IIFA 2023: Abhishek Bachchan on coping with stage fright

The Bollywood star also discussed how the Bollywood culture is expanding in the country


Husain Rizvi

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Published: Thu 25 May 2023, 7:06 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 May 2023, 12:28 PM

Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan's first-ever stage performance as an actor was at 2005's International Indian Film and Academy Awards in Amsterdam.

Nearly two decades, and countless performances and hosting duties later, Abhishek still has stage fear. But does it get better, we asked, with performing year after year?

"No man," Abhishek tells City Times after the IIFA press conference in Abu Dhabi. "You think you get used to it, but you don't. And I think that's good because if you have stage fright and if you're nervous about going on stage somewhere, it means that it matters. I'd hate to be in a situation where I am careless about it."

"I like the idea that there is nervousness because that nervousness makes it mean something to you. It means you know it makes a difference if you do your best or not."

And things, as perfect as they may seem to be, have a chance of going awry. We asked Abhishek if he, and his co-host for IIFA 2023 awards night Vicky Kaushal, have a back-up plan ready.

"Well, you have to be very self aware," he says. "Because, during a live show, anything can happen. And I think that's something that really scares a host because you're getting thrown curveballs all the time. So you have to be prepared to be able to react on your feet and cover up a situation. So that's something that you hope doesn't happen. But if you are, you have to deal with it."

Safe to say both Abhishek and Vicky are prepared for hosting duties on May 27 at the Etihad Arena in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. The duo is already taking part in rehearsals and is ready to rock the stage. That is one of the things we're looking forward to the most, especially the banter that follows when two popular actors (and friends as they say) share the stage.

Abu Dhabi is home to the Bollywood extravaganza for the second year in a row. That only reflects how massively the Bollywood culture has grown in the Middle East, especially in the UAE.

"I think it is wonderful," says Abhishek. "Our cinema is reaching different corners of the world. I think that's something to be very happy about."

Lastly, Abhishek loves the audience here in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, in general. "I hope everyone enjoys the show," he says. "Thank you for watching our films and I hope we get the opportunity to carry on entertaining you."


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