Why Abhishek Bachchan is an instinctive and natural actor like mother Jaya Bachchan

As Abhishek Bachchan turns 43 on Tuesday, here’s why he ought to think more like his famous mother, Jaya Bachchan, when choosing scripts.
Abhishek Bachchan with his mom Jaya Bachchan on her birthday, last year.
Abhishek Bachchan with his mom Jaya Bachchan on her birthday, last year.
Updated on Feb 05, 2019 03:10 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By Nivedita Mishra

If genes mattered in the choice of one’s profession, none could beat Abhishek Bachchan. He is to the manor born, like few others. Son of Bollywood’s leading couple, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, acting and the ensuing stardom ought to have come naturally. Yet, Abhishek’s career, thus far, has seen sparks of excellence with a fair share of disappointments too. On Abhishek Bachchan’s birthday today, here’s seeing how the actor can build on his positives while negating all the downers.

Also read | On Abhishek Bachchan’s birthday, his happiest photos with family

Recalling the second time (yes, much after the publicity that followed his debut film, JP Dutta’s Refugee in 2000), that one noticed Abhishek in a film called Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost (2003) doing what looked like a desi dance number. Looking at him, one got the sense of how similar he looked to his famous father yet was so different. Seeing him, in movies that followed, it seemed as if he was trying to be a shadow of his legendary father.


Then, when Bunty Aur Bubli came along, one saw an Abhishek for what he is — affable, natural and instinctive actor; quite like his mother Jaya Bhaduri used to be in her heyday.

The thing with much of Hindi films is that one has to pick roles that suit one’s personality, unless one is like Naseeruddin Shah in Gautam Ghosh’s Paar, for instance. One recalls watching that particular performance and wonder at the skill of the actor. Just how could an actor who went to an elite school like Ajmer’s Mayo College pull off playing a labourer so convincingly?

Abhishek Bachchan in Guru.
Abhishek Bachchan in Guru.

Abhishek, too, should pick roles that suit his personality and character. As a matter of fact, it has worked for him whenever he has done so. Recall his performances in films like Yuva and Guru. With help from an able director, Abhishek could delve into the complexity of these characters, and deliver performances that have been memorable. His role in Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan, which released last year, too fell in this category. While, it is true that Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu’s characters were far more dramatic and Abhishek’s character had shades of the ‘nice guy’, he was able infuse the required gravitas and dignity to it.

Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu in Manmarziyaan.
Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu in Manmarziyaan.

If his character feels disgusted at his new bride’s inability to rid herself of her ex, then it is there for the world to see.

It would be not wrong to say then that Abhishek has more of his mother in him. While he has done roles as an out-and-out entertainer, playing layered characters is his calling card.


In Bollywood, it is hard to not be typecast; even Jaya was the proverbial girl-next-door. Yet in films like Koshish, in which she played a speech and hearing impaired woman, she was admirable. In Jawani Deewani, she could pull off a glamorous role, while in Anamika, her take as a dark character was worthy of praise. And that is the arc we are hoping Abhishek will follow.

Author tweets @mniveditatweets

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021