Amitabh Bachchan has had a great year. From sweeping up awards for Piku, which released in 2015, and starring in movies like Wazir, Te3n and Pink, Big B is living proof that age is no bar for author-backed roles. As he turns 74 today, the National award-winning actor takes time out to talk about what keeps him going, the adulation he’s received for Pink, and more.
Edited excerpts from an interview:
Another year in your life has gone by, packed with events. How do you feel on this birthday about your achievements?
There are no achievements. According to me, life is not judged by such yardsticks. To me, achievements are the number of breaths I’ve taken till now.
74, and an inspiration to us all. what’s the one biggest motivational factor that keeps you going as an individual and actor?
I cannot see how you term my being 74 as an inspiration. That’s my age, and today I shall be stepping into my 75th, that’s it. The mercy of the almighty, the love and blessings of my parents, and the affection of my well-wishers — if there’s any left — is enough for me. I don’t understand motivation.
Pink continues to make an impact. How do you look back at the response it has generated?
I look back upon the film with great pride, with conviction in its theme, with the essence of its motive, and the generosity of the audiences, who have patronised it.
It’s rare for complimentary messages coming in to not applaud your performance, but say ‘thank you for making this film’.
Did you expect it to do so well?
Shoojit (Sircar) always felt so. My pessimism did not conjure up such expectations.
Do you think it’s right to ban Pakistani actors from working in Mumbai?
This is not the time to put such questions! The nation is incensed and angry at the recent incidents on our border. We need to express solidarity with our jawans and armed forces, as well as the steps taken by the government.
We haven’t seen you do much work abroad, except a cameo in The Great Gatsby. What keeps you away from working in the West?
There have been no other offers. It’s as simple as that.
Shatrughan Sinha says he wished to do another movie with you after you both starred in Dostana, 40 years ago. Comments?
I’m grateful for his appreciation.
You’ve perpetually hesitated from writing an autobiography. What keeps you from telling us your story?
Because there is no story!
So, if there’s one thing you had to change your life, what would it be.
I would change nothing.