Amitabh Bachchan speaks to Subhash K Jha on the success of Paa.
Auro has become a bigger star than Amitabh Bachchan?
Ha ha. There is genuine love being expressed towards him and several have unabashedly desired to take him home!
Did you expect Auro to have such a far-reaching impact on the Nation’s psyche? What are some of the most memorable reactions you’ve had to Auro’s character?
No, I never ever imagined that Auro would be picked up, caressed and so warmly embraced. It is miraculous. A description of the reactions would be odious at this moment. I do have them all stored and shall be happy to share them with you at an opportune moment.
I never ever imagined that Auro would be picked up, caressed and so warmly embraced
There’s a feeling of dismay when Auro dies at the end of Paa because people want more of this metaphor of the life-force. How do you plan to take Auro forward?
Yes, people want more of Auro, but I think Balki felt his presence was sufficiently enough. How he goes forward is for Balki to decide.
You abhor even a false beard. How did you bear with such elaborate prosthetics day after day?
I bore it with great resolve and fortitude.
So complete is your self-effacement in Auro’s makeup that some people are actually saying that’s not you, but another actor doing Auro. How do you react to that?
I take that as my greatest compliment and a triumph for the team that worked on my make up. Without them and their contribution, Auro would have remained on the drawing board.
The surprises from your repertoire continue to spill out year after year. Auro, you’ll agree is a very hard act to follow. What will you do now to satiate your expectant fans?
I shall continue to work to my best. Satiation is most subjective. I do not work with the consideration of those elements in mind. My fans understand that better than anyone else. Even me.
Paa marks the renewal of AB Corp Ltd’s production output. What are the other films that ABCL plans to produce?
Please do not keep up this undesired exclamation of the ‘renewal’ of the Company. We were always there and functioning. Maybe you did not follow its activities. Or perhaps there was not much desire in you to do so. At the moment, we have not concretised any further project under our banner, but if we were to, we would keep you informed!
I do hope that there are directors there that will dream up exciting work for me
As an actor you seem to have reached an unprecedented zenith of self-expression. What is that one role you would still like to play?
I have no idea what it would be, all I know is that were someone to come up with a thought I would most certainly want to give it a try. I do hope that there are directors there that will dream up exciting work for me. If they do I shall be more than willing to work along with them.