It’s time to welcome Mr. Amitabh Bachchan in Gulabo Sitabo. Last year, he delivered a smasher of a superhit with Badla in a suave avatar. Now, he is getting into an altogether different territory with this Shoojit Sircar slice-of-life film. It is written by Juhi Chaturvedi, produced by Ronnie Lahiri and Sheel Kumar. As audiences gear up to watch the living legend in the part of Mirza on 12th June when the film premieres at Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories, Joginder Tuteja gets talking to Mr. Amitabh Bachchan in an exclusive interview.
In Gulabo Sitabo, you are playing a man much older than your real age. You have done that in the recent past in 102 Not Out and The Last Lear as well. Guess after being in the industry for over 50 years, you are loving this phase of playing much older characters as well, isn’t it?
I am fortunate that there are still some makers that give me work and I am happy with whatever comes my way. I am two short of 80 years old and shall get roles commensurate with my age and I am blessed to be having phases in my career too!
Last year you came up with Badla, which is your biggest solo superhit in a decade. Now after more than 12 months when you are coming with Gulabo Sitabo on OTT, it is expected to be the biggest Hindi film superhit on the platform ever since it came to India. How do you look at the huge expectations that everyone has from you and the film, and that too across platforms?
Creative works are ever under scrutiny and assessment when exposed to the public, so one has to accept their verdict – one that we value. The audience shall decide the fate of the film, so let’s not jump to any conclusions. Yes, circumstances have been so prevailing that the OTT platform is being exploited for the release of Gulabo Sitabo and many factors have had to be absorbed in order that this decision could be taken by the Producers. As with every new invention, we await the results of this experiment too.
Shoojit Sircar is a prolific maker and Ayushmann Khurrana a prolific star, expectations are bound to mount. But that is where we need to stop for the moment. The living part is yet to be decided; it lies in abeyance!
With Shoojit Sircar, you have loved telling different stories, be it Piku, Pink, Shoebite, and now Gulabo Sitabo. Is it the characterization, plot, narrative style or something else that excites you to collaborate with him multiple times over, and how do you actually get convinced that the unique world created by him would indeed end up entertaining audiences in a big way?
I do not have a say in the matter, never do, never will. It is entirely Shoojit’s decision and I follow blindly.
You are pairing up with Ayushmann Khurrana, a much younger and also a very promising actor. How has the off-screen and on-screen camaraderie come on screen, and how is the ‘nok jhonk’ between the two of you turned out to be the key entertaining highlight of Gulabo Sitabo?
You are wrong! Ayushmann is a most promised actor, of immense standing and caliber. I am honored to have had an opportunity to work with him and learn.
It is important to have an understanding colleague both on and off camera, and Ayushmann Khurrana has been more than that. I hope that he felt the same.