Ash and I don't have to play couple on screen: Abhishek

Mumbai, June 7 (IANS) Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, whose much awaited film "Sarkar Raj" was released Friday, does not feel that he should always be paired with his wife Aishwarya Rai in a husband and wife role.

"Just because we're husband and wife doesn't mean we should play the same roles in all our films," Abhishek told IANS in an interview.

Earlier, the duo was seen together in Mani Ratnam's "Guru" in 2007.

In "Sarkar Raj", which also stars Aishwarya and Abhishek's father Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya has not played his wife. "In fact there is no relationship between Aishwarya and me in "Sarkar Raj"," Abhishek said.

The actor, who is used to experimenting with his body language and weight to get into the skin of a character, says that if the audience doesn't become one with the character while watching his film, it is his failing as an actor.

Excerpts:

Q: How different are you and your father in "Sarkar Raj" compared to "Sarkar"?

A: In "Sarkar Raj", Pa (Amitabh Bachchan) would be seen with an added slouch. Pa had to be shown more aged than the first part of the film. A lot of time has passed and we see it in both our performances. My character has more responsibility on his shoulders unlike my earlier character, which was that of a hungry and lean man who was eager to prove himself. Now, my character is a confident and successful man.

Q: I believe you've put on weight for the role?

A: I have. We wanted to show Shankar Nagre as a healthier man as he was in the first part, just as a successful and well-settled man. Even my clothes in "Sarkar Raj" have changed. In "Sarkar", I was more casually dressed but in "Sarkar Raj", I am more formally attired in a suit all through.

Q: Do you know more about sequels than your colleagues?

A: "Sarkar Raj" isn't my first sequel. I have also done "Dhoom" and then "Dhoom 2". But there is a difference. For "Dhoom 2", Aditya Chopra's brief was to take the brand further. He wanted to make the sequel bigger and better. Otherwise, he reasoned, why would they come to see it? "Sarkar Raj", on the other hand, moved the other way. It is not a candy floss entertainer. We had to be true to the original characters. The characters moved in a specific direction from the first part to the second. So there has to be a lot of intensity in the presentation. In "Sarkar Raj" we couldn't afford the liberties that we could in "Dhoom 2".

Q: Are experimenting with your body language and weight a part of your acting grammar?

A: I guess today an actor has to work hard to be noticed and so does the director. In "Sarkar Raj", it is not just my character's weight that has changed. Even the house that the characters live in has become plush.

Q. This time have you taken centre-stage in the drama?

A: "Sarkar" is Subhash Nagre, which is dad's character. But now, in "Sarkar Raj", Shankar is running the family business. But his father is still the head of the family. So we're in it together.

Q. But you and Aishwarya are not a couple in "Sarkar Raj"?

A: Does that matter to the audience? Once the lights go down in the theatre, the audience becomes one with the characters. If they don't, it's my failing as an actor. They will be swept away with the characters. Whether we are married or a couple in the film is of no consequence. I think such cheap publicity gimmicks don't work. And yes we haven't tried to hide the fact that we aren't a couple in the film. No point in lying to the audience. In fact there is no relationship between Aishwarya and me in "Sarkar Raj". And that should be no problem. Just because we're husband and wife doesn't mean we should play the same roles in all our films.

Q: But what about the strong image that the media has created of the two of you as a couple?

A: No, I'm convinced that the audience isn't going to take that factor into consideration. My father and I do play father and son in "Sarkar Raj", but we weren't related in "Bunty Aur Babli" in any way. In fact he was hunting me down throughout the film. And yet it was a resounding success.

Q: How much have you evolved as an actor since "Sarkar"?

A: I would like to think that my character has evolved since the first part and that I have evolved accordingly. But like Jai Dixit could change his looks and clothes from "Dhoom" to "Dhoom 2", I don't think it would look believable to see my character in a T-shirt, jeans and in a clean-shaven look in "Sarkar Raj". As for myself, without sounding arrogant I would like to say that I do think I have evolved as an actor. I am still learning and I will be learning till the day I'm an actor. Look at my father at 65. He continues to evolve. In comparison to him, I have a long way to go. I would like to believe that I'm evolving.

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