Amitabh Bachchan is himself a part of "Bhoothnath Returns", but the megastar says child talent Parth Bhalerao is the film's hero. He calls the little boy a "commensurate performer", who left even seasoned professionals behind with his performance.
In an interview, Big B spoke about the movie, his experience and his future projects. Excerpts:
Q. Another film "Bhoothnath Returns" (BR) is on release. This time your co-star is a child actor. From the time you sang "Mere paas aao" in "Mr. Natwarlal", you've shared a very special rapport with your young fans.
A. 'Child is the Father of the Man', said Williams Wordsworth, and not without reason! Yes, working with children has been a wonderful experience. They are unpredictable and spontaneous, completely innovative and a joy to be with. Parth, who plays the little boy in "Bhoothnath Returns" is a commensurate performer, a mature artist and the hero of the film. Even seasoned professionals sometimes are unable to convincingly go through the gamut of emotions that this boy has in BR. He is an exceptional young man.
Q. What was Parth Bhalerao like to work with? How different is it to work with a child co-star as compared to working with an adult co-star?
A. As I just said, his performance does not look like that of a child. He performs as an adult, mature and confident and full of self-belief, completely uninhibited, a rare quality.
Q. Your association with B.R. Chopra's banner goes back to 'Zameer'.
A. Ravi Chopra (son of late B.R. Chopra) has been unwell for several years now and bed-ridden. It has been painful to see him in such a condition. Not for me or for the film or for any other, I hope that the film does well. It would give him some respite.
Q. How do you manage to keep the faith alive for so many decades?
A. I think 'manage' is a rather harsh word when we talk of relationships. In creative processes what matters is the value of the content, and of course the confidence that each party has in the ability of the other. Ravi Chopra made his directorial debut with "Zameer" and has remained a friend since then. We may not have worked together for a long time since, but the relationship has been constant. Then when he came with "Baghban" we readily agreed, followed by "Baabul" and "Bhootnath" and now BR.
Q. You're about to start "Piku" with Shoojit Sircar where you share screen space with Irrfan Khan for the first time. He expresses immense excitement at the prospect of working with you?
A. Shoojit and I have worked together very often, first in commercials that he directed, and then in a film that lies unreleased with the producers. There is a mutual respect that we share. We have discussed many subjects for feature films on and off, and now finally he wishes to make "Piku", which we start in a month or so. I look forward to working with him again. Irfan is a talent most rare. I have loved all his work immensely. Even the work he does in commercials. I am equally excited to be in the same frame as him.
Q. Besides "Piku", which are the other film projects that you've agreed to take on?
A. I start R. Balki's film this month and shall go on with that for a couple of months along with Shoojit's "Piku". There is simultaneously work being concluded on the TV serial that I am doing with Endemol, Anurag Kashyap and his team for Sony Entertainment Telvision.
That shall be followed by "Kaun Banega Crorepati" and by the end of the year there will be Vidhu Vinod Chopra's production with Farhan Akhtar, being directed by Bejoy Nambiar. Sudhir Mishra's "Mehrunissa" and a few others are also on, and shall take shape early next year.