Talking to Amitabh Bachchan is always a delight because the man is such a constant fount of interesting comments, wry jokes and straightforward observations. This is what HT City found out when he spoke extensively on his forthcoming release Bhoothnath, Shah Rukh Khan and other issues.
You seem to generate a lot of energy in the promos of Bhoothnath...
That is what was required of me by the director of the film. The effort has been rather strenuous for me at this age, but I think that the unit and the cast and crew of the film have always been very sympathetic to my condition.
Amitabh Bachchan is famous for the way he handles a script with actors irrespective of their age, but how difficult is it to work with children?
Working with children is an education. I have worked with them in several films and they never cease to amaze me. The sharpness with which they understand the medium, the natural ease with which they perform and their utter disregard for formatted performance is an absolute delight. There’s so much to learn from them.
Bhoothnath, as director Vivek Sharma says, has a message. Your take?
<b1>It does: parental affection and advice. Familial ties. Values of relationships and the goodness they spread. Dignity of existence. All very academic sounding at the moment, but so simplistic in their execution in the film.
Vivek Sharma is very excited to have Shah Rukh Khan and you working together. Will we see you together more often?
Why not? All we need is for someone to structure something exciting and we will be there.
We haven’t had an Amitabh Bachchan release for quite some time… why is this so?
Vagaries of film production. But really, had it been the opposite, you would have asked, why so many?
Mithun Chakraborty wants you to be part of the Indian Cricket League. You know he has bought the Kolkata team. Your response?
Mithun is a dear friend and colleague, but I have to refuse his kind offer. I just do not have any knowledge of how this business functions. Not that I have very great knowledge of how any business functions.
Your fans are dying to see Sarkar Raj. How was the experience of working in it?
Don’t die, just watch the film. Working with Ramu has always been a challenge and an extremely satisfying experience. Sarkar Raj was no different.
Finally, why is your name dragged into a controversy again and again? Don’t you find it irritating?
Actually I do not! I think it continuously endorses the prominence of my existence. And that’s not too bad a thought to live with, don’t you think?