Abhishek Bachchan’s new film Dasvi sees him in the role of a boisterous politician who decides to appear for class 10th exams after landing in jail. The actor, who has been in showbiz for more than two decades now, has always attempted roles that help him step out of his comfort zone and Gangaram Chaudhary is Dasvi is no different.
In a freewheeling chat with Eastern Eye, Junior Bachchan talks about what convinced him to be a part of Dasvi, his back-to-back association with new filmmakers, new skills that he wants to learn at this point in his life, and much more. The actor also opens up about how fatherhood influences his process of selecting roles.
What your new film Dasvi is all about?
Dasvi is a story of second chances. It is the story of a Chief Minister who gets jailed and how he decides to pass his 10th standard from jail and whilst doing so, realizes that education is the key to happiness, fulfillment, and everything he looked forward changes his perspective in life. And the hilarious episodes that ensue are about how he tries to pass his 10th standard.
What was that specific moment during the narration where you decided you were doing the film?
The first narration was just literally, “Oh we have an idea” of a Chief Minister who gets jailed and does his 10th from jail. And that was it and I said yes.
What was the most challenging part of playing your character in Dasvi?
I think getting the accent right was a huge challenge.
If you could give your character any piece of advice, what would it be?
Gangaram Chaudhary does not need any advice, he gives advice. He is not the kind of person who is going to receive advice.
This is your third consecutive film with a new filmmaker. How is it working with new filmmakers as compared to the established ones?
It is always wonderful, you know. They have a unique energy. They have a new cinematic voice and it is so exciting to work with them. I really, really enjoyed working with them. They are so capable, so confident. They are so clear about what they want to do. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
You have been working for more than two decades now. What are some things that you still want to accomplish?
What not. There is so much more to do. There are so many more stories to tell. I am just about beginning.
How studios were you as a student. Was there any subject that gave you sleepless nights?
I was not very studious. I mean I was an above-average student. But my attention was always more in my sports and my drama. But I loved learning. I still love learning. The keen learner I am.
What were the subjects that gave you sleepless nights?
Is there any new skill that you want to learn at this point in your life?
At this point in life, I would love to play an instrument, any instrument.
Looking back at your career so far, what has been your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is putting a smile on my family’s face.
Your film is headed for a digital premiere, bypassing a theatrical release. Does the medium really matter to you considering the fact that digital has become an integral part of our lives?
The medium will always matter, but the larger point over here is that as long as the audience gets to see the film, that is the most important.
What do you think about the other cast members – Yami Gautam and Nimrat Kaur?
They were brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It was a sheer pleasure and honour to share screen time with them. They are such accomplished fine actors and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them.
Did you learn anything from them?
Yeah, but that’s very personal in that sense, you know. It is very hard to innumerate. It can be something as casual as an attitude towards a particular scene or a particular style of performing. So, you know, it is very difficult to innumerate.
Whether it is a script for a film or a web series, what does it need to have to get you interested in it?
A good story. It has always been that. At the end of the day, if you don’t have a good story, then why are you doing what you are doing?
Does fatherhood influence your process of selecting roles?
For me, currently, it does. Yes, it does. I would not want to do anything that my daughter would get embarrassed.
What’s your message to your fans?
My message has always been the same – thank you. Thank you for the love, thank you for the support, thank you for the patience, and thank you for allowing me to continue to entertain you.