South star Dhanush, who stunned all with his Bollywood debut in 'Raanjhanaa', is excited about his second Hindi film 'Shamitabh'. In a heart-to-heart conversation with ClapsnSlaps, Dhanush shares his experience of working with megastar Amitabh Bachchan, collaborating with R. Balki, working with Akshara Haasan and more. Read onâ€¦
How was its working with Amitabh Bachchan?
He takes every film of his seriously. He takes care of each of his shot with lot of care, be it small scene or a long scene. It's evident that he treats every film of his like it's the first and that's something which we should immediately learn from him and follow.
Were you intimidated by Amitabh Bachchan?
Well, when I came on sets of 'Shamitabh' I kept telling myself that don't try anything extra. And I did just that. This is exactly how I would have done it without the presence of the legend. He made sure he doesn't intimidate me; he made sure I am comfortable, he treated me equally and that takes great heart and great mind-set to give that comfort and space. He never asked me to do a scene differently or never intervened in my scenes. In-fact when we had scenes together, he used to ask me â€œIs it okay if I do it this way?â€ I mean, he is one of the most humble people I have come across. So when I went on sets, I was just myself and I had a great guide in Balki and Mr.Sreeram.
There are rumours that you're playing deaf and mute character.
I don't know. Ask Balki.
From the promos, it looks like you're playing a role of an underdog. How true is it?
Balki sent me strict message that I won't be talking anything about the story of the film and I obey it.
In'Raanjhanaa' you played a small town lover-boy and in 'Shamitabh' it looks like you're playing a completely different character. So is it that you're trying to prove your versatility in Bollywood?
See, 'Raanjhanaa's Critical acclaim and Box Office was overwhelming and surprising. So, I really didn't know what to do next. I thought if I don't know what the next film I should do is, I decided I would not pick any random project. Some good scripts came my way, but I felt those were not for me and I might not be the right choices for them. So I really had to wait for the right one. That time I got a call from Balki, whose both films I saw and loved them, so when I hung up the call from him I really prayed to god that the film should remain with me because he is really a great director. I went and met him and few hours later I knew this is it- this is my second film and I pounced on it. So that's how it worked out because it was not a conscious decision that the second character I play in Bollywood has to be in contrast from the earlier one. I just felt this was ideal second film for me here and if it happens to be that the role is in contrast with my first work then it's an added bonus anyways.
What were the challenges of portraying the character you play in 'Shamitabh'?
Every shot was a challenge. The practical difficulties of the character were interesting to play but I have to say it's probably the most challenging role of my career.
You have worked with both sisters Akshara and Shruti Haasan. If you have to choose between them, who will it be and what's the difference between them?
There's no reason to compare both of them. Akshara has her own style and methodology of working. She has just come and it's her first film but it won't look like it's her first because she has done quite a convincing job for her first film. With a guide like Balki, she has managed to do the best for her film and I wish her all the best for her future.
Today a lot of heroes are building six pack abs for their movies. What do you have to say about this trend?
First of all I have a lot of respect for people having six packs. It takes a lot of hard-work to build them. I am sure they can do the film without them, but they are giving in everything for the film and they're trying to be perfect. They want to look perfect hero material and lot of dedication and sacrifice goes behind it. And that is all the more reason why I respect them because it's just not that easy. You know some of them can't even drink water for 2 days for a shot to look perfect and that's just so impressive.
Mr.Bachchan is playing an alcoholic character in 'Shamitabh' and he has played this character many times in past. So which one of them do you think was his best performance?
I am definitely not qualified enough to give comments or rating on Amitji's performance any which ways. During 'Shamitabh' I was just sitting aside and looking at this legend preparing and performing and very few people really get a chance to see Amitji's performance. But all said and done, I am not stupid enough to rate his performance.
Recently mainstream commercial Masala films like 'Tevar', 'Action Jackson' have failed at the box-office. However, would you like to do such films or do you think they are on a downhill?
You should ask this to a great trade buff or a marketing guy. I have done such work but I never predict if the film will work or not. If I could really do that then all my 28 films would've been blockbusters. Sometimes you believe in something and you give your best. Sometimes your pulse for a film is same as that of audience and sometimes it is not. There is no formula to plan a super-duper hit.
Stars usually have ego amongst them. Have you been through any of such emotions?
Ego is something which is not healthy. Thankfully, I have not gone through any ego days and I didn't have to deal with it. But I believe a stupendous talent can have ego because he is allowed to after all the hard work. Someone like me can't really afford to have ego.
There have been actors from South who have worked in Bollywood films but not many have survived here. So what pushes you to do Hindi films?
I can't talk about other stars. I am not choosing scripts based on which language they'll be made in, rather I am choosing script based on their merits only. If tomorrow,a lot of great Telugu films come my way, I'll do them. For me, I am part of Indian film industry and I am doing Indian films! We speak many languages and make films in different languages but still a foreigner will look at these as Indian films only. So, if there is anything that pushes me to do a film, it is a great script.
There have been superstars like Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan who have done Hindi films but didn't find much acceptance here. You're the only who is sustaining the test of the time. Do you take this as a compliment?
You're not asking me tricky questions but you're tagging a lot of tricky names with it. See times have evolved manifolds. It doesn't make sense if you compare successes of early 80s and today. Those days had its own difficulties and plusses and today's date have its own. And it's too soon to say anything because I am just one film old. You'll have to wait and see for what happens in future.
Which is the one upcoming film in Bollywood, apart from 'Shamitabh' of course that you are waiting for? And what are your comments on that film?
Wellâ€¦.if you would have asked me this few days back, I would have said 'PK'. I saw the film and I loved it. Everytime I walk out of a Rajkumar Hirani film, I find life is very beautiful. The problems I have in life look very small when I see his film. He gives me that vibe in every film. I saw that film in Chennai and you should have seen to believe what kind of reception the film got. Audience kept clapping the entire film. They clapped 5-6 seconds later because they were realizing something and then clapping. When the film got over, entire theatre gave standing ovation. I watched it twice and absolutely same response both the times. Just mind-blowing!