No longer a 2-day affair

After distributors baulked at the idea, Amitabh Bachchan, who had a guest appearance in RGV's Department, will now spend two weeks shooting for his role of gangster-turned-politico

Ram Gopal Varma's friendship with the Big B is the industry's best-kept secret. Varma is perhaps the only man in the fraternity, who can get away with murder as far as Bachchan goes. Which is why, we are not surprised to learn that a cameo in Varma's new film Department, which required only two days of shooting, has now turned into a full fledged role that will require Bachchan to dedicate at least two weeks.

"Initially, Ramu conceived Bachchan's role as that of a gangster-turned-politician, based on Arun Gawli, with a phantom presence through the film. Audiences would have seen him in silhouette and would have just heard his voice. But then that was seen as a commercially weak proposition," says a source.

Apparently, the film's distributors baulked at the idea of the Big B as a shadowy presence. That's when Varma invented the zany, rustic, anachronistic gangster which is a bit of a cultural anomaly. "The role demands that Bachchan wear a dhoti and bright socks. With glares and a desi bearing, this will clearly be the most outlandish look he has ever sported," added the source.

Apparently, the actor helped Varma select the 'look', although it didn't quite match the superstar's taste. Varma said the look is inspired from research that proves that most gangsters aspire to better their social standing.

"Amitji is playing a gangster-turned-politician. All gangsters end up rolling in money, but aren't really comfortable with what to do with it. I loved the idea of putting Bachchan's character of an uneducated and unsophisticated man in an environment in which he isn't comfortable.The entire film is based on the conflict between Bachchan, Rana Daggubati and Sanjay Dutt. We have a fortnight of shooting left," said Varma.

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