Abhishek Bachchan: Papa kehte hain

‘Abhishek Bachchan is waiting for his little princess to grow up. Filmfare understands his excitement

D Day: November 16, 2011. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gave birth to a little princess and the Bachchans were over the moon. Today, the entire household revolves around the baby they lovingly call Bitiya. Ask Abhishek Bachchan what’s the greatest happiness of being a father and he smiles, “This is a beautiful phase of my life. There’s a new being who’s part of us. It’s wonderful. We’re thrilled at the arrival of our little princess.”
We’re at Janak, that houses the office of AB Corp. Interviews are on for the promotion of Players and we’ve been given strict instructions that questions on his darling daughter are taboo. Right now, everyone wants to know about this new phase in his life. Warily, I do ask about his daughter and thankfully he’s ready to share his joy. “Right now, we’re quite busy taking care of our child. To keep her comfortable, she’s just two weeks old. When she grows up maybe there’ll be more changes in our lives.”

Grandfather Amitabh Bachchan too has been gung ho about sharing his experiences with their bundle of joy on social networking sites. Invariably, I conjecture that Bachchan Senior must have given his son a few tips on parenting. But Abhishek blushes, “Not as yet. So far we’ve been enjoying her company, living every moment fully. He doesn’t sit me down and instruct me on how to manage a baby. Actually, nobody’s had the time.”
Unlike the media frenzy surrounding the Abhi-Ash wedding, this time around the media heeded Amitabh Bachchan’s request for privacy and didn’t hound the family. The Bachchans thanked the media for respecting their privacy. However, recent reports have given rise to speculations that a foreign magazine has offered a whooping sum to the Bachchan’s for the baby’s pictures. Abhishek clarifies, “This is a personal matter. We will never do something like this.” Is this then just a figment of the media’s imagination? He counters, “How do I know? You tell me.”’

‘As we chat, he tells me that 2011 was a special year for him. “I did good work. At the beginning of the year, I started shooting for Players in New Zealand. After that I shot for Bol Bachchan in Jaipur, which is progressing well. Unfortunately, Game didn’t do that well. But then Dum Maaro Dum fared much better. I have no complaints, I’m happy. I’m super excited about 2012. After Players in January, Bol Bachchan will release in July.”
The last few years, the actor’s career has been like a rough patch. Most movies haven’t really hit the bull’s eye. Ask him why and he refuses to analyse. Says he, “We go into analysis mode only after the film releases. If we did so before the release that situation would not arise. Why we can’t spot the mistakes early on is something beyond me.” He adds, “We actors are so deeply involved in our profession that we become oblivious to its shortcomings. We can’t gauge between the right and the wrong.”

We move to his next release, Players. The promos showcase a stylish Abhishek. This is Abhishek’s first film with director-duo Abbas-Mustan. Says he, “We’ve been wanting to work together for the last 10 years. I’m a fan of their movies— Baazigar, Khiladi and even Race. They’ve made some awesome movies. So when they came to me with the reworked script of The Italian Job, I had to say yes. It’s my favourite English film. The original was made with Michael Cane in 1969.”

The movie is an official remake but promises to be as entertaining. Abhishek vouches, “The story essentially remains the same but with added twists, turns and even new characters. It will be a different experience for the audience.” But how differently can an actor modify his role from the classic? “Every character has certain dynamics and limitations,” explains Abhishek. “For example, tell me which hand do you write with?” Right, I volunteer. “So if I’m portraying you, how do you expect me to write with my left hand? You have to stay within the character and yet stretch its limits creatively.”

Coming back to his career, he tells me that he’s done a film like Players after two or three years. “In the recent past I was experimenting a lot and I thought it was time to return to the basics. So I’m back to doing commercial cinema. But I’ve enjoyed the journey. I grew up watching commercial movies and always wanted to do them.”’

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