Amitabh Bachchan: Youth dictates progress of cinema

In his over four decade tryst with the Hindi film industry, Amitabh Bachchan has witnessed a continuous shift in the movie-making business, and he credits most changes to the "different and unusual" demands of the youth.

Big B
Amitabh Bachchan

"It has changed a lot and is changing," the 72-year-old veteran told IANS when asked to define of the taste of audience nowadays and whether they go for stars or scripts.

"I think the younger generation is dictating what it wants. They want to see something different, something which is not usual and that's how cinema is progressing," he added.

The Big B spoke to IANS on a visit here for the promotion of his forthcoming film "Shamitabh", where he is sharing screen with much younger actors like Dhanush and Akshara Hassan. He hopes "Shamitabh" turns out to be a project that adds to the bundle of new ideas, concepts and thoughts prevalent today.

"There is huge progression as far as that thinking is concerned," said the thespian in his distinct baritone.

He's as impressed by his co-stars Dhanush and Akshara as he's with the young audience.

"This younger generation is wonderful to work with. They do their role, they come prepared, and every day is a challenging moment for all of us," he said, adding that they work together as professionals "for the film and for the product".

"I have great admiration for Dhanush and Akshara," said the Big B, and praised the fact that younger film stars today are very competitive, but still appreciative towards each other's work.

"They are very focussed, aggressive, determined and well-equipped. They know exactly what they want to do, how they want to do it, where they want to go and that just makes them very attractive and I am very impressed by them," he said.

Big B, Dhanush and Akshara's "Shamitabh", directed by the acclaimed R. Balakrishnan aka Balki, releases Friday.

And Amitabh has no qualms in admitting that despite delivering innumerable successful films and receiving endless awards for his performances, he still gets goosebumps when his film is set to hit the screens.

Sharing the reason behind it, the National Award-winning thespian and Padma Vibushan awardee said: "Everyday I get goosebumps. I'm very apprehensive about what will people think.

"I think what any creative person thinks, especially if you are putting out your product to people who are spending money to see it, then obviously you want that they appreciate it and get their money's worth.

Obviously there are going to be apprehensions and tensions."

The story of "Shamitabh" takes a look at the journey of different individuals to stardom and how it eventually results in ego-clashes -- something that commoners relate with the glamour business and stars.

Amitabh, who has often stated that he doesn't believe in ego, said that in personal life, he has never entertained the attribute.

"It (ego) means that I have excelled in something or I am better than million other people whom I know. So, no I never entertain that quality. Ego doesn't exist for me," said tha actor, who at his age, is among the busiest Bollywood stars.

From work on the television, to shooting multiple films, ad commercials, work towards social causes and keeping in touch with "extended family" on social media and now also working on the commentary for the India and Pakistan match during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 -- the Big B has his hands quite full.

Ask him about it, and he smiles just before saying that it is his "commitment to put my best foot forward" to whatever he taken up, that keeps him going.

"I have to honour my commitments, so I just go and honour them...I go out and do it with the best of my ability."

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