There’s no doubt that Amitabh Bachchan is a legend. Making his Bollywood debut with the 1969 film Saat Hindustani, he went on to deliver big hits such as Amar Akbar Anthony, Don and Mr. Natwarlal. He turns 75 today, but his charisma, especially his trademark baritone is a favourite with today’s generation too. He’s still acting and enthralling audiences with films, and his versatility has been proved with films such as Paa, in which he played the role of a 12-year old boy suffering from progeria.
While he enjoys a crazy fan following among the common man, even celebrities bow down to his stardom. 5 actors from today’s generation go down memory lane and share what it was like to meet Amitabh Bachchan the first time.
My first meeting with Mr. Bachchan was when I had interviewed him for some film in 2009 or 2010 as an MTV VJ. I was very nervous, because I had always seen him on the 70mm screen. Also, the first promo shoot for the said show happened in Mukesh Mills in Mumbai, and that’s where the song Jumma Chumma (Hum; 1991) was shot. And the place is haunted, by the way! We were shooting at 2am, and I was all geared up, so I went about exploring by myself ki ‘yaar yahaan pe Jumma Chumma shoot hua tha!’
I went completely numb when I met him (Amitabh Bachchan) for the first time (for the TV series Yudh). He came up to me and introduced himself, ‘Hi I am Amitabh Bachchan’ and smiled. I couldn’t believe what happened and started laughing. Who doesn’t know him? I think he does this for fun. The gesture is no doubt a great ice breaker. It made me comfortable too. We then chatted about our characters for a good 45 minutes, along with Anurag Basu, the creative director of the show. I think he was impressed by the way I came prepared with my lines and the scenes.
I always wanted to be an actor. When I was in college, my mom used to say ‘ek din you will work with Mr Bachchan’ and I just thought that’s how mothers are! I believed nothing of this sort will happen, but when it finally did, she was not around, but it’s her wishes for me which made this come true. I worked with him in Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap (2011). The first time you are facing the camera with someone who has been inspiring you all your life is pretty challenging. But he made everything comfortable. In the very first scene, I had to push him out of the police station as I played a cop. I was like, ‘You are asking me to push the person I admire the most!?’ But he was happy and said ‘Just go ahead and push me hard’! That’s what makes him special.
I was completely awestruck when I first met Bachchan sir. It took me a few minutes to actually realise that I am going be working with him in the same film. He is such a nice human being that after a point he made me very comfortable shooting in the film Pink (2016). We had some really serious court room scenes. I had to hide my fan-girl side. If I hadn’t, I would have had a lot of trouble trying to act.
My first-ever meeting with him was in his office in Janak (Bachchan’s bungalow) for the script reading of Pink. To see my childhood hero, and not just mine, but that of billions of people, was the most memorable moment in my life. In his baritone, he said, ‘Angad, welcome on-board’. He also gifted me his shoes, which will be my most treasured gift, ever. Just to be known to the legendary Mr Bachchan is an honour in itself, then to have had shared screen space with him in a film which changed the society [is unimaginable]. Here’s to many, many more birthdays, sir.