The Big B of Indian film industry is soon becoming the Big B of latest gizmos and technology. At the age of 67, he can easily be bestowed with the title of being the most tech-savvy man amongst his peers. Now that mobile and mails are a thing of day-to-day usage, for him the most in-thing is teleconferencing and blogging.
Amitabh Bachchan talks about his future slate of movies and bygone series of controversies.
In the last few months how have you coped with the numerous controversies that surrounded you?
If you are a public figure you have to be prepared tolerate all this. We will be questioned and written about and criticized. I do not think we should take objection to it, but at the same time we should have a platform to be able to respond to it.
Many-a-times I have felt that the mood and intent with which I have spoken to an interviewer are different when it is reproduced. It must be the acumen of the interviewer to be able to represent that mood in his interview. But we now have a wonderful alternative in the form of blogs to express ourselves.
So will you be posting regularly on the blog?
Yes, it is keeping me awake till very late in the night and my fingers hurt because I do not have any assistance at the moment. But it has been a great revelation. I never realized that there were so many people who were interested in talking to me. This is a new medium and I have almost 80 pages of posts and each page has 10-20 letters. I do not know how I am going to handle it, but I want to be able to address all of them.
My father was a great responder to mail, he used to respond to every letter in his own hand writing and post them daily. I am going to try and respond to as many queries as possible and I hope I live up to my father’s mode of operation.
You do not seem to shy away from technology…
No I do not shy away from technology. In fact when Abhishek and Aishwarya go out of India I speak to them everyday on Skype, which is a software on MAC.
As a family of actors, do you all get into creative differences?
Yes, we do and I am sure this happens in any family where there is a common profession, be it medical or politics. In fact there have been splits in families with different political ideologies. As a family we all take great pride in our individual opinions and we also have a great time discussing our roles and how we will approach them. It will be very detrimental to creativity to have a head of the family dictate terms to you.
How do you review your son Abhishek’s performances now?
Everyday I see that there is some progress in Abhishek’s performance. It is not crucial that his films have not worked at the box office. Such a period comes in the life of every artist, but it is important that one learns from mistakes.
Despite the debacle of your films such Nishabd and Aag with Ram Gopal Varma, did you not have any skepticism in your mind before working in Sarkar Raj with Varma?
I did not have any doubts; I have always had great faith in Ram Gopal Varma as a maker. Both Nishabd and Aag were very challenging roles for me and I am happy with the way they shaped up. I know they faced a lot of criticism from the audience and critics, but sometimes my personal satisfaction as an artist also needs to be looked at.
We don’t work with directors based on the performance of their last film. There are endless examples of directors and producers world over who have faced severe criticism for their work or failure. But I would rather learn from failure than succumb to it.
I do not think Ram Gopal Varma has done any mistake and even if he apologizes for it publicly, it is just his humility.
The roles that you are playing in Sarkar Raj, Bhoothnath and Alladin are not the typical formula characters and yet varied from each other..
At the age of 66 these are the only roles you get to play, of a genie, ghost and sarkar (laughs). But I am happy that there are makers who think of me and want to work with me. These are not the biggest and most important roles, but now for me it is more to be a part of the film industry and be with the youngsters who are creating such wonderful ideas. Now the average age of people on the shooting sets is 22, so there is an age gap of 45 years. Although it is tough, I try to keep up with them.