‘It feels great!’

‘It feels great!’

LATE LAST TUESDAY Amitabh Bachchan announced his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan’s pregnancy (who is three months along) on Twitter and his blog. An excerpt from one of the posts reads: “And so to becoming a Dada (paternal grandfather)! Nana (maternal grandfather) I was, but now Dada!! The doctors just confirmed it this evening and I have shared it immediately with the EF (‘Extended Family’) and on Twitter…”



By Davina Raisinghani (davina@khaleejtimes.com)

Published: Sun 26 Jun 2011, 7:49 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:12 AM

So quite obviously when we get the well-versed actor on the phone, it seems only natural to congratulate him. The man’s a stickler for punctuality; we get through in one try, no requests to call back in 15 to 20 minutes and no harassed middleman apologetically informing us that he is running late by a ‘fashionable’ few hours.

Fortunately, Bachchan is more than willing to talk about the ‘big’ news. “Thank you so much. I’m very excited about being a grandfather again. It feels great! I appreciate the affection that we have received from everyone and I want to use your medium to extend a personal thanks to all those people for their blessings and kind words.”

Strangely enough, the actor has played host to some criticism for making the announcement on the two online forums. Apparently his detractors have labelled him ‘distastefully public’.

“The reason I chose Twitter and my blog to announce Aishwarya’s pregnancy is that I consider the people on these sites to be my ‘Extended Family’. They’ve been with us through thick and thin and always supported us with their love. I’m happy with my decision of telling them first.”

Meanwhile, IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) officials have issued a statement that quotes Aishwarya’s pregnancy as the reason for the Bachchan’s not performing at or attending this year’s event. Rumour had it that the Bachchan clan was still miffed about IIFA dethroning ‘Big B’ as their ambassador after he gave last year’s awards in Sri Lanka a miss.

So does Bachchan plan to attend next year’s proceedings? “Well,” came the slightly evasive reply, “we’ll see how things go. There’s a lot of time for next year’s ceremony.”

BACK IN BUSINESS

On the career front, things are as hectic as always for Bachchan; his latest home production from the A B Corp studios, Bbuddah…Hoga Tera Baap is set to open in cinemas this weekend. The action-comedy features Hema Malini, Sonu Sood and Raveena Tandon alongside Bachchan and is helmed by Telugu director Puri Jagannadh.

“He’s also a good friend of Ram Gopal Verma’s; in fact, Puri assisted him during Rangeela. So when RGV brought Puri to me with this wonderful script, we went ahead with it. We had a few sittings to make slight changes to the character, but the story remains the same as it was when it first came to me.”

The plot follows a retired hit man now settled in Paris, who is called back to India for that ‘one last job’. The lead character of the film has been deemed loud and, as the title suggests, people referring to him as old is one of his pet peeves.

“He’s flamboyant, edgy and arrogant, but not in a way that makes you want to tune him out. Playing such a character did not make me uncomfortable at all. What would have made me uncomfortable is having to use expletives. But we’ve come up with this unique way for him to talk; every time he has to swear in a conversation, he inserts the word ‘beep’.”

Part of the film’s promotional strategy has been to assert that Bachchan’s character in the film, incidentally named Vijay, is reminiscent of his iconic ‘angry young man’ roles in films such as Zanjeer, Deewar and Agneepath.

“Yes, we have hinted at that. Actually, our publicist felt that the attitude of the film was very similar to some of my old films in the 70s and 80s. So we wanted to inform the public of that. But Bbuddah has its own merits and bearing.”

The 68-year-old also comments on working on an action flick at his age, “A physical film at any age is a difficult thing to do. But I’m glad I’m mobile enough to do it. I guess being well exercised makes the job a little easier.

THE COMPETITION

Unfortunately for Bachchan, Bbuddah…Hoga Tera Baap will be facing some tough competition at the box office in the form of Aamir Khan’s upcoming production Delhi Belly. Also set for release this weekend, the comedy has secured quite a bit of interest through its unusual promos and soundtrack.

“It’s not the first time that two films have released at the same time at the box office and it certainly won’t be the last. I hope Delhi Belly does well because both films doing well means the industry prospers, which is always a good thing. I have always wanted all industry products to succeed.”

The actor has also compared the budgets of the two features through his blog. While, Bbuddah…Hoga Tera Baap was shot on a modest 10-crore budget, Delhi Belly falls in the vicinity of 35 crores and therefore, he notes, it should be easy for his film to turn a profit.

Bbuddah has already recovered 75 per cent of its initial investment in satellite sales. So far it’s proved a promising investment and we’re almost already in the positive. We want to continue making films such as these under controlled budgets. We plan to follow the same pattern with AB Corp’s next few films.”

Bachchan has also conceded that Khan and his production company are “much bigger than me and my AB Corp in commercial standing. They would have to do a very large business to recover their money and they will.”

According to the industry’s incessantly churning rumour mill, Bachchan has hurled criticism at Khan and Delhi Belly for the excessive use of foul language – not just through the length of the film but in popular number DK Bose as well. But the actor dismisses this as nothing more than mis-reporting.

“Like I did to you, I’d said to others that I don’t believe in using expletives in my dialogues. It’s just something I am not comfortable with. But that’s all - I have not criticised either Delhi Belly or D.K. Bose for doing so.”


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