Theatre is a better craft and at the same time its also a difficult craft

Theatre is a better craft and at the same time its also a difficult craft

Rajan Singh14 Sep 2008

Q. How was the experience of your The Unforgettable tour? You were out of the country for a long spell. A. Yes, I know, we were away for almost two months touring different countries with our stage shows for The Unforgettable tour. Its been a marvelous experience and we went to Canada, USA, UK, West Indies and everywhere we got standing ovation and wonderful reactions from people. It was all very fantastic to see the people showering us with their love and affection. I am very happy and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Rajan Singh met Amitabh Bachchan at the Press Meet of The Last Lear and quizzes him on the movie and more

How was the experience of your The Unforgettable tour? You were out of the country for a long spell.

Yes, I know, we were away for almost two months touring different countries with our stage shows for The Unforgettable tour. Its been a marvelous experience and we went to Canada, USA, UK, West Indies and everywhere we got standing ovation and wonderful reactions from people. It was all very fantastic to see the people showering us with their love and affection. I am very happy and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Amitabh Bachchan in Last LearAmitabh Bachchan in Last Lear

You must have gained myriad of experience during the tour, any particular experience that you still cherish?

Obviously when we get on to the stage, the roar of the audience, their scream, their shouts and how they react to, when you perform and how they react to when you say your dialogue, is all very encouraging. And this is obviously the high point of all the shows. It gives us lots of encouragement and lots of energy to continue doing more.

Ok, you have your first English film The Last Lear releasing this week, how was the whole experience working for an English film?

No, the film was designed to be made in English because its a story about Shakespeare and obviously when its Shakespeare you have to make it in English only and no other language; otherwise there would be a problem. It was very challenging because it was the role of a character who has been a stage theatre artist, who is now retired, and now getting an offer to work in a feature film. The film talks about the relationship between theatre actor and stage actor and how they feel towards each other. Theatre is a better craft and at the same time its also a difficult craft. We did not do any theatre in the film; its just that the backdrop in the film is those of theatre. We have brought out the psychological feeling in him. People working in theatre consider about those working in film to be little less and this fact was psychologically played up in this character because he is now getting offer to work in films and this was brought out beautifully in the film by Ritu Da.

Dont you feel its also strange that for the first time in your film career, you are playing an actor!!

I have never realized this or thought about this but when you have told me, yes.

The film is based on a short play penned by Utpal Dutt, tells us a bit about the moments you shared with him?

Utpal Da was a phenomenal human being and a phenomenal artist. I had the good fortune of being associated with him. In his film Bhuvan Shome, I had given the commentary and then off course he was also there in my debut film Saat Hindustani. Thereafter we both did many films together. He was a wonderful human being, very compassionate and an intellectual. He could speak on issues ranging from art, culture, life, dramatics, just everything. You could sit for hours in his company and converse with him. Its sad that we have lost him and now he is no more with us. He was a wonderful human being.

Last Lear press meetLast Lear Press meet
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Whats your take on MNS - Jaya Bachchan face off and why was the premiere of your film cancelled?

There has been certain violent reactions to what Jaya had been reported to have said and people have taken objection to that. I have made a statement and she too has made a statement. It was never meant to hurt anybodys sentiment and it was merely an off the cuff casual remark which was not done by any kind of deliberate attempt to hurt sentiments of people. However if it has hurt anybodys sentiment then we regret that and we have apologized for the same. She has apologized and I am apologizing through this medium and thats it. Now to continue damaging public property where innocents feel the pinch is something, which is not correct. There is something further that needs to be done and we are ready to do that, let there be a formal enquiry and I am very happy to know this that Mr. R. R. Patil, the state home minister, has said that he will investigate the statement made by Jaya and I am absolutely welcoming it. Let judicial people investigate or whatever authorities investigate and come to a conclusion. Let them tell us and say that what we have done is wrong and if we have done anything wrong then we are ready to face any consequence that is legally put on to us. If they want us to go to jail, we are ready to do so. But please investigate it first. To resort to vandalism is incorrect as its the common people, who has to bear the brunt. What has the producer of the film done? What has Preity Zinta or Arjun Rampal done to suffer this kind of ban also what has the theatre owner done to suffer this? I think it wise for the producer of the film to cancel the premier; we do not want innocent people to suffer because of this. We have made our apology and we are sorry. If some sentiments have been hurt, they were not done with any kind of design and we want to put an end to all this. I am happy that there is an investigation happening and whatever punishment is given to us, we will obey it.

Dont you feel sad about the fact that even after having spent all your life in this city, you are being asked to prove your allegiance to the city.

I think that if you are a celebrity or a high profile person then you should expect these things to happen. People will keep questioning you, it is sad but at the same time its also a fact and is true.

Also, for the first time you mentioned about your charity work and your contribution to this state on your blog. What compelled you to do so?

When I started my blog, I made a deliberate attempt to make sure that I was fair and transparent in my writing. I think that if you have read my blog, I have always maintained that fairness and transparency. Whether I am ill or sad or happy, I have mentioned all on my blog. The other thing that I have done is that if there are comments on my blog from readers or if they have a question, I always attempt to answer them. Previously when the blog started, I never had the facility to answer each of the queries and that was only because there used to be more than 600 responses on the blog on an average. But now I have forced the server to make a facility so that I am able to give comment to each response, though it is still tedious to go through it. I have always felt this that if somebody has put in a question, its my duty to give back a response to it. After this incident happened with Jaya there were questions from two three people on the blog. They had questioned me on the whole episode and what my contribution been to the state of Maharashtra. So I gave them an adequate description.

Its also being said that with The Last Lear you have surpassed your performance in Black.

I think it would be terrible for an artist to say that, simply because an artist wants to keep improving with each film. By saying this it would limit me and say that I must stop here and not think about doing anything further. I hope that I have still enough energy and life in me. People have a right to their opinion but I would like to hope and feel that there would be more challenging work in the years to come and enough opportunity for me to work. I hope I can improve on whatever I have done in the past.

Thanks a lot.

Thanks.

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