July 22, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Bollywood actor and megastar Amitabh Bachchan talks about his role in Prakash Jha’s Hindi movie ‘Aarakshan’where he plays an idealistic teacher, his success in the film ‘Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap’ and more. Read the candid interview at Calcutta Tube.
This is the first time you are working with director Prakash Jha. How was the experience?
Since a long time, I wanted to work with Prakashji. I used to watch all his films, but never got a scope to work with him. Jaya (Bachchan, wife) always used to say that if you work with him, you will go mad. But the opposite happened. I really want to thank him for allowing me to work in Aarakshan; I learnt a lot from him.
I am also grateful to Saif (Ali Khan), Deepika (Padukone), Manoj (Bajpai) and Prateik (Babbar) and the whole unit of Prakash Jha for working with me in this film.
Aarakshan is a film about reservation. What role you are playing in the film?
I feel the issue Prakashji has raised in Aarakshan does not deal only with reservation; but the entire educational system. My character (Prabhakar Anand) is the principal of an institution where the high society people can avail education. But since he is an idealistic man, every day, at his house’s courtyard, he imparts education for free to those children, who cannot afford it otherwise. So somewhere in his life, he tries to bring a balance. He believes that every capable person should get a chance to move forward in his life. That’s why in the film he says: “In our country there are Indian Administrative Services, Indian Foreign Services, Indian Police Services. Then why we don’t have Indian Teaching Services?”
[ReviewAZON asin=”B002BIG7O2″ display=”inlinepost”]What’s your take on reservation in India?
I would like to keep the answer to myself. It’s a personal viewpoint. If I tell you generally, then there is a possibility that media will make it a political issue. And I want to run far away from politics.
How much did you improvise in your character in the film?
Since Prakash Jha has given me this job, I have to listen to him; I can’t do whatever I like. An actor’s job is to portray the character as it is written.
You are seen as the most punctual actor in Bollywood. Comment.
I believe that if a particular time is written on the callsheet, you have to stick to that.
With Jan Lokpal Bill and black money doing rounds in Indian politics at present, what’s your take on these issues?
The answer is simple: We have to get rid of corruption.
Just as we are done with yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s fast against black money, Gandhian social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on indefinite hunger strike since August 16 if the ‘right’ Lokpal Bill is not passed in the Parliament. Do you support this kind of agitation?
In a democracy, everyone has the right to express their views and thoughts without any fear. At the same time, they should obey the laws of the country.
We say a flamboyant, edgy, cool Bacchan in Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap and now there is a serious teacher in Aarakshan. Which of the two characters can you relate most in personal life?
There is a person who writes a particular character for me, someone else writes the script, another writes the dialogues, someone composes the music; then there are beautiful dress designers who make costumes for me; and of course the make-up artist. Then I am given some lines and asked to deliver those in front of a co-star as part of a particular role. Now, it’s better you don’t ask if that character has similarity with my personal life or not; because every day I play a different role on screen. I personally believe that all actors in Bollywood, after spending so many years here, almost forget their own characteristics as they play something or someone different every day.