Abishek Bachchan is frank. He doesn't beat about the bush. And that is exactly the way he comes across in part two of his interview with DEVANSH PATEL
ON MEETING Abhishek Bachchan, you notice that he is so calm and composed that almost all his answers are to the point and short. But I got a big shock after chatting to him for what seemed like minutes when I realised the A side of the tape recorder was full.
He has depth, knows what he is talking about and makes super sense. He pours his heart out when he wants, gives you so much respect that you sometimes feel you don't deserve it and yet can slash you apart if you say the 'wrong' thing.
Now I understand why I didn't get home until 2.30am - because his answers bring out the Abhishek Bachchan we have rarely heard about.
Q: Has Twitter helped you to grow as a person and as an actor?
A: (He laughs:) Not as a person. It has helped me a lot as an observer of films and the audience. I think my sense of core values and morals is very deeply ingrained, and has been a major criteria in my years growing up.
As an observer, it teaches you a lot about your work, which is your audience. They are not as fickle or as easily convinced as we would like or hope they are. You come to know about your audiences, about the minutest details they go into. I joined Twitter because I feel that it is a fantastic forum to interact with your audience and to get to know them better.
I also believe that the requirement of an actor has changed today. That whole 'he is an elusive star and an enigma' - I don't think that exists any more.
If you are a mystery and an enigma it means that you are not doing any work and people have forgotten about you. The generation has changed. They aren't going to respect you how you want them to. Today, your audience wants to sit next to you and say: 'What's up buddy?'
Q: With films like Dev D, Kaminey, Ishqiya, Paa and Love Sex Aur Dhoka being made, is it right to say that we are giving birth to a different audience or a different cinema?
A: I've never believed in it. I never understood what parallel cinema was. I just know there is good cinema and bad cinema.
The format of the film might change but it still has to appeal to the audiences. I think it is very foolish to think that the audience does not understand our films. If they are not understanding your film then you are making the wrong film. As a cinema lover, I want to go and be entertained. I want my money's worth. Yes, these are nice films that have been different in the way they are told and there was something about all these films that has appealed to audiences.
Q: Anything that we don't know about Dostana Two that you know?
A: Not much. I think Dostana has suddenly grown into this monster. I remember when Tarun Mansukhani said: "I want to do part two of Dostana." I told him: "Don't do it."
I felt that it wasn't a franchise film for which a sequel could have been made. Some films should just be left alone. But when he told me the concept for the sequel, I said: "This is fantastic."
I was also scared and apprehensive on how Tarun would top the previous film. I mean, all the punches were pulled in part one. So what was remaining in part two was what I was curious about. But Dostana Two is going to be three times funnier than Dostana. He wrote a storyline which is hilarious. We start filming in July in London.
Q: How easy it is to say 'yes' to friends and professionals like Rohan Sippy and Goldie Behl - for you to be a part of their film?
A: Very easy. My problem is that I say 'yes' too easily (he laughs). I could like one scene in the film and agree with them. I wish I had the power to be removed from the film and to view it from outside, so to speak.
It sounds stupid but Rohan Sippy is my childhood friend. We went to school together. If he says that he has got a movie and wants me to do it, I would say 'yes' to it.
That's just the way I am. I won't say that I'm spontaneous but I am emotional about these people. If I do see that there is something wrong which I feel may not work for the film, I then have the liberty to tell them because they are my friends as well as being directors too.
Q: How much has music influenced your life, Abhishek?
A: It really is huge. I remember my mother telling me that to be a good actor you should have a sense of rhythm.
It doesn't mean you have to be a musician or a dancer but there has to be an inherent sense of rhythm as it helps you in your performance because a performance has a tone, a pitch. For me, music is integral. I listen to music as often as I can - when I am going to work, when I'm at work and returning from work.
Q: Anything you would like to tell us about Dum Maro Dum, your next film directed by Rohan Sippy?
A: Yes, we've started shooting and will wrap up by the end of June. It is based in Goa and I play a cop in the film.
The character is very passionate about what he does and it is a very gritty thriller that I have not done in a long time. It was a genre I was looking to get back into.
Q: How like-minded are you and your wife, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and how diverse are the two of you?
A: There are certain topics where we think exactly the same and there are certain topics where we think completely the opposite.
That all adds to the attraction. There is no monotony between me and my wife. Because she is also a friend, and sometimes when we don't agree, I talk things out with her. There have been many nights when we have just sat and talked. She has a different point of view and I like listening to her point of view because she makes a lot of sense.
Q: You're only the third celebrity in the world after Paul Newman and Shah Rukh Khan to endorse the beauty soap, Lux. Why was that?
A: Beauty is only a beauty if there is a beast to compare her to. That's why I think Lux cast me opposite my beautiful wife in the commercial.
When they approached me for the commercial, I said: "I'm not getting into any bathtub and lathering myself."
My first reaction was 'No'. But when they explained to me why I would fit in the advert with my wife I liked it and agreed because it was fun.
Today the commercial is hugely successful. It all paid off. I am very particular about what I endorse. What I liked was that it took me out of my comfort zone for once. It gave me the opportunity to appeal to a different kind of an audience and to make a statement. With Aishwarya, I really didn't want to do commercials which sold home appliances and the like. But the Lux soap advert is something different. I am one of the only three men in the world to become a Lux model and that's pretty cool.
Q: How personally do you take journalists and journalism?
A: I take it very personally because I think that they too take it personally. At the end of the day a journalist takes his job very seriously. I believe that journalism and the media is a conscience of the nation.
They are the opinion makers of the nation and are the people who portray the truth. I do not disrespect a media person because I respect what they do. If I've agreed to sit in front of you, I am open to whatever questions you pose to me.
But to answer them or not is my prerogative.