Abhishek Bachchan on daughter Aaradhya’s photos being shared online: ‘My wife had told me when our daughter was young…’

Abhishek Bachchan 2.0 is on a roll. The actor’s OTT sojourn, which started with Breathe: Into the Shadows is going strength from strength. Ludo, The Big Bull, Bob Biswas and now Netflix’s Dasvi, the actor is experimenting with genre and characters both. Bachchan, however, is thankful that he’s ’employed’. As he sits down to talk Dasvi, he talks about his films, dad Amitabh Bachchan calling him his ‘uttaradhikari’, daughter Aaradhya and how he and wife Aishwarya Rai are bringing her up to respect her privilege.

You’ve had back on back releases since the pandemic, The Big Bull, Bob Biswas and now Dasvi.

It is wonderful to be employed. A part of being an actor is also to get employment. What people need to understand is that it is not in your hands most of the times whether you get employed or not. So, it is not like we don’t want to work, but somebody has to offer us the films. I feel very lucky and blessed that people are regularly thinking of me to feature in their films, and I am more than happy to be doing the work that I am doing.

Dasvi has come on an OTT platform at a time when people are going back to theatres. Will it be difficult to bring the audiences back to their home screens to watch a film?

There is a very famous dialogue in an English film called Field Of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come”. I think if you make a good film, they will watch it.

You character, Ganga Ram Chaudhary, is a very desi, heartland character. What made you choose the character who is so out there?

I think the story and the circumstances make this a wonderful character. He is larger than life, out there, gregarious… that is so much fun to portray. Before the character, it was the story that Tushar (director Tushar Jalota) wanted to tell. When I read the script I loved the character as well. I just loved some of the traits that he had and I felt it will be a lot of fun to do.

Bollywood stars are inseparable from vanity and glamour. How do you bring that down when you play such real roles? How much of him does he bring to the roles he plays on screen?

Vanity and glamour is off the camera. On camera every actors wants to be that character. I think every actor brings a lot of themselves to their characters, because it is your physicality. Even if you put on weight or lose weight for the film, like I did for Ganga Ram Chaudhary. I had just finished Bob (Biswas) so I had to lose that weight I had gained. Whatever you do for the character, by the end of the day, it is all you.

You play a politician in the film. How political are you in your beliefs?

Being political or apolitical is a personal choice entirely. I think every adult would, at some point in life, discuss politics, that doesn’t mean you have to politicise something. Discussing world affairs is a very common thing.

I am very apolitical. I don’t think I know enough to talk about the subject. By that I mean politics as a subject. I notice everything and I have opinions but I keep them to myself. As actors your voice gets heard so one needs to be very responsible because your voice gets heard by more than one person. Being a public figure you have to be more responsible about that, I think.

Your father, Amitabh Bachchan, called you his “real utradhikaari”. Does that put any pressure on you, socially and professionally?

Of course it does. This was his reaction to Dasvi. I have never talked about the pressures actually because I don’t think about it. If you think about it, you’d waste the energy you should instead be channelizing in doing a good job. At the end of the day, that’s all that counts. I just concentrate on the task at hand. The pressure and all you have to deal with. Nothing you can do is going to change that. So, use that energy to do a better job.

As a parent, how safe do you feel that your daughter Aaradhya’s pictures have been circulating on the internet, some even leaked from her school?

No, they were not leaked from the school or anywhere. You’ll shoot her whenever she steps out of the house. It is what it is. There is no point analysing it. She is the daughter of two actors, the granddaughter of actors as well. Her mother teaches her to be very thankful and humble about the fact that people will want to see her, appreciate that and don’t take it as a privilege. And know that in time to come, as and when and if you become a professional in this sphere, you have to work very hard. My wife had told me about it when, she (Aaradhya) was much younger that it is going to happen any which ways, so we got to accept it.


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