SRK, Aamir make it for Paa

There’s no stopping the juggernaut that Amitabh Bachchan is. His latest, Paa, is close to his heart as it’s son Abhishek’s production, and Big B

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is leaving no stone unturned as far as the promotion of the film is concerned. In this interview, he gives TOI a peek into a world - a li’l more than that of the 13-year-old Auro (the character he plays in the film). Excerpts from an interview:

Were you shocked, stunned, dumbfounded when Balki (the director of Paa) spoke about a role reversal?
Not really. I liked the concept and knew what was being thrown at me was a lovely challenge. Balki also needed an actor of Abhishek’s calibre to pull off the role of the father. The role reversal was just fine. About my character, Auro, Balki introduced me to such cases through books, manuals and DVDs. It also took him long to decide on the look. Newer stuff was also improvised once the camera started rolling. The angles too were distinct, so that the size of the head is not exposed. About me, I was rather happy, wondering all the while how a 13-year-old would react in my situation.

Did it feel like a trip back to childhood?
I tried my best to remember how I was at 13. There’s a lot of difference between kids then and kids now. I’ve closely observed my grandchildren - the mannerisms and the way they conduct themselves. Beyond that, it was all Balki’s doing. He gave me the lines, decided on my clothes and told me how to react to situations.

And didn’t memories of Abhishek’s childhood rush to your mind?
Not so much, I would say. As a child, Abhishek was quite a brat.



Abhishek has said that he got to bully you as long as the camera was rolling...
The film, which deals with this father and son, has a lovely screenplay. There’s a lot of camaraderie between Abhishek and me. Yes, we did fool around on the sets, when we were not shooting, but that’s expected when the two of us are together.

You played a progeric, the make-up for which would take you four-and-a-half hours and to take it off, another two hours. There’s also a song from you in a child’s voice. As an actor, you are constantly making and breaking records. After Paa, what’s the next big challenge?
I hope there’s one. I’m fortunate to be challenged like this and would certainly want more coming my way. If there’s none, creativity would start stagnating. I hope I’m never satisfied. Once there’s complacency, you stop looking for fresher avenues. This is something I do not want ever.

As far as the look is concerned, parallels have been drawn with Brad Pitt in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button ...
That’s all rubbish and unnecessary. Both are two different things.

For some, ageing gracefully is all about being okay with salt-and-pepper hair and wrinkles. For others, it’s looking good with the help of botox. How do you perceive this cycle of life?
I think it’s something all of us need to go through. I have never tried out anything extraneous. I think it’s also about being comfortable with oneself.

How did Abhishek fare as a father?
Well, he was great. Fact is, Abhishek is a great companion. There’s a lot of bonding between us and that comes through in this film.

In an interview, Abhishek had said, ‘I’ve made this film for my dad and after watching the film, I just want dad to tell me that he’s proud of me.” So, did you tell him that after seeing the final cut?
I’m already very proud of Abhishek. He took the decision of producing this film and also managed to stay within the budget. There were no hiccups during production and even if there were, we weren’t aware of them. The way Abhishek has handled things has astonished me as a father.

You have said said recently, “The London and Dubai premieres stand cancelled. But Mumbai is on ... and Aamir and Shah Rukh have both assured me of their presence there.” How much do opinions of actors from the fraternity count?
We are all of the same family. About Aamir and Shah Rukh, I always exchange notes with them. It has always been so. I find out about their films and they find out about mine. Sometimes they come up with suggestions and I incorporate them. This exchange is really healthy. I’m looking forward to meeting the two of them at the premiere.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 0 comments

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