Abhishek Bachchan talks about Delhi 6, his character and working with the team with Rajan Singh
It was great. I got to spend time with my family, which was just awesome. We were spending time together after almost three - four months. It was wonderful. I also had lots of cake on my birthday.
Any memorable gift you happen to receive on your birthday?
The greatest gift for me was that parents came across to New York where I was. I was busy promoting Delhi 6 while Aishwarya was there for Pink Panther, so that was really nice that they managed to come and meet us. Because the way we work, we are always traveling so we try to snatch whatever opportunity that comes to us. We are the kind of family who prefers being together on occasions so we try and work things out. My dad always writes me beautiful letters for my birthdays, something that he has done since my first birthday. So thats one of the things that I look forward to the most. My dad is a beautiful writer and you will know this once you get to read his blogs but at the same time he also writes emotional letters on my birthdays. I think its always a letter between two friends. My father always said this to me that the day you start wearing my shoes, you will become my friend and you wont be my son anymore. And I started wearing his shoes when I was 11 years old, so since then we have been buddies. I think they are all letters between two friends. He always discusses his observation and talks about his dream for me. They are priceless and I have got all 33 of those letters, in a special box that my father and mother have written to me.
Ok, do you remember any special moment between your dad and yourself?
The greatness about my father is that he makes every day a moment to remember and he makes everyday a special day. He is such a kind of person. He makes everyday worth living and he makes every day equally memorable.
Continuing this further, one memorable moment for your father could also be the release of your film Delhi 6.
I hope so. I have worked very hard for Delhi 6 and my father has been very supportive of my work and me so I hope he feels proud once he sees the film.
When was the last time your father felt proud of you?
The last time he told me that he was proud of me was after the screening of Guru. Yes, it was when he saw Guru. I think the last time he felt proud of me was when I told him that I wanted to marry Aishwarya. He said good choice (laughs).
About Delhi 6, you had also told Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra that only you could have pulled off this film; is it true?
Well, there was a great parallel between Roshan Mehra, the character I play in the film and me. It relates to the lives we have led, Roshan was born and brought up in New York and then comes to India, he is an outsider in Delhi 6. He is observing and experiencing everything for the first time. Its a new culture for him. I could feel this as I have spent some 10 to 11 years abroad during my childhood. When I was growing up I was sent to a boarding school in Switzerland. Then I attended college in America so I knew this that how it felt to grow up in different cultures. I knew what the feeling was so I said that I know this. I have experienced this so I will be able to do this, I can play this guy. This was the first time that it happened to me. Usually what happens is that you get a character thats interesting to you and then you look forward to the process of creating it. This was the first character that I knew bang on.
But you also took time to say yes to Rakeysh Mehra for the film?
Not actually, the story being that when he handed over the script to me I read it instantly and said that I will do this. Unfortunately Rakeysh was very adamant that he wanted to shoot the film in winters because he told me that the charm of Delhi is only during winters. But that winter I was committed to shoot Guru, so I could not shoot that winter. Then he told me that instead he would do something else. Then I told him that he can carry on, I cannot stop him from doing anything. Thankfully, to my good luck Rakeysh came back to me again saying that he has revised the film and felt that only I could do the film and he will wait. Thankfully by that time shooting of Guru was over.
Is it one character, which is very close to you on a personal level?
I dont know about that because every actor brings with themselves many elements to a character. You bring in a lot of elements and also take away many things from it. But I think Roshan is the most normal character I have ever played. Off the few characters that I have played so far in my filmi career, very few have been normal character and real. We like to have heroic characters in cinema; they are always larger than life. Some of the most realistic characters that I have played so far have been Raj from Kuch Naa Kaho, Abhi from Naach, Rishi from KANK, Gurukant Desai from Guru. They are more realistic character and down to earth to which people can relate with. I think Roshan is like that.
How was the whole experience of working with Sonam?
Yeah, she is the tallest girl I have ever worked with. She is really tall and it was a pleasure to work with her. She is so full of energy and is a great pal to work with.
Ok, what was the best part about working in Delhi 6?
I think getting an opportunity to work with such dream team of actors was the best thing that could happen to me. We wait for an entire career to work with such wonderful actors in one film. Delhi 6 has the best collection of actors in the business and its just fantastic. What else could a young actor like me ask for even more? I was dying to work with Rishi Kapoor or Chintu uncle. When Rakeysh told me that he has signed him for the film, I was so happy.
Ok, in Delhi 6 there is a distinct feel of community culture life style, were you ever a part of such culture?
Yes, my childhood was very similar. My parents, my uncle, and my aunt - we all lived together as a joint family. So I have grown up with a sense of community. In my school dorm I lived with 100 students, so I have always grown up surrounded by an environment of a community. In university, you are a part of university community. It may not be a typical mohalla culture but I have always grown up in a community kind of closed family. I knew what it was like but I do envy the people of Delhi 6. Its a fantastic life that they lead, its like one big house that spreads across everywhere.
What are the other things that you envy about the people of Delhi?
A lot. I think they food they have over there is awesome. Its just fantastic. Kareem is the restaurant where Rakeysh and I had breakfast every morning. There is a character in the film that specializes in making sweets. I also used to make jalebis on the sets but people refused to eat the stuff I made.
It seems A. R. Rahman has become your lucky mascot.
Yes, Rahman has been lucky for me actually. Both the films he has done for me have turned out to be milestone in my career. The first film that we did together was Yuva and then it was Guru. I hope the tradition continues and obviously I am proud of him and hope he comes back with an Academy award in his hand. I wish him all the best.
Do Fridays scare you?
Well I dont get jitters but anxiety is always there because you have worked really hard for a film and you want the film to do well. But I am very proud to be a part of this film and am also proud of the fact that I have worked with some good people in Delhi 6.
Do you regret doing any film in your career?
No. Every film I have worked on, be it successful or not so successful films have taught me a lot. I will never trade that experience for anything else and apart from this I also believe in the fact that the fate of a film is just not in your hand. The audience decides the fate of a film. You can never determine whether a film is going to be hit or a flop. Its not a surety. Just make sure that the journey is good.
Lastly, Mumbai or Delhi - which one is a better city?
Well, most definitely there is a distinction between both the cultures, Mumbai is a very cosmopolitan city and the influence of west is apparent on Mumbai. Its also a very cool city and the whole attitude of the city is to live and let others live. Mumbai is a very cool place to live. On the contrary Delhi is a very emotional city, over there everything comes straight from the heart. Its said that Dilli Dilwaalon ki hai and its so true. The people there are emotional and get involved in each others lives so the community sense in that city is very strong. In Delhi not will you know your neighbor but you will also get to know the residents of the whole building. While in Mumbai even after having stayed for many years you may just not be able to know who your next-door neighbor is.
Thanks a lot.