2016 continues to be a super engaged year for Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. He started off with Wazir, went on to do a cameo in Ki & Ka, is all set to release Te3N and then gear up for the release of PINK before the close of year. This isn’t all as there is shooting of Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkaar 3 which will begin in a few months as well. With less than 10 days remaining for the arrival of Te3N, which also bring Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui with him, the Sujoy Ghosh production has the Big B step into a hitherto unseen avtar.
The very title of the film is very intriguing. So what should audience make out of Te3N? Is it the numeric ‘teen’ (in Hindi) or the English word ‘teen’ (as in teenager) or something altogether different?
Mystery films need to be intriguing and with a bit of suspense. It would obviously be inappropriate to reveal the entire story and detail, but yes Te3N could well be the three characters involved in the story or some other, which could be determined when the film is seen.
The film’s promo gives a solid impression of a suspense thriller in the offering. Should one be expecting a narrative which borders on being an intensely dark affair?
Not necessarily dark but intriguing enough, we hope.
The promo showcases a rundown tape recorder from the 70s era. What’s the kind of significance it brings into the plot?
It’s the setting of the film, the period and the circumstances that existed perhaps then…that is all … apart from the fact that the old man is one that has retired and middle class and lives in the world that he is familiar with.
The film has you playing an elderly middle class man out there for justice. Between films like Aakhri Raasta to Viruddh and very recently Wazir, how do you condition yourself as an actor to bring in a difference to your performance each time around?
It has never been me; it has been the story, the way it is written and the way it is directed that brings out the character. I am a mere puppet.
The film has been produced by Sujoy Ghosh with whom you gave Aladin. It stays on to be under-rated fun entertainer that deserved to do better. Was it a given between the two of you that eventually you would come together again for a film?
Nothing is ever a given in this industry, except perhaps failure – an eventuality with us all. But I like the way Sujoy makes his films, he is a very intelligent mind and I love the way he thinks. Apart of course from the fact that he is delightful company.
Ribhu Dasgupta is directing the film. So was it Sujoy who entrusted him to make the film and brought you into confidence? Or were you always committed to make a film with Ribhu (after Yudh) and Sujoy stepped in later?
A bit of both. Sujoy brought the idea to me, and I had no qualms about Ribhu directing it, having been with him when he directed ‘Yudh’ the TV serial we did together.
In fact Yudh, unfortunate as the scenario was, didn’t find the kind of traction amongst audience and disappeared without making much of a noise or an impression. What was the kind of conversation that you and Ribhu had after the TV series, before it was finalized that you would be making Te3N together?
Yes ‘Yudh’ did not work. But you do not judge a failure on one person. We are all responsible for it. I was comfortable with Ribhu’s work and even before we had completed ‘Yudh’ he had spoken to me about doing a film together and I had agreed. We did discuss and put together many ideas even while we shot the tele serial, and Te3N when it came about we readily went ahead.
For you to step in as an actor in a film, it is a given that the subject matter needs to be powerful enough to gain your nod of approval. What was that special something about Te3Nthat brought you on board?
The film has two other powerful performers. Let’s begin with Vidya Balan first. You played her (naughty) son in Paa  and now in Te3N you are being a demanding lot who is seeking justice via her. How have the two of you bounced off some great performances off each other?
How we bounce off performances? That is an odd question! We are professional actors and try to do justice to what we get, that is all….
On the other hand Nawazuddin Siddiqui has pretty much turned out to be a find of the decade, especially when it comes to someone coming from oblivion and then making this Bollywood space his own. Is audience in for some true entertainment in score with the two of you sharing screen space together?
Nawaz is a very special talent and I am privileged to be working with him.
2016 is turning out to be a fantastic year, what with as many as three films with you as a central protagonist – Wazir, Te3N and Pink. A great offering for you as well as audience, isn’t it?
I sincerely hope so.
In fact it was way back in 2008 when you had as many as three releases to your name –Bhoothnath, Sarkar Raj and God Tussi Great Ho. Guess more and more interesting subjects are coming your way?
Good fortune I guess.
That said, Wazir – albeit interesting on paper and with some good moments in there – didn’t really connect as a whole, hence not quite covering the distance at the Box Office. How do you look at the film in retrospect, and the reason why it didn’t come together well as a whole?
In retrospect I look at every film I have worked in with pride. Box office cannot be judged in advance and neither is it predictable. If it was, we would make every film in the universe a box office success.
Nonetheless, the current season is turning out to be a ‘Bachchan parivaar’ show. Aishwarya has just come up with Sarbjit, Abhishek’s Housefull 3 is next and then it is time for Te3N. A lot of nervous moments in the family?
Why nerves..? When you have four professionals in the same vocation the overlap of our creativity is bound to happen, but nerves are never brought home.
As for PINK, I hear that the film’s shooting is almost through. While I look forward to a good conversation around the film around its release, there is curiosity around what the title. What does PINK signify?
PINK is over and is in post-production for a September release. PINK signifies women empowerment!
There is also news circulating around you reuniting with Ram Gopal Varma for Sarkaar 3. Is that true?