I still get sleepless nights before a shot: Amitabh Bachchan


He is been there, done that, and hence no one would think there’s any role left to challenge megastar Amitabh Bahchan, but he says even today the actor in him gets anxious before a shot the way he did four decades ago.

The 73-year-old star, in fact, enjoys the ‘self-pressure’ and anxiety, and he says he would never want it any other way. “Every film is a test, an examination for me. ‘Pink’ (his next) is no different. It gives me sleepless nights and anxiety before each shot that needs to be taken. That is the way I would like it to be. Nothing comes easy in life. Certainly not a hard hitting film,” Bachchan told PTI in an interview.

The National Award-winner will be seen playing a lawyer in “Pink”, which is about three young women fighting a apathetic society. From having the film revolve around his character, to now getting roles, which lend support to the stories, Bachchan is in a really interesting phase in his career.

Filmmakers like Shoojit Sircar, who directed him “Piku”, an adorable slice-of-the-life drama about a father-daughter relationship, and has produced “Pink” are coming up with meaty, layered characters for the megastar.

Asked whether the transition from being the leading man to a character star has been difficult for him, Bachchan says he does not look at it that way.

“It’s a state of mind that needs to be understood. Each artist has his or her own conception of it. I need to work and I am fortunate to get it, so I work, character role or not.”

Coming to “Pink”, which releases tomorrow, Bachchan says he agreed to the movie within minutes as he found the concept of courtroom thriller very appealing.

“It story was first narrated to me by Shoojit Sircar and it took me minutes to agree. I did not ask what role I was going to play or what the story or screenplay would be,” he says.
“Pink” is his third release of the year after “Wazir” and “Te3n”.

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, best known for his Bengali dramas “Aparajita Tumi”, “Antaheen” and “Anuranan”, is making his Hindi directorial debut with the movie, which besides Big B, stars Taapsee Pannu, Kriti Kulhari, Andrea Tariang and Angad Bedi.

The actor says it was not difficult for him to slip into the role of a lawyer as Sircar and his team did extensive research on the plot of “Pink”.

“Shoojit and his team went through a very rigorous research before formulating the screenplay and dialogue. Real life cases were studied, lawyers and court room protocol was looked into, and we always had a lawyer on set in an advisory capacity.”

With respect to the film’s story, Bachchan says he is hopeful that there will be a time when women will not feel apprehensive about such issues.

“Laws and attitudes are changing. It may not be put across as a ‘difficult time for women’ but there is apprehension in their minds. I hope soon we can address those reasons and live in a world free from some of the most heinous crimes committed towards them.”

Recently, he wrote an open letter for his two granddaughters — Navya Naveli and Aaradhya and while many appreciated it, Bachchan received some flak for allegedy promoting the movie through the letter.

“During the course of our interviews the repeated question being asked was ‘What is the story of ‘Pink’?’ and ‘What does the film mean to you?’. Shoojit suggested that writing a letter to my grandchildren would be a unique way of answering what the essence of the film entailed,” he says.

Bachchan says he thought the letter would share the emotion of the film, without divulging the story.

“‘Promotional activity’ is a debatable terminology. Making a film or indeed cinema itself is an act of promotion. Media, whether print or electronic, is by itself a promotional act, as is this very interview.

“The many positives we received on the release of the letter, gave us strength. There were negatives too and I am open to debate or discuss those issues, for, nobody is perfect – neither the writer or the reader,” he says.