His talent and successes have won him the title of megastar, but Amitabh Bachchan, who features in the wish-list of every director, seems to be in awe of fresh talent and says he's not in the same race as them.
Even at 71, Big B still commands lead roles, a rare incidence in the Hindi film industry. Currently, the National Award-winning thespian awaits the release of Bhoothnath Returns.
In an e-mail interaction with IANS Amitabh talked about Bhoothnath Returns, Bollywood's fresh blood, his health and his thoughts on the epithets that regularly come his way.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. The most difficult thing is to connect with the kids through films. How does it feel to get connected with children through films like Bhootnath Returns?
A. Bhoothnath is a loveable character. I presume kids love to connect with him. We hope they shall do that in Bhoothnath Returns.
Q. You share a great relationship with your grandchildren. What have you learned from them?
A. 'That child is the Father of Man!'
Q. Bhootnath Returns is releasing during the general elections. Do you feel this may affect the film any way?
A. I wish and hope not. The production and the direction would rather hope the opposite happens. The film opens before the election process takes place.
Q. Filmmaking has changed over the years. What do you think of the changes?
A. Yes, when times change, a lot changes with it. Thinking, concept, storytelling, music. Everything. There have been great advances in technology and in the professionalism aspect. That bodes well for the film industry.
Q. Being a superstar, a megastar, how difficult is it for you to lead a normal person's life?
A. I am none of what you mention. These are epithets that are media creations. I am a normal person and lead a normal life.
Q. What keeps you going as an actor?
A. The challenge of another creative experience.
Q. After giving over 45 years of your life to filmdom, do you agree that you're still a leading actor giving competition to the new breed of actors?
A. Most certainly not! I am not a patch in front of them.
Q. You are a star, husband, father, grandfather. Which is the most difficult position to handle and why?
A. These are all the most welcome positions in life, barring the star bit. I am blessed to be a husband, father and grandfather. It does not happen often.
Q. After achieving so much in your life, what is that one fear which is always in your mind?
A. I have not achieved anything. Your gracious words are humbling to me. The fear always is of not being able to live up to the expectations of the audiences.
Q. You have seen several ups and downs in your career. How do you deal with tough situations in life?
A. Ups and downs are the constants in life. No life on earth can avoid them. They cannot be categorised. Life is a daily struggle; you learn to deal with it. There are no definite solutions.
Q. One hears that you have taken a break from your work. How is your health?
A. I have taken no break. And my health is fine.