This star-son who had huge shoes to fit into. And after a decade in Bollywood, Abhishek Bachchan seems to have outgrown them. The cool dude doesn’t show any of the pre-movie jitters, and talks excitedly about the quirks of being married to Aishwarya, working with Mani Ratnam once again and Raavan.

How was the character of Beera in ‘Raavan’ different from other roles you’ve portrayed?

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I’ve managed to break the mould with every film of mine. With Beera, I made a conscious effort not to remind people of Guru. Mani Ratnam always makes me do something drastically different in his films. It was the same with Beera, he’s as good as you and as bad as you; he’s just out there. The 10 heads are not literal; they’re more like facets of his character. It  was not an easy role to prepare for because Beera changes emotions at the drop of a hat.

Never let your wife ask you how she’s looking. Compliment her before she asks.

You have completed a decade in Bollywood. Do you feel the competition for other actors?
I have never been in competition with anybody. I’m not the kind of person who’s competitive with others.

How has marriage changed you?
The best part of being married is that Aishwarya doesn’t expect me to change and accepts me as I am. You also learn a lot in a marriage, like when to shut up. Or just say sorry. Never let your wife ask you how she’s looking; compliment her before she asks.

Aishwarya is the coolest person you can have around you and she’s a supportive and interactive co-star as well. She doesn’t take my criticism too hard because it’s just a discussion about our work. And we never take our work home.

Is working with Mani Ratnam becoming more of a habit?

Every three years Mani comes along with a character that lets me misbehave. I share a huge comfort zone with him. He understands my potential more than I do myself.

He likes interaction, he’s doesn’t like people bowing down to him and praising his work all out. He asks people for their opinions and that’s how he feels he can improve. I personally feel that ‘Raavan’ is Mani’s most commercial film.

We heard you were asked to play Dev in the Tamil version of the film, Raavanan.

Yes, Mani wanted me to play Dev in the Tamil version. After the initial reading of the Tamil version I realized that this isn’t going to happen. I knew my performance of Dev would be more mechanical and thankfully Mani understood that too.

You’ll get to John Abraham’s entire butt in Dostana 2!

You are a huge fan of Vikram. How was it working with him?
Yes, I’m a huge fan of Kenny Sir. I’ve seen his film Dhool 17 times. We met first at the music release of Boyz and now we’re the dearest of friends. He’s a powerhouse of acting.  Not just that he’s won a National Award. Even though he’s a lot more senior, he’s like a buddy with me.

Despite all this our performances are different. His interpretation of Veera is completely different from that of Beera.

What’s next?

There’s Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey, a period film of a famous freedom fighter of the 1930’s based on the Chittagong uprising. And you’ll get to John Abraham’s entire butt in Dostana 2!

I didn’t want to do a sequel to Dostana, because the sequel would have to be a lot funnier. But I can assure you that Tarun (Mansukhani) has gone insane in this one. I’ve still tried to get a U Certificate for this one!

By Mrigank Dhaniwala

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