used to the adornment and finery. It’s tricky to look graceful and not look uncomfortable. It takes some getting used to juggling the heavy turban and clothes with the body language,” he says.
Bachchan is working on Muzaffar Ali’s son Shaad’s film, and the two are known to be great friends, but the actor confesses that he is yet to see Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan. “I would love to see it and will do so soon to see how he has interpreted the original novel. JP’s take is unique and his own adaptation. I don’t think people should refer to Umrao Jaan as a remake, as it is based on Ruswa’s story. Ram Gopal Varma is remaking Sholay, but Umrao Jaan is an interpretation of the text,” Bachchan says.
Following Umrao Jaan, Bachchan reprises his role as cop Jai in Sanjay Gadhvi’s Dhoom 2 and has Mani Ratnam’s Guru coming up. “It’s so exciting that I get to do Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Umrao Jaan, Dhoom 2 and Guru in the same year. I get to play four diverse characters and work with great makers,” he smiles.
If he has grown his hair for Jhoom…, he put on kilos for Guru, which he ascribes to being “malleable” as an actor and to working on one film at a time. Coming up are Drona, Sarkar 2, Delhi 6 and Rohan Sippy’s next.
After all the film talk, it’s time to ask the burning question: ‘when are you getting married?’ He answers without pause.
“I am not getting married. Why are people so bothered about our personal lives? We maybe public figures but something should be left private. The media is meant to be the conscience of the nation and convey correct information but when they begin to fabricate news, they lose the trust of the common man,” says Bachchan, adding, “Anyway I’m too busy right now so rest assured there’s no such excitement.”