When Paa came her way, Vidya Balan was excited about sharing screen space with superstar Amitabh Bachchan, but was equally looking forward to working with Abhishek again. The actress is all admiration for Bachchan junior, who she says is an "instinctive" actor and has "something so magical about his eyes".
"When Paa came to me, working with Mr. Bachchan was a definite incentive. However, the fact remains that I was actually looking forward to working with Abhishek too. We have acted in Guru earlier and I know for sure that he is a fantastic co-actor," Vidya told IANS.
Vidya is particularly impressed with Abhishek's 'no rehearsal' stand that results in an "intuitive" acting experience.
"Since Abhishek doesn't rehearse, you don't really know what he is going to do when the director calls for a shot," she said. "When a take is called, there is so much give and take that actors exchange. This is why when he starts delivering his dialogues; you react in a way that was probably never planned. It eventually helps you bring about something intuitive."
"...But then there is this intrinsic honesty to his act as well. He always tries to do something that enhances a scene. Also, there is something so magical about his eyes, which have a language of their own. This is something that I had said even during the time of Guru and I am glad he has retained this quality even after all these years," Vidya added.
So was she game to playing Amitabh's mother or did she require much convincing?
"Frankly I wasn't too sure," confesses Vidya, who has earlier worked with Amitabh in Vidhu Vinod Chopra- directed Eklavya - The Royal Guard. "I had no clue if (director) Balki would actually be offering me a role of Mr. Bachchan's mother. Since I had seen Cheeni Kum, the maximum that I would have expected out of Paa was to play a lead opposite him."
Vidya was in for a surprise when Balki explained the film's idea to her.
"I didn't really know how to react. Here I was playing Abhishek Bachchan's love interest as well as his real father's reel mother - all in one film. I was like 'wow, now what's that!' It took me some time to absorb this, but eventually I did say yes," Vidya said.
Paa, which also stars Paresh Rawal in a key role, is set to release Friday.