The big Bollywood release of the week is interesting looking thriller TE3N.
Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan play the lead roles in the story of a grieving elderly man who goes on an eight-year-long quest for justice after his young granddaughter is kidnapped.
The trailer for the twist-laden story has generated a lot of interest and that is perhaps why Amitabh Bachchan was in confident mood when Asjad Nazir caught up with him
for a quick Q&A about TE3N and more.
You are selecting very diverse subjects. How are you choosing your films today?
(Laughs) I am not choosing the subjects, the makers are.
What did you like about TE3N?
I really liked the story and the concept. I am playing a middle-class, Anglo-Bengali character called John Biswas. He has lost his grand daughter in mysterious circumstances and he wishes to find out how, where and when it happened.
Would it be true to say this was a physically demanding film for you?
Each film is physically demanding in its own way. I prepared as much as was required by the director (Ribhu Dasgupta) – we had discussions about the story, the nature, look and attitude of the character and all that.
Your character seems determined but also vulnerable. How did you build him up?
I just followed what Ribhu asked of me.
How does Nawazuddin compare to other actors you have worked with?
Nawaz is brilliant. I think to seek comparisons would be unfair as all those I have worked with have had exceptional qualities.
Do you have a favourite moment or scene in the movie?
(Smiles) Hopefully, all the moments.
I am predicting that there is a huge twist in the film. Is that the case?
Well, what else does one expect to have in a mystery?
How did you feel about riding the scooter in TE3N?
(Laughs) It was not easy at all. A lot of practice had to be put in.
You said you were nervous about singing for TE3N. Why is that?
I was nervous because non-singers will always go through that feeling.
Talking of nerves, do you get nervous before the release of a movie after all these years?
Yes, I do as I would any other [project], and yes, I try to learn from the criticism.
What is your biggest driving force today?
That I breathe.
You told me a while back that your two great unfulfilled ambitions were to learn a musical instrument and a language. Is that still true?
(Smiles) Yes, it is, Asjad.
Everyone looks up to you as an actor. What key advice would you give a young actor?
Do not look up to me. I am not worth it. Look within, and you will be happier and greatly more satisfied.
Will you be doing more Hollywood films?
Nothing has come my way.
You must be happy so many Indian actors are making a mark in the west?
Yes, indeed, I am and my best wishes to them.
What would you change about Indian cinema?
Nothing. If it has existed for over 100 years, there must be something right that it is doing.
Why should we all watch TE3N?
Because that would make us all very happy.
Finally, why do you love cinema?
I love cinema because I do not know any other vocation that would earn me a living and help me to run my kitchen.
TE3N is in cinemas now