Abhishek Bachchan on Delhi-6
By Subhash K. Jha, February 20, 2009 - 11:18 IST
Abhishek Bachchan talks about his experience of working on Delhi-6 with Subhash K Jha.
You've been roughing it out at far-flung inaccessible places?
Not at all. Wherever I've gone for shooting for Rakeysh Mehra or Mani Ratnam, it's been very comfortable. You have to do what you have to do.
How is Orcha treating you?
It's very cold. But things are going smoothly. Two winters ago, I was shooting in Prague for Dronalast winter ago, I was in Jaipur shooting for Delhi 6.
The promos of Delhi 6 look really different.
We're tried to create something really different. It's a script Rakeysh Mehra and I believe in. Let's hope the audience feels the same way.
Delhi 6 has been on the anvil for years?
Not that many years. Rakeysh first spoke to me about Delhi 6 at the end of 2006. We tried to work out the dates back then. Didn't happen. Then he went into a re-write. After the final draft he came back. And we were on. It's a long journey for both of us. It started 12 years ago.
What do you mean?
That's when Rakeysh and I first wanted to work together. He wanted to be a director. I wanted to be an actor. We decided we'll do our first film together. That film never got made.
Have you seen Delhi 6?
Yes I have. And I'm very proud of it. It's a unique film. Rakeysh has put forward what he wants to say very poetically and beautifully.
You recreated Chandni Chowk in Rajasthan?
Ideally we'd have liked to shoot the whole film in Old Delhi. That wasn't practically possible. So we put up an entire set in Sambar near Jaipur. It really helps to shoot away from Mumbai when you've all the actors together without distractions. And what actors we had on location! It's the most formidable cast I've worked with. It was like a going back to acting school. Just to stand back and see these guys act was just such a formidable experience. Every day I'd go back and ponder over the day, saying wow I was actually on the sets with Waheeda Rehman, Om Puri, Rishi Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, Pavan Malhotra.... They made my work so much easier.
Abhishek Bachchan Waheedaji was everyone's favourite?
Does that surprise you? She played my mother in Om Jai Jagdish. Now she plays my mother in Delhi 6. Either she has been promoted or I've been demoted.
It was a dream come true. Ever since I came into the industry I wanted to do a film with him. Now it's finally happened.
I was surprised by how prepared she was. This is her second film. In my second film I was nowhere as prepared as she was. It's wonderful to see her take on this film and not get lured into doing something more glamorous with songs and dances.
But Delhi 6 looks very glamorous?
Then you need glasses.
You perpetually seem to work for directors who are your friends?
Besides being a wonderful director, he's a very dear friend. I learnt a lot working from him. He's the most patient director I've worked with. Patience is a great virtue in this country.
Rakeysh didn't get impatient with your fidgeting restlessness?
No, he was cool with it. He didn't allow anything to come in the way of his patience. Usually the director is the most hyper person on the sets. Here it was just the opposite. Rakeysh respected the actors' need for space, never hesitated in giving ten minutes extra to actors. We had great fun working. But there was no frivolity while we were working. We had to give the best of ourselves. There was no lackadaisical attitude on the sets.
Delhi 6 is also a homage to Delhi?
No. Not at all. It's a homage to India. It just so happens that Rakeysh chose Delhi because he was familiar with that area.