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'I have gone through hardships in pursuit of my dreams'
Abhishek Bachchan in this interview with DT Next, talks about playing Hemant Shah in his upcoming film The Big Bull, and opens up about why he doesn’t feel special despite his illustrious family.
Abhishek Bachchan talks to us on an evening on phone from his Juhu residence. His next film The Big Bull, a crime drama is all set to premiere on Disney+Hotstar on April 8. This will be his third OTT release after Breathe: Into The Shadows (July 2020) and Ludo (November 2020). “I don’t know where I stand when it comes to OTT vs theatres. At the end of the day, as an actor, I need to do my job and present the audience with good content. I am glad that people have gotten to see my work despite the lockdown. I can only be thankful that they still want to see my work,” he smiles. The actor plays a stockbroker in The Big Bull that is reported to have been based on Harshad Mehta. However, Abhishek clarifies that his character Hemant Shah is purely fictional. “I enjoyed playing Hemant Shah because he is a fictitious character. That is also the reason why we were able to take cinematic liberties. I enjoyed playing Hemant because he is an interesting person on paper. His meteoric rise from scratch, his determination and his passion before succumbing to the temptation of success is a humane story to tell,” he elaborates.
Abhishek doesn’t give away too much as we prod him about different shades that we would get to see him in Hemant’s shoes. “One tries to do different work from what they have done in the past. That is what people love to see from actors,” he replies. The film is directed by Kookie Gulati and is produced by Ajay Devgn and Anand Pandit. Apart from producing Abhishek’s films like Bol Bachchan and The Big Bull, Ajay Devgn also passes on movie roles to Abishek. Tell him its Kajol and then Abishek in that order in Ajay’s thoughts, the actor bursts into laughter. “Ajay is family for me. He always has been—even before I became an actor. I have immense love and respect for him and a pleasure to make movies for his company. I am privileged that he thinks of me and believes I am capable enough to portray a role he gives me,” he opens up.
Abhishek in his journey has delivered blockbusters and also been subject to criticism. Opening up on what it is like to be Abhishek Bachchan, he tells us, “I am your normal joe, who has faced obstacles like any normal person would have in his life. Like everyone I have my own dreams and have gone through hardships yet do what it takes to achieve them. I am an actor who loves being part of films and hear the audience’s feedback. I am enjoying the process and I don’t feel I am extra special.” Even before pan-India started becoming a thing in Indian cinema, Abhishek caught the attention of people across India with his roles in Guru, Raavan, Paa, Delhi 6 and very recently Ludo. Yet being called an underrated actor, he says flatters him. “You get what is deserved. Nobody I believe is underrated. If people say that I am an underrated actor, I am flattered,” he says.
Abhishek is known for his frequent collaborations with Mani Ratnam. They had last collaborated in Raavan for the third time in 2010. “Mani is family to me and Aishwarya. The greatest joy is to collaborate with Mani. I hope we can come together with a project soon,” he concludes and gets ready to take on our rapid fire questions.
Favourite lockdown activity: To have spent time with my daughter Aaradhya.
One film he would have loved to be a part of: There are many, difficult to pick one.
One Amitabh film he would want to remake and feature: Amar Akbar Anthony. I need to call Ranbir Kapoor and Akshaye Khanna and ask if they would join me.
Beera or Bittu? That’s difficult. I can’t choose one. I will take the diplomatic route. Ganga Ram Chaudhary from my next film Dasvi.
OTT or cinemas: They are two different things and unique in their own way.