Manmarziyaan is the happiest professional experience of my life: Abhishek Bachchan
The actor opens up about his role and why he feels most uncomfortable doing romantic scenes
Abhishek Bachchan is back on-screen after a gap of two years. "I took a sabbatical. I know I did the right thing and now is the time to get back to work," said the actor to us, just before the promotional Manmarziyaan concert in Bengaluru.
Dressed casually in jeans, a white T-shirt, a leather jacket and sneakers, Abhishek gave out a cool vibe. Joking with his crew and talking to everyone present in the room, the actor seemed to be implying that he still has the affable attitude that he is known for. With this easy-going demeanour Abhishek opened up about his role in Manmarziyaan, his choices and why he feels he is going through the happiest professional experiences of his life.
Tell us about your role in Manmarziyaan. What sort of preparation did you have to go through?
Anurag doesn't like his actors to be prepared when they come on set. He gives a basic ballpark, within which he likes to work and then he likes to discover it on set together with the actor. We decided Robbie would be a Sikh just a fortnight before we started shooting. He did it more for the visual distinction because he wanted both the male characters to be totally different. Vicky is very flamboyant, he wanted Robbie to be a bit more conservative. What we thought would be nice is to give Robbie a pag (turban), although he is a Mona Sardar, he has cut his hair. But out of love and respect for his parents, he wears a pag (turban). That also brings about a bit of characterisation, he thinks of his family.
How does it feel to be back after the break?
I am glad Anurag gave me an opportunity to start work again. I think he and I seem to have been at a similar junction in life where we wanted to challenge ourselves. It is the happiest professional experiences of my life, and the credit for this goes entirely to Anurag.
Manmarziyaan is quite different from an Anurag film...
I think Anurag is in love. I dread to think what he thought during his earlier days of work. He is in a happy space somewhere. Anurag has a cult following, and his fans expected him to make films of a certain kind. I think he has unburdened himself in a far more natural way and it reflects through Manmarziyaan. I think he is in a good space. He is an immensely talented directed who can do a lot more and he has chosen to move out of his comfort zone now.
You have mostly worked in multi-starrer films, even Manmarziyaan has Vicky Kaushal as the other lead. Do you prefer to work with other actors?
I am comfortable working with other actors, I don't have an issue, I am not insecure. But yes, I don't think I would be part of a film where I have nothing to do. If I have a good role, and I have faith in it, then I will push myself to be the best I can be. It doesn't matter if there are 30 other actors in the film.
What kind of roles do you find are the toughest to enact?
Comedy is the most difficult to act. In other genres a lot more power is given to the actor to create a moment. In comedy it is very difficult to create that moment because it is a collaboration with other actors. If the other actor's timing is not the same as yours, it doesn't work.
What about romance?
I am most uncomfortable doing romance. I get very conscious of my co-stars.
What does love mean to you?
The beauty of love is it doesn't need to be defined and you shouldn't define it. Love is what it is, it is what the heart wants, you can't define it.
Talking about love, you seem to love Twitter... You tweet often and even reply to trollers...
I am fine with trolling. If I find something genuinely funny, I laugh at myself. If I think trollers are just doing it for attention, I will give them that attention but I will put them in their place. The whole thing about social media is, if you are on it, you need to be prepared for the bouquets and the brickbats. Once in a while if someone is trying to be rude, about me, it's okay, but if they are rude about my family, I will take notice of it. If you had the freedom of speech to say something nasty about me, I have the same right. So once, in a while I answer back, but it doesn't bother me.
What does Abhishek do for fitness?
I play football and basketball regularly, I find it terribly boring to be in a gym. I do go to a gym when I am travelling when I can't go out and play. But I prefer the outdoors to a gym.
What has your one biggest learning been so far in the industry?
My greatest learning is more personal, I took a two year sabbatical and this is the right decision I took. I have made a comeback and I have the same ability to stay focused and work towards my film. I have learned that eventually, what goes up must come down.