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What leaves Big B a scared soul?

"If there's a horror film on TV, I quickly change channels," says the superstar.

india Updated: May 02, 2006 16:16 IST

Amitabh Bachchan's horror film Darna Zaroori Hai opened in theatres last week, but the actor says he doesn't enjoy watching such movies and is in fact "petrified" of them.

"I don't think I have done something similar in the past. I am petrified of horror films in real life. If there is a horror film or serial on television, I quickly change channels," Amitabh admits.

"I saw Ramu's Bhoot where a ghost kept appearing. I can't tell you how tormented I was. For months afterwards every time I went to bed I imagined that woman from Bhoot would appear from nowhere, from under the bed or behind the curtain."

"Horror films do leave an impression. A lot of people enjoy horror films. I really admire their strength and guts," he said, adding that filming Darna Zaroori Hai wasn't at all traumatic.

Amitabh is all praises for Ram Gopal Varma.

He said: "Ramu's passion is to keep making films and to keep surprising people by doing unexpected things. He asked me to do this one segment in Darna..., and I did... It is wonderful to have Ramu in the industry. He is always up to something innovative.

"He takes up fresh challenges all the time and the end result comes out looking good. His films are made within given budgets and are safe business-wise. It's really creditable how Ramu conducts the business of film making."

But it doesn't make much business sense for Amitabh to have done Darna Zaroori Hai for free. "It is true. Just can't charge money for a day's work!"

This is not the first film that Amitabh has worked gratis recently. He acted in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black without remuneration and also put in a guest appearance in the Kannada film Amrithdhare free of cost.

He moves on. "Though I have done a supernatural thriller Rakeysh Mehra's Aks, Darna Zaroori Hai is hardcore horror. I had never done that before. It is wonderful to work with a director who envelops you in your thoughts and concepts.

"During Darna Zaroori Hai I had my own preconceived notions of how the scenes should be performed. Ramu thought it needed a slight correction. We did it his way... for the better."

Amitabh disagrees with the view that younger directors are nervous of correcting him.

Not at all. Irrespective of my age and seniority, I am subject to the director's authority once I take on a project. I have never given any director opportunity to feel I am not open to instructions... Why only Ramu?

"I'd like to believe I share a compatibility level with all my directors. It is just that he finishes a project fast and moves on to another. There are some directors who come back with projects, others don't."

He is all praise for his co-star Riteish Deshmukh.

"He is such a wonderful boy. So gentle well brought-up and so hard-working, an easy person to work with. Abhishek (Bachchan) is also very fond of him. He keeps coming over to the house."

Amitabh has just shot for Balkrishnan's Cheeni Kum and can't stop praising his co-star Tabu.

"She's incredible. Her presence and the way she emotes are so warm and endearing. You can actually see whatever is on her face comes straight from the heart. There's such an opaque and honest quality about her performance that you get inspired.

"Many times you hope your co-star's performance will be supportive. Because your performance always depends on the co-artiste. You could be giving the performance of your lifetime but it could go to waste if you are not getting the correct responses from your co-star. Tabu is very inspiring."

Amitabh is again on the move. He completed a schedule of his brand new film Cheeni Kum in Delhi. After a day in Dubai to introduce this year's International Indian Film Academy (IFFA) awards, he is right now in Munnar shooting for Varma's Nishabd.

"I have never been to Munnar before. But I have shot in Kerala."

Maybe a family holiday in Munnar?

"Everyone is busy. Abhishek has just finished in Bangalore. He now moves to Chennai for Mani Ratnam's Guru. Then he goes straight to England for Shaad Ali's film."

Commenting on his future he said: "I am trying to finish my commitments before green-lighting other projects. So far my health is okay."