An actor enhanced with age

NEW DELHI: For years, fans have thronged the gate of his Mumbai bungalow every Sunday morning. He has the maximum followers on Twitter for an Indian, and has a burgeoning “extended family” of those who read his blog. Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan who, at 73, attracts fans galore wherever he goes, says they are an “essential” part of an actor’s career.

The actor, who has spent over four decades in the film industry, often shares instances of how his fans end up getting either amused or startled if he’s travelling in the same aeroplane as them; or of the exhilaration that they experience upon clicking selfies with him; and more.

But Bachchan, a globally popular face from Bollywood and one who has admirers across the world, brushes it off as just a result of ‘celebrity’ status.

“I think this would happen to any one that has claims to being a celebrity. There is nothing wrong in it or objectionable. Fan interest is essential for an actor. They make us who we are. Giving them attention or getting it from them is justifiable,” Bachchan told IANS in an email interview.

That has been an ongoing phenomenon throughout his career.

It’s interesting how the actor has been experimenting with his driving skills — whether it’s riding a bicycle for Piku, a scooter for Te3n or even a tuk-tuk for leisure. But he says the best drive for him has been his 45-year-long journey in showbiz.

Asked to share his best driving memory, the three-time India’s National Award winner, said,”Driving memories? Forty-five years in the film industry has been a wonderful drive!”

And why not? Best known for his roles in films like Anand, Agneepath, Namak Haraam, Don, Hum, Zanjeer, Black and Paa to name a few, Bachchan has regaled Hindi film buffs as much with his ‘angry young man’ avatar as in romantic avatars; as much as in intensely dramatic roles, as those with a comical streak.

From essaying a 12-year-old boy Auro in Paa; a friendly ghost in Bhoothnath Returns; a failed actor and drunkard in Shamitabh; and a grumpy father in Piku — these are a few of his recent portrayals on the silver screen that have been a window to Bachchan’s talent, which has not faded, but only enhanced with age.

“At my age, this is the best that can come my way and one should be thankful and grateful that there is work available at this time of my career,” said the son of late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan.

The experience of facing the camera, he says, has not changed.

“Every day is an experience for me. Film-making has only one gospel — the sound of ‘Start sound’, ‘camera’, ‘clap’, ‘action’... And you better get it right after hearing those words,” he said.

Adding more versatility to his filmography comes Wazir, which features him as a paralysed chess grandmaster, confined to a wheelchair.

Big B’s rib damaged

MUMBAI: Indian megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who was injured while shooting for upcoming film TE3N in Kolkata, says his “rib is damaged” and it will take time to heal.

“Ok on the rib front...just back from CT Scan, rib is damaged...will take time to heal, all else well,” Bachchan tweeted.

The 73-year-old actor also added there is nothing to worry and that he will be back to Kolkata January 10 to resume his shooting.

“No worries... no issues...just...!! back to Kolkata tomorrow and TE3N shoot... life is continuous!” the Paa actor added.

This is not the first time the actor has hurt himself while shooting. Big B suffered a near-fatal accident while shooting an action scene for Manmohan Desai’s Coolie in 1982.-PTI