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Big B can't wait to play Gabbar

Amitabh Bachchan speaks to Hiren Kotwani about his new 'Gabbar' look in RGV's Sholay.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 17:51 IST
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style

erhaps for the first time in the history of Indian cinema, the ‘look’ of a character has garnered this much media space. The hype was expected, though: After all Ram Gopal Varma was unveiling Amitabh Bachchan’s look of Gabbar Singh in Ram Gopal Varma Ke Sholay.

A sharp contrast to Amjad Khan’s dacoit with stained teeth, the modern day Gabbar is “a suave and sharp gangster who gives the police the slip. The film is set in Mumbai,” says Bachchan when one chats him up over the look that supposedly took three months to perfect.

The Big B looked dapper in a black velvet jacket, but what was more striking was his pair of red Fendi glares. “The Gabbar I am playing has one bluish-grey eye and one brown, so wearing lenses all day is kind of straining to the eye. Besides, it is very dusty where we have been shooting. The shades help me avoid glare and dust,” he explains.

Amitabh Bachchan's new 'Gabbar' look for Ram Gopal Verma Ke Sholay. 

Bachchan’s Gabbar, who has a scar on his nose, looks older than Amjad Khan’s menacing dacoit. In fact, he almost looks a weary and defeated man in the photographs released to the media. “Looks can be deceptive, more so in the case of this Gabbar. He can be more menacing that you can imagine,” he says.

Did Bachchan contribute in shaping the look of the new Gabbar? “All credit goes to Ramu and ad man Rajeev Chudasama for creating this look. I had nothing to do with it,” he says.

Bachchan recalls how disappointed he was when Ramesh Sippy turned down his request to let him play Gabbar in the original. “Naturally, I am very excited to play this role now,” he says.

“The character graph is such that every actor would want to play Gabbar. I am fortunate to have been a part of Rameshji’s Sholay and also Ramu’s take on it (presented by Adlabs), in two different roles.”

Aware of the comparisons that the new Sholay will draw with the original, Bachchan says: “It is unfair to compare the two films. We are opening a new door to a different story.”

On the trend of remakes, he says: “I don’t think it is wrong. A modernday version is the director’s take on the older film. Having seen the promos of the new Don, I think it is a very stylish film. I met Farhan Akhtar and Shah Rukh Khan recently and told them that I would like to see their film whenever the first copy is out.”

The legend, whose birthday falls this Wednesday, isn’t planning anything, as his mother Teji Bachchan is unwell. “I’ll be spending the day with my family,” he concludes.

First Published: Oct 09, 2006 16:09 IST