Just give me a passing shot in Tamil movie, says Amitabh Bachchan
This man is modesty personified, and when he says he’s neither a celebrity nor someone famous, you know he means it.
So, whenAmitabh Bachchan comes out of the lift and agrees to speak with us, though we don’t have an appointment with him, it doesn’t come as a surprise. The legendary actor, who was in Chennai, sure does walk his talk…
When do we get to see you in a Tamil film? You’ve made guest appearances in other south Indian language films…
I’ve been telling all my friends here for the past 40 years to put me in a small passing shot in the background. I wish I’d done something here…
But we find it hard to believe that there’ve been no takers for your request…
Well, nothing has come. Yes, I was offered a role in a Rajini film,Robot (Endhiran). It was for the role of the villain. I checked with Rajini, but he said, ‘haan, no sir. I don’t think you should do it.’ I’m open to any good offers from here.
So many years in the industry and your charisma only grows…
I think you are giving me an unfair compliment. But I think we all really enjoy working. I love going to the studio and facing new challenges every day. I feel fortunate that people allow me to perfect myself every day. I’m thankful to God for having made it possible. Other than that, it’s just the joy of having new work and facing different roles, ideas and concepts that keep one going.
You make it all sound so effortless… But even when it comes to the game show you host, you keep on reinventing yourself…
It is the contestants’ quality and calibre that make the show. The content has been revised, and the way the audience approach each question is commendable.
Is there any one character or role that still eludes you?
I hope there is. I don’t know what role it is, and I hope the producers and the directors come up with fresh ideas that excite me.
You are here in Chennai for the centenary year celebrations of Indian cinema. Any fond memories of the city?
I’ve been coming here for years and years, and I’ve always appreciated the discipline and the organized way in which the industry functions. It’s something we lack in Mumbai. Creatively and technically, the industry is brilliant. We’ve also had healthy exchange between the industries. We remake films, and there’s a great coming together of artists from all the industries. I’ve worked with many great directors and artists and technicians. It’s wonderful to celebrate cinema on such a scale. It is massive fun and truly commendable. All the artists from other states and languages have been invited and have been given great respect. I feel honored to be here.
Now that you’re here, will one superstar meet the other superstar?
If he’s there, yes, of course.
What do you think is the flip side of being a celebrity?
To answer your question, I have to first accept that I am a celebrity. I have not done that.
Let’s put it this way, is there a price you pay for fame?
Again, I think you must ask someone who is famous.
So, you are not?