Arnab: Can you pick for our viewers the two
most, as you say the actor has to be tested from these two films
Nishabd and Cheeni Kum, two moments where you
felt you were being tested?
Amitabh: Yeah…I think both of them in their own way were great challenges, I felt Nishabd was more challenging, I felt comfortable doing Cheeni Kum, I felt uncomfortable doing Nishabd, not uncomfortable morally or ethically or according to social standards. Not because of moral or social angle behind the film. It was a tougher role it was pushing me into areas where I had not been before and therefore trying to think more and wonder and that's what being in a film is all about. if I can have a sleepless night before going on to the sets next morning and I have got butterflies in my stomach next morning then it is worth going to work next morning then it is the test of the examination that going to follow. For an artist I believe that's very important, you need to keep evolving you need to keep going into areas which you haven't been before otherwise it becomes very routine and that would be a very sad state of affairs
Arnab: Even more important than box-office
Amitabh: I think somewhere you need to have mental balance. You need the box-office success to continuously be at work but if you are going to be doing work which is routine then as an artist you are going to be dishonest and may be cheating your profession. Ideally of course I would like to be working in really creative films, testing my creativity everyday and seeing that the box office is also sent across outside the pavilion…hitting the numbers are concerned, but that does not always happen, I think you take some of the good with the bad and some of the bad with the good.
Arnab: If you look at it Mr. Bachchan you have
always been criticized. Is it because of your stature? Is it
because of the things that you do?
Amitabh: I actually should be asking this question. It is usually the media that asks. Two things come to my mind when you put a question like that… one is… is there some kind of dissatisfaction you have towards me as a human being as an individual as an artist as a person… a misfit… whatever… the frills that come with being a celebrity or is it that you need to say this because it is going to make good copy because I think this is where the differentiation will come in and you will have to decide it you want the copy or you will be able to say the truth which is which could well be… that ya … we live in a society where there are just very few limited number of people who are celebrities worthy of being talked about and written about and therefore lets keep writing or attacking them because that's making good copy for us.
Arnab: Well I remember a quote of yours that
you gave in an interview in 1999 where you said 'I am never a
confident about my career at any stage' and you went on to say that
'everyday I think it is the end of the world and my career is
over'. Why would Amitabh Bachchan say something like that?
Amitabh: That's because you have attached a certain renowned to the name Amitabh Bachchan. It's just another name, and it's just another individual, and just another human being who is in the profession and in a medium which is perhaps a little larger than life. All the things that we do are bigger than life and larger in perspective and more heroic and a lot more worthy of adulation and therefore some of that or a very large quantity of that comes on to us.
Arnab: Do you think that Amitabh Bachchan who
it is said was rejected by the All India Radio. Does you mind go
back to that Amitabh Bachchan? Can you just tell us a little bit
more from where you started from because everyone knows, everyone
knows your story of coming to Mumbai…
Amitabh: Somebody like
Arnab: What pushes you?
Amitabh: What somebody like you reminds me of the incident then I will think of it. I don't think about it everyday. I think it will be ridiculous to think about it. I think what happened in the past should be treated like that and move on. It would be terrible I think to dwell in what's happened in the past because it's not gonna get you anywhere. It's happened, it's happened you move on. Beet gayee so baat gayee… famous line of my father's verse. But what pushes you is my work. And the fact that I get to play somebody different every morning. I hopefully try to convince other people of that capability of mine and come home hopefully spent the energy that I may have spent putting across this character. Hopefully to have created something new and different. Hopefully to have people some of more discerning people to be able to appreciate that and live again for tomorrow.
Arnab: Did AAG present you this
Amitabh: AAG is… Aag is…
Arnab: Did it give you butterflies in your
Amitabh: Yes everyday and it still does… in the throes of its release. It is a negative role entirely negative role these are some of the fears and dangers that we have if people identify you a great noble, dignified, heroic human being who has done all kinds of nice things in all his movies and now suddenly playing a terrible villain I look upon it as a test. The audience sometimes looks upon it as- How could he do it?