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Abhishek Bachchan obviously needs to introduction. His film Guru where he plays the title role is all set to hit the screens this Friday and IndiaFM caught up with him in an exclusive interview where he spoke about the film, on working with Mani Ratnam, his co-stars and a whole lot more.
This is your second movie with Mr. Mani Ratnam, how was your experience with him?
Working with Mani is always a great experience. According to me, he is possibly the most gifted and talented director that we have in India today. He is a great ambassador to Indian cinema, and just to get the opportunity to stand in front of his camera is a matter of great pride and honour for any actor. I know a lot of actors who strive to work with him. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to do two films with him already.
What is Guru all about?
Guru is about Guru. I think the poster has brilliant lines. It says a villager, visionary, winner. It is the life story of Gurukant Desai. It is a rag to riches story of a common man from a small village who has a large dream- a huge dream and how he sets about achieving it. It is a very interesting film. After a long time, we are going to get to see a film which is specifically about just one character and its growth.
You are playing Gurukant Desai. Tell us something about this role, and how did you get into this character?
I guess Gurukant Desai is from a small village in Gujarat, how he leads his small village in the chase of his dreams. He finishes his studies and comes to Mumbai. Gurukant's greatest ability is that he never says No. He never gives up and he will do whatever it takes to achieve his goal. Once he has decided he wants to achieve something he will do whatever it is to achieve it.
As the film's promotion line says, "the most controversial man of the year", tell us something about that. What is the controversy in the film?
There is no controversy in the film; it is just that Gurukant Desai, through the screenplay of the film ends up being very controversial because when you start achieving what you have set out to achieve. He ruffles a few feathers; people who have already established and who rule the country are not really happy with this common man who has come out of nowhere and who is achieving stuff that even they have not managed to achieve. Especially when he achieves it in a span of five years which they have taken generations to achieve.
So obviously, when there is a new entrant into a field who starts doing very well, the people at the top do not like it. So, hence, there is a huge campaign to try and bring him down. The authorities do not believe how somebody can have such a meteoric rise and they do not want this man to succeed. Hence he is always dragged into the controversy which is a bit sad because in life when something does have a meteoric rise, we do not tend to believe it. Gurukant Desai is one such a character who does achieve and does achieve very fast through his sheer hard work and brilliance. Hence he turns out to become a very controversial figure, so the tagline, "the most controversial man of the year."
What is the one thing you like about this character?
I like the fact that despite achieving whatever he achieves near the end of his life where he has conquered all his dreams; he still has never lost that small town boy in him; you can still see that villager within him. In other words, he stays very routed to where he is from. He remembers where he is from and I like that about him. I think it is very important, no matter who you are, where you come from or what you have achieved to remain routed.
I like his brilliance. I think he is a brilliant mind, the schemes he devises when he faces to the problem, how he decides to tackle that problem, he does it all on his feet and he is very fast and he is a brilliant mind, I like his mind.
So is that the reason you took up the film?
I think that first and foremost, when a director like Mani Ratnam offers you a film; I do not think any actor has to really bother about what the role is going to be. It just so happened that when Mani came to me with the film I knew that it is going to be a great character like this. Guru is a film, which actors do not get everyday. I am pretty convinced that I will never get a movie or a character like Guru ever again. It is once in a lifetime opportunity and there was no way I was going to let that up.
We spoke to Mani Ratnam and he said that you have put on the weight for your character, is it true?
What does it like? Yes, I put on eleven kilos for the film.
Do you like experimenting with your characters?
I think experimentation derives from what you want to do. We do not experiment. We are actors and we enact a role. Gurukant Desai is a different role than what Jay Dixit was in Dhoom. They look different, they are different people. So you will have to do whatever it takes to make that character as believable as possible. I think if I would have put a white wig and white moustache and put on padding all over myself, it would take away from the believability factor of Guru.
Yes and it looks very artificial.
Yes, we are actors. We are meant to mould ourselves to what the character demands and Guru demanded all this, so we did it.
A. R Rehman's has done its music. Tell us something about it?
A. R Rehman is a genius. He is a maestro and I think he is an exceptional talent and he has given some wonderful music for Guru.
Which is your favourite track?
My favourite track would probably be Tere Bina.
How was it working with Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan and Mithunda?
It was wonderful. Look at the star cast that Mani had put together. Any actor is going to be excited to work with Mithunda, Aishwarya, Vidya and with Madhavan. They all are immensely talented actors and as actors and actresses. They have achieved so much. So it is obviously a dream to get a star cast like this to work with.
What is the USP according to you of Guru? What do you think why should people come and watch Guru?
Because they want to. It is wrong to say what the USP of the film is because there in itself you defeat the purpose of the film. I think that a film has to entertain you. That is the most important thing and you cannot have one unique selling point of a film. Why should people come and watch the film? They should come and watch Guru if they want to watch the film. It is as simple as that. They should not come and watch the film, because it has some fantastic songs. It is a nice star cast and the costumes are good. They should come watch it because they want to watch it.
What is the first thing comes to your mind, when I say Guru?
The movie. Nowadays whenever anybody says Guru I think of the film.
Tell us something about your other film.
I am currently shooting for a movie called Drona, which is directed by my friend Goldie Behl but the next release after Guru, would probably be Jhoom Barabar Jhoom which is directed by Shaad Ali. After I finish Drona, I will start work on Sarkar and take things forward from there.