The Ajay Devgn-produced and Rohit Shetty-directed riotous comedy Bol Bachchan wasn’t a joyous journey for B-town’s latest daddy. Abhishek Bachchan gets candid about the challenges he faced while making the film and his new role as a father
What’s the similarity between your role and Amol Palekar’s character from the original film Golmaal?
We both have a mooch (moustache), that’s it.
Did you know that the film would be titled Bol Bachchan?
Yes – after I signed on we decided to call it Bol Bachchan.
Don’t you feel you are cashing in on your famous family name?
I have never cashed in on my family name before, so why would I do it now!
You have worked with Rohit Shetty in his first film, Zameen. Did you notice any changes in him since then?
If anything has changed – he’s a lot more confident now. Rohit is as hardworking and as humble as he was before. He is one of the most successful directors, but that hasn’t affected him. He’s a machine – works 20 hours a day.
Ajay was your co-star in Zameen. Has he become a different person?
For the amount of success he has had, he hasn’t changed at all. Ajay is one of the most supportive co-stars I have had in my career. And he is a big bully also!
Ajay said that you took time to get into groove of Bol Bachchan‘s style of comedy. Is that true?
There’s a particular pitch to every film and you have to match that. You can’t perform in a way that doesn’t suit the screenplay of the film. My style of comedy is very different from the one you see in Bol Bachchan. And that’s what Ajay and Rohit taught me. They taught me to unlearn what I had learned and adopt this style of comedy. That is very difficult and demanding. My style of comedy is deadpan and straight faced. I took a week to get into the mould. I came prepared to do the film in a particular way, but Rohit had a completely different idea. But he didn’t give up on me. After pack-up we would rehearse. He really tutored me to how to get it right. I hope I got it right!
Do you think Bol Bachchan will make that much needed difference (read: a box office hit) to your career?
I think every film should make a difference to your career, and that’s why you should do a film. You don’t do a film thinking it will be a cakewalk. You should do a film that challenges you and makes a difference to you.
So what was the most challenging part about Bol Bachchan?
Everything! I thought this film will be easy to do, but it turned out to be the most difficult film of my career. And I have done some very difficult films, but Bol Bachchan was exhausting. My misconception was that it’s a comedy, so it will be a holiday. It wasn’t a holiday. I told Ajay if the film does well, he has to send me on a holiday. Bahut ho gaya, yaar! I have worked so hard for it.
What is the experience of being a father like?
It’s the same as any father! I don’t know how other people react to it (parenting), so I can’t say how different it is for me. It’s just another person whom you are willing to be responsible for. There’s no rulebook to parenting. You should do what you feel like. Each parent discovers it for themselves. That’s the fun of being a parent. Right now Aaradhya is the focus of everybody’s attention. Everybody’s fascinated with her. Her innocent presence makes everyone want to spend time with her.
What are the other films you have signed?
Right now there’s only Dhoom 3 – let me finish the film and I’ll think about what next.
Any plans of producing a film?
Not right now.
There were rumours that Mani Ratnam wants you for a film. Are you doing it?
Mani is making a Tamil film right now. I am available for Mani as and when he says. Mani is like a mentor to me and anything he asks me to do, I’ll do it. If tomorrow he tells me to do a passing shot in his film, I’ll do it.
A lot of your recent films have flopped. How do you deal with failure?
You don’t; thankfully you just carry on working. It’s never nice to talk about it, or a pleasant experience to relive. Nobody wakes up thinking, let’s make an unsuccessful film. Everybody works very hard to make a film successful. You have to just try and tide over the failure. I don’t find it easy.
Do you think you have received your due as an actor?
No, I think I have got too much due. I think people make me out to be a much better actor than I actually am. I am very harsh on myself. And I am not trying to fake being humble. I genuinely believe that there’s a lot to do and so much more to learn.
Do you have any parameters to say ‘yes’ to a film?
I have only one parameter and if that’s not there, I don’t do the film. That is – does my heart tell me to do the film? I have never worked for money or ‘coz strategically it’s the right film to do. Tomorrow the most successful director could come to me, but if my heart wasn’t in the film, I wouldn’t do it. I have to feel the film. My emotions have to come naturally. If they don’t (come naturally), I will look disinterested. My only criterion for choosing a film is that my heart has to tell me to do the film.