This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
For the third time in nine months, Amitabh Bachchan would be seen at the big screen. Wazir, Te3n and now Pink – it has been Mr. Bachchan's face towering persona that has dominated the posters, publicity material and overall promotional campaign. Now that Pink is set to arrive this Friday, we get into a conversation with Mr. Bachchan to know more about the court room dramatic thriller as well as his other upcoming films like Sarkar 3 and Aankhen 2.
A few months back it was Te3n and now it is Pink – Guess some really interesting titles are coming your way. As an actor, you could well be getting intrigued with the cover page of the script itself, isn't it?
No not really! In the 70's I worked in a film called Don. It was an unheard of title for a film, when the prevailing titles cantered around 'Badi behen', 'Choti behen' and more domesticated homely titles. Many at that time thought it to be a corrupted form of a popular product, a 'banyaen' called DAWN underwear or vests!!
A title like Pink gives an impression of a cool, spunky and a teen feminine subject in the offering. However, the film's promo conveys quite clearly that this one is a hard hitting affair. How did you react to the script when it first came your way?
I liked the concept and believed in it. That is all I heard when Shoojit shared the idea with me. I was not concerned and did not know the role, the screenplay, or indeed the script.
It appears that the film would have your character begin with a particular thought process basis one side of the story, and then would switch over once the plot thickens. Can you please elaborate?
This question would best be answered, by the film itself. I would be giving out much too much if I elaborated any further!
It is great to see you in an angry avatar, after being relatively cool and soft for most part of Wazir and Te3n. Guess the audiences, who have been waiting to see your thunderous self, are in for a treat?
We select roles as per the idea narrated to us. I do not think we go out looking for a particular genre; not me at least. Whether it shall be thunderous or a treat shall only be known after the audiences have seen the film.
You also appear to have gone through a change in look for this part. How was it for you to experiment along with your stylists and make 70 look so ultra-stylish and debonair?
There were no stylists or look specialists for me here. I never had them and never deserved them either. The director and I just sit and discuss the look and it fructifies. Ultra-stylish and debonair? Really? Are you sure you have been viewing the right trailer!!??
Moreover, I can't actually remember seeing you in the part of a lawyer before except for Mahaan and Shootout at Lokhandwala. Now that you are going full throttle in Pink, what is that unique 'Bachchan touch' that you are bringing to the part?
I have great dislike for these categorizations like the 'Bachchan touch', that many throw at me. How would I know what these epithets or adjectivated descriptions are? I am just another actor. How I look feel behave, is for the audience to file and categorize. I have no idea of it!
The part is designed through a very arduous and sincere effort by the writer and the director. As an artist involved in the film, I shall follow diligently what is asked of me to do. That's it!
The film has Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who has made a couple of Bengali films before, making his debut as a Hindi film director. How did he inspire good enough confidence in you to take up the part?
The story and the concept worked for me.
The only common connect that you have with the film is Shoojit Sircar after Shoebite and Piku. Considering the fact that his name is attached to Pink, was it natural for the two of you to brainstorm and share some good nuggets for Aniruddha to deliberate upon?
Pink has three young woman coming together – Taapsee Pannu, Andrea Tariang and Kirti Kulhari. Leave aside their experience; even their combined age would be lesser than a veteran in the business like you. An intimidating situation for the trio, isn't it?
Ask them! I didn't move around with a horror mask on my face!!
It is also quite natural for the three of them; it would have been a huge fan moment at least in the earlier days. Whenever you face a situation like this, how do you ease them well enough so that they can concentrate entirely in their characterization, instead of being enamoured/ conscious by your presence?
These are preconceived notions that many have on this issue. We are all professionals, employed to do and deliver what we have been asked to. No one is a fan or an elder. Everyone is equal, and works for the interest of the film. All the artists in the film are very very accomplished and brilliant actors. At the end of the film they are ones that shall be noticed and talked about!! I have great respect for them and their craft. It has been learning and a privilege to have been in their company.
Coming to the core theme of the film, it couldn't have been more topical, what with women security as well as false/turned out court cases/claims being the focal element. Is there an inherent anger as well that you have managed to unleash with this film?
As a lawyer in the film there shall be moments that any lawyer would use to defend or prosecute the person being questioned in the witness box. As per the research done by the production team, I believe we have tried to maintain that degree of reality.
As a matter of fact some viewers (including me) felt that in many ways, the core of Wazir and Te3n was similar. As an actor, were there any moments while shooting these two films that you too felt similarities?
While Wazir still had a reasonably decent run, Te3n just couldn't rise up to the occasion. Was it due to the fact that audiences just couldn't see THE Amitabh Bachchan as a frail old man for most part of the film? Or was there any other reason for them not to be stepping in for the film?
There is no THE Amitabh Bachchan in my life or in any other person's life. It's just Amitabh Bachchan, another name, another actor of the film fraternity. TE3N needed that characterization. It was deliberate. It was what the story demanded. It was done so by the Director because, throughout the film it was meant to give the impression that a weak and helpless person will not be able to solve the issue. The glory comes in the climax on how he actually, despite his weak condition, was able to pull it all off. The last shot of the film, the controlled breakdown of Bhaskor when he walks away from it all; in my opinion was the most brilliant piece of direction in the film. It summed up the entire pain and mercilessness of the endeavour that the protagonist went through.
Guess Ram Gopal Varma is all motivated. He claims that with Sarkar 3, it would be time to bring the 'Angry Man Amitabh Bachchan' back on the big screen. Are we indeed in for a treat there?
I do not subscribe to any of the epithets that are manufactured before my name. I just do the job that is asked of me! "Are we in for a treat there" ..!!!??? Do you really think any interviewee would state "no we're NOT in for a treat in this film ??" (Laughs)
You have announced Aankhen 2 where audience is expecting you in a stylish and debonair avatar. Guess it would be just the right time to see you indulging in quite a few cool on-screen antics with this one?
I hope so.
This is also a film that brings you together with Anees Bazmee for the first time. Being a veteran director in the business, he is excited to have bagged your attention. How do you see him as a director?
He has been a successful director in the kind of films he wishes to make. I am equally keen to work under him.