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On your mark, get set, Run...

Abhishek Bachchan, star son of Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, displays his positive approach when he asserts that even his box office duds are hits by virtue of the quality work he put in. MADHUR TANKHA catches up with him on the sets o f "Run" in Noida's Asian Academy of Film and Television.


IF SUCCESS and failure are two sides of the same coin, their definition depends on a person's perspective. In this respect, Abhishek Bachchan comes out a winner every time. Even though almost all his films have bombed at the box office, he believes they have all been hits, because he has given them his best shot. And he is not the type to let setbacks distract him. A fighter to the core, he has a penchant for performing roles that aren't the run-of-the-mill variety.

At the Asian Academy of Films and Television in Noida, just outside Delhi, for the mahurat and shooting of Boney Kapoor's film "Run", Abhishek is candid about the inevitability of comparisons between him and his father.

"As far as genetics is concerned, I have a similar body structure to my father. I am told that I ape him. But he has become a reference point for a drunken or romantic scene. He is the best we have ever had. I don't know one actor who doesn't copy him." When told that some of his dance movements are also like the Big B, he says, "I do exactly what the choreographer tells me during a dance sequence. Some steps which I am told to do maybe similar to what my dad had done in his earlier films."

His cosmopolitan background might make him an unlikely choice for the role of a small town boy, the protagonist of "Run" but Abhishek merely points out, "One has to understand issues and challenges that a boy from a small city undergoes." Incidentally, he has done the role of a boy from Varanasi landing in Mumbai to fulfil his dreams in Goldie Bahl's "Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai".

With World Cup talk currently dominating conversation, the title of the film makes one feel it might have something to do with cricket. Smilingly he says, "In cricket you have to run, and so too in life. It is more symbolic. I hope the film runs. I will give it my best shot. I am playing the role of a boy from Allahabad, who has come to Delhi to study in a college. The character is forthcoming and progressive and encompasses today's youth. The film shows his love story and the hardships he undergoes. The role is challenging as I have grown up in Mumbai."

On J.P. Dutta's film, "LOC", he says,"I am playing the role of Captain Vikram Batra, who fought in the Kargil war." And yes, the hero has a heroine opposite him. "It is Esha Deol," he confirms.

Acting is a meticulous craft, specially in a technical medium like celluloid, and some artistes don't mind analysing their approach to various roles. But Abhishek is not so forthcoming. Asked whether he takes inspiration from real life incidents before doing an emotional scene, he replies with a huge laugh: "I am not going to tell you my trade secrets. This depends from actor to actor. We employ different methods to get the work done." But the man who declares "You must be a fool if you sign a film without reading the script thoroughly" doesn't mind revealing the homework that goes in beforehand.

"I go through dialogues, discussions and rehearsals. If my parents give me advice, I graciously accept it. Before signing a film everything has to matter. A good script is important, but that is not the only requirement.

The director should be able to do the job. Producer and character are also important. So it has to be an amalgamation of all these things," says this "quarter-Sikh" who is game to try the role of a dacoit too, should the opportunity arise.

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