Abhishek Bachchan: “Enjoying films where I am getting to play well-defined characters”

Puja Talwar


Celebrating two decades in the film industry, Abhishek Bachchan is not the one to rest on his laurels. The actor has strived to reinvent himself to the best of his abilities. He made his digital debut with ‘Breathe into the Shadows’ this year and admits that after twenty years in the business, he’s looking at things differently.

“I am definitely looking for characters. It’s not about being in the same head space but I am definitely enjoying the process. The last four projects I did, starting with Manmarziyan and then a Breathe, now Ludo and Big Bull which I am currently shooting, I am enjoying the process of creating and inhabiting that character. I am into this phase now and am sure, after this is done, I would like to move on to something else, and get on to that. I am enjoying films where I am getting to play well-defined characters which are not necessarily black or white; they are in the grey shade and I enjoy that. I like flawed characters.”

Bachchan, currently promoting Anurag Basu’s ‘Ludo’ which will premiere on Netflix this Diwali, said that it was the desire to work with the director which made him say yes to the project even before he heard the narration. Basu, known to not brief or give tight narration to his actors, is a bit of a challenge most actors want to take up to push themselves. He admits, “It’s immensely unnerving. I made my first film with JP Dutta and his style of working is exactly the same. It’s not that they don’t have a script. It’s just that they don’t want to prep an actor too much and they want a natural instinctive performance and that’s why Dada ( Basu ) does what he does. So, I have worked with directors who have had this approach towards filmmaking, so for me it was very normal and it’s also liberating for me because in the last five years everything is on the brink of the mechanical process of filmmaking, which is fine too. But, having come from a school where the director decides, it’s creativity of a different kind”.

An actor who has taken the bouquets and the brickbats gracefully, says, “It may be a critical and tough ecosystem, but my father quotes what my grandfather Harivansh Rai Bachchan had said, “Jeevan hai to a sanghursh hai”.

Known for his humour and wit, Bachchan said the best way to survive Bollywood is not to take yourself too seriously, “In the profession I am in, you need to have that ability to laugh at yourself, give it your best. It would be terrible if you take yourself too seriously because there are many here who are taking you seriously, so it’s important you have a sense of humour about yourself and take things in your stride”.

‘Ludo’, which has been in the making for two years, is a series of four anthologies. Bachchan plays Bittu, a convict who after serving a jail term wants to get back to his daughter, but instead befriends a little girl Minni, played by Innayat Verma, who teaches him a thing or two about life. The actor was all praises for his little co-star whom he called one of the finest he had ever worked, with admitting she even prompted him with his lines.

‘Ludo’ also stars Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Fatima Shaikh, Sanya Malhotra, Aditya Roy Kapur and Asha Negi.