RECORD: Amitabh Bachchan with Asjad Nazir
Legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan teamed up with Eastern Eye’s E-Guide editor Asjad Nazir for a record-breaking podcast in the Meet The Filmmaker series at the Apple flagship store in central London in front of a packed audience on Wednesday (January 28).
The actor, who has arguably the biggest presence on social media among all the Indian movie stars, recorded the podcast for his soon-to-be-released movie Shamitabh. The latest film from director R Balki, the comedy-drama co-stars south Indian star Dhanush and marks the debut of Akshara Haasan. It will be released by Eros International on February 6.
The Apple podcast will be made available for free to more than 800 million iTunes users around the world, which makes it the largest-ever for an Indian film. Fans started queuing for two hours before the filming, and the audience included reality TV star Jasmin Walia, chart-topping singer Arjun, rapper Swami Baracus and popular magician Magic Singh.
Bachchan discussed Shamitabh, answered questions from fans and spoke about his journey as an actor. Some of the highlights included finding out how his acting hero Dilip Kumar had influenced him, the importance of keeping Indian history alive, the challenges of learning sign language for Black, his immense admiration for music director Ilaiyaraaja and how his look in Shamitabh was created.
This is only the third Bollywood podcast that Apple has included in the popular Meet The Filmmaker series. The first saw Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra interviewed for Krrish 3 and second had Vishal Bhardwaj and Shahid Kapoor talking about their movie Haider. The Shamitabh podcast with Bachchan is likely to eclipse the previous two in terms of reach and will be the first time an Indian movie star has been interviewed solo.
Nazir, who has hosted all three podcasts, believes this was the best yet. “Mr Bachchan is a global icon and the greatest Indian movie star of all time. Now fans from all corners of the globe will have access to the podcast for free and be able to listen to the superstar talk about Shamitabh, cinema and his glittering career. I am sure he will inspire others in Indian cinema to use podcasts such as these to reach fans all over the world,” he said.
Hollywood stars who have featured in the Meet The Filmmaker series include Matt Damon, Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch.