This Friday, July 6th, we will get to see Abhishek Bachchan as we have never seen him before in the action-comedy Bol Bachchan. Directed by hit maker Rohit Shetty and also starring the fabulous Ajay Devgn, the film, according to the actor was a totally new and challenging experience. Not only because he had to play two completely different characters: one a confident, macho, moustached conman and the other an effeminate sidekick, complete with magenta floral shirt, but also because these two roles required him to do a much broader style of comedy than he has ever done before. Check out what the actor had to say about playing Abbas and Abhishek, what it was like to work with his father on the title song and what he would give himself for his performance in the film!
One can see from the photograph and trailers that there’s two of you in Bol Bachchan. That must have been fun?
If my memory serves right, this is actually my first ever double role. I have done films in which I have had one character donning various avatars, like I did in Bunty Aur Babli (2005), in which I played a con man. But “BB” is the first bona fide double role that I have done. It was a challenge.
Abhishek Bachchan or Abbas Ali – which character was more challenging?
Both Abhishek and Abbas Ali have unique characteristics. They couldn’t overlap in any which way. Keeping the divide was difficult as they are poles apart. They are not identical twins with similar traits and I have literally played two separate characters. If you must know, between Abhishek and Abbas, the most demanding was Rohit Shetty.
Director Rohit Shetty has enjoyed huge commercial success. You have worked with him in his debut film Zameen (2003). What is the difference that you see in him since he directed you for the first time?
I think Rohit has become more confident now. He is as hard working and humble as he was when we were making Zameen. He is one of the most successful directors that we have in our industry and his track record speaks for itself. He is like a machine who works for like 20 hours a day.
Ajay Devgn said that they literally had to groom you into their style of comedy. What was that experience like?
Ajay and Rohit taught me that there is a pitch behind every film and you have to match it. I cannot repeat my characters as it will not suit the script. My style of comedy was very different from what Bol Bachchan required me to do. The two literally made me unlearn what I already knew and adopt a different style of comedy, which was very difficult for me.
How would you define your style of comedy?
My style of comedy is more deadpan and straight-faced whereas the comedy that I did in the film was very demanding, as a lot of energy was required. We all had to keep our energy levels high all the time. It took me a week to adapt to Bol Bachchan. The first week of shooting was really tough for me. I came with a particular mind-set for the film and Rohit wanted something exactly opposite to it. I thought this will be the easiest film to do and it turned out to be the most difficult film of my career. It looks like a fun film and I thought it is a comedy film where I will enjoy, but I was proved completely wrong. I have told Ajay if the film does well he has to send me on a holiday (Laughs).
This is your second song with your dad after ‘Kajra Re’. Are you nervous at all around him?
It is weird, but dad is the one co-star with whom I have done the maximum work. We’ve done Bunty Aur Babli, Sarkar, Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna, Sarkar Raj, Paa, Buddha Hoga Tera Baap, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and now this song in Bol Bachchan. Coming to the bit about my not being nervous around him – actually I was not nervous around him even when we did our first film together. It is every actor’s dream to work with Amitabh Bachchan. And dad’s greatest quality is that he puts you at ease. Being an actor and having the kind of experience he has on his side, he understands that for an actor to perform at his/her optimum, he has to be completely at ease. If there is any tension, an actor just folds up and closes in. He is aware that people get gobsmacked in front of him, so he goes out of his way to make them feel comfortable. He does it for the sake of the film. Also when he is shooting a song, he likes to have a lot of fun.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your performance in Bol Bachchan?
I’d give my final performance a five. I’m very harsh with myself .
From what we have seen in the trailers and song promos Abhishek has gone for it with gusto and great effect and we can’t wait to see him as both Abbas and Abhishek in Bol Bachchan!