Abhishek Bachchan might not be at the top of his game currently, but with two big releases lined up — one with Aamir Khan and the next, with Shah Rukh Khan — things seem to be looking up for him. In this candid interview, he talks to us about his career, his competitors and the pressure to stay ahead.
Do you feel your potential as an actor is yet to be explored?
Of course… tell me the name of one actor who has delivered only successful films. Every actor wants to be pushed. But do I have confidence in my capability as an actor? Most definitely. Do I feel people have not done justice to it? No, I think that will be very unfair to say. I am happy with all the films I’ve done. I have not become the victim of an image. I have managed to do different roles and I am proud of that.
So many young new actors are trying their luck in films now. Is the pressure to be on top now higher than ever?
I think every actor has that fear. Our examination is held every Friday. When a film releases you have to do well. No actor can think, ‘Okay, this Friday I don’t feel like delivering a hit film’. We all want to perform extraordinarily.
Every time your film doesn’t do well, does your standing in the industry get affected?
If I give five flops I won’t get a job. You have to perform at the box-office when you are at the top. No one is running a charity here. People are putting huge amounts of money to make movies and they want the films to be successful. They have invested money in you, so it is your duty to make sure the film does well. If it doesn’t, they may give you one more chance, but not after that.
You’ve worked with Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh. Would you be open to teaming up again with the third big Khan, Salman? (He was his wife, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s alleged boyfriend).
I am open to working with anybody. I have done two films with Salman in the past.
Your next two films are multi-starrers. Are you consciously signing these kinds of films?
The script has to appeal to me and that should be the only reason to choose a film. Whether it has one actor or 50 actors is immaterial.
Keeping the publicity aside, how much buzz, do you think has Dhoom:3 actual content generated?
People have liked the promos and the first look… and I think that’s the most important part because that’s when they decide whether they are going to watch the movie or not. I am proud of the final product.
Aamir Khan has a reputation of delivering good films. Did his involvement in this film set this part of the franchise apart?
I think that’s unfair on the rest of the actors. Aamir is just a new actor (to the franchise’s existing cast). And every actor believes in (good) content. Everyone who is part of a film adds value to it. We all have contributed to the film and have definitely added value to the content.
Do you think box-office collections should be the yardstick for a film’s success?
They have always been the yardstick. There is no other yardstick. A successful film is a good film and a non-successful film is a bad film. It’s as simple as that. You have to understand that you are not making the film for yourself; you’re making it for the audience. If I am asking my audiences to buy tickets, I owe them the worth of their money and I owe them entertainment. If they don’t like the film that means they have not been entertained… if they feel they are cheated, then I have not made a good film.
How has working with Shah Rukh Khan on Happy New Year been?
We are having fun… Shah Rukh’s energy is remarkable and his hunger to give his best is fantastic.
There were reports about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan wanting to move to another house. But you rubbished the news on Twitter. As an actor, how do you deal with such speculations?
I am a public figure. My life is always under scrutiny. If there is a question that people feel like asking, they should ask me directly and I will answer it. It does not bother me.'
Like Aamir Khan, do you also have a say on the creative aspects and promotional strategies of the films you star in?
You know everyone makes it seem as if Aamir Khan is a monster. Every actor, not just Aamir, has a say on the creative aspect of the film or how it is being made. Every actor owes that to the film. He owes that to the director and the producer to be creatively
available, be it for the promotions or during the making.