BY DURGA CHAKRAVARTY
New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) He was rejected in his initial days for his towering height, but soon enough he went on to become the Shahenshah of Bollywood. Amitabh Bachchan’s journey in Hindi films shaped the industry through the course of his rise, during which he worked with some of the most iconic filmmakers and artistes in the past. Turning 77 on October 11, he continues to collaborate with the brightest minds of Bollywood even today.
Among new-generation filmmakers who have worked with Big B is Sujoy Ghosh, the brilliant maker of thrillers, who recently directed the veteran actor in “Badla”.
“I can’t quantify it,” Ghosh told IANS about the quality that Big B brings to a project with his acting. “Whatever he does is always beyond the level. I am no one to talk about him. He is The Legend. He taught me a lot, especially the fact that it is important to become a good person before being a good director.”
Actor Manav Kaul, who worked with Bachchan in “Wazir”, tells IANS about the first time he interacted with the superstar: “There are things you find unreal in life, and I remember the first time I met Amitabh Bachchan sahab in Glasgow. We started chatting because there was no one else in the room, and all along you have to remind yourself he is real! I mean, he is huge, humongous but it was a sheer pleasure to discover how humble and down-to-earth he is and how accessible he is.”
Manav said he found Bachchan mesmerizing, and is looking forward for an opportunity to working with him again.
Big B will soon co-star with Ayushmann Khurrana in Shoojit Sircar’s “Gulabo Sitabo”. Shoojit has worked with Big B previously in “Piku”, which won the veteran a National Award. Ayushmann says working with Big B and Shoojit was like being part of a “dream team”.
“Amitabh Bachchan, Shoojit Sircar and (writer) Juhi (Chaturvedi) — it’s like a dream team,” Ayushmann told IANS.
Sircar has described working with Big B “like having a fulfilling conversation with a friend” so much so that “it never felt like work”.
Most filmmakers old and new who have directed Bachchan swear by his sense of discipline and enthusiasm to put the best foot forward.
“He is the most disciplined actor I have ever worked with, and what is the most incredible about him is that, despite all his experience, he does not take work for granted even after all these years. He puts all his thought and work experience into anything he does, and that is the reason why he is where he is today,” Leena Yadav, who directed Big B in “Teen Patti”, told IANS.
For Yadav, working with Amitabh Bachchan is nothing short of being in an acting institution. “I got to learn a lot from him. In my film, there were four young people including Shraddha Kapoor who were making their debut. I told them this was the greatest opportunity they would get to learn acting — by simply observing him,” she said.
Amitabh Bachchan, who shot to iconic heights over a career of five decades, has worked with Ramesh Sippy in “Sholay”, Manmohan Desai in “Amar Akbar Anthony” and “Coolie”, Yash Chopra in “Silsila” and “Deewar”, and Prakash Mehra in “Zanjeer”, “Sharaabi” and ‘Namak Halaal”.
Working with new-age directors, his defining roles have been in Ram Gopal Varma’s “Sarkar”, Shoojit Sircar’s “Piku”, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Black”, besides Karan Johar’s “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” and “Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna”.
At 77, Big B shows no signs of slowing down. He currently has four more films lined up – Shoojit Sircar’s “Gulabo Sitabo”, Nagraj Manjule’s “Jhund”, Rumi Jaffery’s “Chehre” and Ayan Mukerji’s “Brahmastra”.
BY DURGA CHAKRAVARTY