By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, June 25 (IANS) Lately he has been interacting a lot with Bollywood perfectionist Aamir Khan and even convinced him to join Twitter. Megastar Amitabh Bachchan admits it would be nice to work with the talented actor, but there is no project in the pipeline yet.
"Why would you assume that when two actors meet and have dinner together they would be doing a project together? Aamir was in the same hotel as me. He called, we met and went out for a meal. Just another social evening, nothing more," Big B, who recently dined with Aamir in London, told IANS in an interview.
"Working with Aamir would be a joy, particularly if he were to direct the film," added the megastar who is unperturbed by the negative feedback of his son Abhishek's recently-released "Raavan".
"People pay to go and see a film. If they do not like something, they have the liberty to criticise it... It's filmmaking. Happens the world over. One accepts the public verdict, learns from it and tries again," he said.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: You have started signing films after a long gap. Please describe the projects.
A: Yes, I had not signed a film for a while. There had been an accumulation of five films one after the other, due to the multiplex strike. All of them have released, barring one. I have signed up with Raj Kumar Santoshi. There are projects on the verge of finalisation with Pritish Nandy Communications, Prakash Jha, Puri Jagannath, Abbas Mustan and of course R. Balakrishnan.
Q: In London, you had dinner with Aamir Khan. Any projects with him?
A: Why would you assume that when two actors meet and have dinner together they would be doing a project together? Aamir was in the same hotel as me. He called, we met and went out for a meal. Just another social evening, nothing more. Though working with Aamir would be a joy, particularly if he were to direct the film.
Q: Any projects featuring you and Abhishek?
A: I hope there will be. There are talks in progress; when they are ready we can talk about it.
Q: Does the criticism Abhishek's solo films "Delhi 6" and now "Raavan" strike you as being unjust to him?
A: No not all. People pay to go and see a film. If they do not like something, they have the liberty to criticise it. I cannot understand why you particularly mention 'solo'. None of my successful films 'Deewar', 'Trishul', 'Muqaddar Ka Sikandar', 'Sholay', etc were solo. Abhishek too has had his share of solo successes and non-successes. Some work, some do not. It's filmmaking. Happens the world over. One accepts the public verdict, learns from it and tries again.
Q: I remember your emphatic support of "Guru". Do you feel as strongly about "Raavan"?
A: Yes, but in different ways. "Guru" was straight storytelling and Mani's brilliance in its presentation was very clear to observe. "Raavan" is asking me to study and think and analyse and probe. It's taken a while to comprehend, so it is not immediate. It is driving me to intellectualise something that most viewers are not prepared for when they go to see a film...
Q: Ratnam and Abhishek have worked thrice together and it's about time you got a chance to work with him. Is a film with Mani round the corner?
A: I wish it was true, but there is no such offering. Could you put in a word for me?
Q: I can't help asking...you're tweeting and blogging. Do these means of communication make the press redundant for you?
A: How could you possibly ask this question at the end of this most exhaustive response of mine to the press! No, the media will never be redundant. Yes, I blog and tweet and Vog and soon shall also video blog, but the press shall always have its presence and importance. For me, these mediums are a wonderful opportunity to connect with my fans and well-wishers independently and instantly.
The internet is becoming a vast medium for the future. Most of the requests for interviews have also reduced because the media picks up all the daily news from our blogs and tweets. Look at the vast amount of information that these mediums provide on individuals you would perhaps have never had the opportunity to interact with. It should be allowed to grow and prosper, its use and misuse notwithstanding.
(Subhash K. Jha can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)