Amitabh Bachchan: Aamir, Salman & Shah Rukh Are Bigger Stars
Amitabh Bachchan is a happy man these days. There’s the good news of his daughter-in-law Aishwaraya Rai’s pregnancy. There’s also his own film, Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap, that is all set to hit theatres this Friday (1 July). In an exclusive interview with Koimoi.com Editor Komal Nahta, Mr. Bachchan talks about welcoming a new member to the family; recounts the three mistakes of his film career and more. Excerpts…
How is everyone at home taking the news of Aishwarya’s pregnancy?
Amitabh Bachchan: Everyone at home is happy. There will be happiness when there’s a new addition to the family. We just want a healthy baby.
After the news of Ash’s pregnancy, her upcoming film HEROINE has been stalled? How have you taken it?
Amitabh Bachchan: The matter is between the producer and Aishwarya. I always give the example of Jaya. We found out that she was pregnant during the shooting of Sholay. Ramesh Sippy (who directed the film) decided to stall her part of the shooting till her delivery.
How involved are you in Abhishek’s (Bachchan) films?
Amitabh Bachchan: Even when he began, it was his decision; we didn’t launch him with our film. Everything that he is today, it’s on his own strengths. I’m proud that he has made it on his own.
All the financial, commercial decisions for ‘BHTB’ were taken by Abhishek.
Is Abhishek also interested in the business side of cinema?
Amitabh Bachchan: All the financial, commercial decisions for ‘BHTB’ were taken by Abhishek. He was the one who said that the film should be made in Rs. 10 crores. He has never shied away from making adjustments to his commerce when he has felt that it should be.
How did BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP take shape?
Amitabh Bachchan: Ram Gopal Varma brought Puri Jagganath (director of ‘Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap’) to me and said that he (Puri) wanted to work with me. Puri is a prominent Telugu director who made Pokiri, which was later remade as Wanted in Hindi. Very few people know that Puri has been first assistant to RGV in Rangeela. Puri told me that he was my fan since Zanjeer. But he also said that he had stopped watching my films after Mard because he couldn’t find the element he wanted to see me in. So he wanted to make a film with the elements that he grew up seeing me in.
(Puri) said that he had stopped watching my films after Mard because he couldn’t find the element…
Which audience do you have in mind for BBUDDAH HOGA TERRA BAAP?
Amitabh Bachchan: I have never thought of which audience to make my film for – whether for multiplexes, single screen, UP, Bihar… I like the story, my role, the producer I’m working for. I just enjoy a film for what it’s worth.
Is there a plan to revive AB Corp in its true sense?
Amitabh Bachchan: Because of the losses we made in the beginning, we want to start slowly. We have made some good beginnings. We think it’s important to partner with some big production house and move forward. My standing in the market is not as big as it was then. Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and others are much bigger stars than me and I accept that. I work and budget my films accordingly.
As a producer, what mistakes do you think you made with ABCL?
Amitabh Bachchan: We were too ambitious. We entered into all the possible fields that entertainment in India provides. Entertainment in India, whether you like it or not, is film-based. We felt that it was a huge umbrella. You make a film, you have songs in the film, songs are used for events and television. I think that was wrong. The execution was not handled well. Now we want to concentrate on one aspect and outsource the rest. If you get to the position where you have the strength, like say a Yash Raj studio, then you handle the rest. We leave the distribution to our partners – like Paa was distributed by Reliance and Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap by Viacom18.
I worked in a few movies, which I regretted later – Boom, Nishabd and Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.
Three instances where you blundered…
Amitabh Bachchan: I worked in a few movies, which I regretted later – Boom, Nishabd and Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag. I worked in ‘Boom’ for emotional and personal reasons. I felt that ‘Nishabd’ was one of my most difficult roles but the audience didn’t like it. They didn’t want to see me in a role like that. ‘Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag’ was challenging because I had a negative role. The audience didn’t like the remake of an iconic character like Gabbar.
Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap Trailer