Big B plays superstar in Kannada film
Amitabh Bachchan plays the superstar that he is in the Kannada film "Amrutha Dhaare". According to director Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar, Amitabh has "delivered a perfect performance" in his six-minute role.
By getting Amitabh to act in his film, Chandrashekhar has achieved something that not many have dared to try.
The director sought the assistance of the film's hero, Dhyan, and a well-known film journalist to get the superstar's consent to act in his venture.
"My script needed a famous personality to be part of the film. I had to show the heroine of the film as a great fan of a celebrity, and her meeting him after a great effort," says Chandrashekhar.
"The celebrity, during the interaction with the heroine, gives her a piece of advice which forms an important element in the film. I thought of many names but settled on Amitabh as the best," says Chandrashekhar.
"I then established contact with Amitabh through one of my journalist friends. I sent Amitabh my script and also indicated why he was needed in the film. Then my film's hero Dhyan, better known as Sameer in the Hindi film industry, contacted him several times. Finally I got Amitabh's nod."
The director says Amitabh "eased our tensions and would tell me again and again that I should not miss any shot".
According to Chandrashekhar, the only request the superstar made was to change a few English dialogues of the film to Hindi. He also insisted on delivering two Kannada lines.
During the shoot, he talked of how he was "in Love" with Bangalore and the people of Karnataka who had prayed for him during the time he was in hospital in 1983 after an accident during the shooting of "Coolie" in this city.
Ramya, the film's heroine, says that acting with Amitabh was "a thrilling and fruitful experience". She recounts how he came and sat by her side and told her he was a good palm reader. He "read" her palm and said that she was possessive, often misunderstood and had stomach problems. "I told him he was right on all counts."
She added: "He laughed and said that every film artiste was possessive and felt that he or she was misunderstood. He also said that film artistes had stomach problems as they were not used to taking food on time."
"I was laughing all the time when I was with him," Ramya said.
She also recalled that, in a particular shot, she was to hug Amitabh. She hugged him and, after a minute, removed her hands. "So soon?" Amitabh is reported to have remarked!
"I was overawed by his simplicity, his attitude to be friendly with all the members of the unit and, above all, his disciplined working style," Ramya says.
This is the third time Amitabh has acted in any non-Hindi film. Much before he became a Bollywood star, he acted in a Bengali film. Then Amitabh and wife Jaya acted together in a Marathi film.