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Fan interest is essential for an actor: Amitabh Bachchan

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New Delhi: Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan or Big B, who at 73, attracts fans in profusion wherever he goes, said that they are an “essential” part of an actor’s career. A thrill of fans still gathers outside the gate of his Mumbai bungalow pratiksha every Sunday morning. He has the maximum followers on Twitter for an Indian and has a burgeoning “extended family” of those who read his blog.

The actor, who has spent over four decades in the film industry, often shares instances of how his fans end up getting either amused or startled if he’s travelling in the same airplane as them; or of the exhilaration that they experience upon clicking selfies with him; and more.

But Amitabh, a globally popular face from Bollywood and one who has admirers across the world, brushes it off as just a result of ‘celebrity’ status.

“I think this would happen to anyone that has claims to being a celebrity. There is nothing wrong in it or objectionable. Fan interest is essential for an actor. They make us who we are. Giving them attention or getting it from them is justifiable,” Amitabh said.

That has been an ongoing phenomenon throughout his career.

It’s interesting how the actor has been experimenting with his driving skills — whether it’s riding a bicycle for “Piku”, a scooter for “Te3n” or even a ‘tuk-tuk’ for leisure. But he says the best drive for him has been his 45-year-long journey in showbiz.

Asked to share his best driving memory, the three-time National Award winner, said: “Driving memories? 45 years in the film industry have been a wonderful drive!”

And why not? Best known for his roles in films like “Anand”, “Agneepath”, “Namak Haraam”, “Don”, “Hum”, “Zanjeer”, “Black” and “Paa” to name a few, Amitabh has regaled Hindi film buffs as much with his ‘angry young man’ avatar as in romantic avatars; as much as in intensely dramatic roles, as those with a comical streak.

From essaying a 12-year-old boy Auro in “Paa”; a friendly ghost in “Bhoothnath Returns”; a failed actor and drunkard in “Shamitabh”; and a grumpy father in “Piku” – these are a few of his recent portrayals on the silver screen that have been a window to Amitabh’s talent, which has not faded, but only enhanced with age.

“At my age, this is the best that can come my way and one should be thankful and grateful that there is work available at this time of my career,” said the son of late poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan.

The experience of facing the camera, he says, has not changed.

“Every day is an experience for me. Filmmaking has only one gospel – the sound of ‘Start sound’, ‘camera’, ‘clap’, ‘action’… And you better get it right after hearing those words,” he said.

Adding more versatility to his filmography comes “Wazir”, which features Amitabh as a paralysed chess grandmaster, confined to a wheelchair.

He said the wheelchair made matters “a lot easier”.

“I did not have to worry where to keep my hands… Hehe.. But seriously, though it was great to be able to portray a character I had never done before,” said Amitabh, who said the preparations for the role weren’t too many.

It’s a project that Amitabh readily said “yes” to, especially since it was an idea that filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra — whom he describes as an “astute producer” — had narrated to him around 15 years ago and he had liked it.

Now that the film is ready to hit theatres on Friday, Amitabh describes it as a “smart and modern film, unique in its structure and presentation.”

“And, yes, this one has been made most sensitively as well. It’s intelligent and swift-paced,” added the actor, who has also sung a track titled “Atrangi yaari” along with co-star Farhan Akhtar for the Bejoy Nambiar directorial.

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PM Narendra Modi to Unveil National Film Museum in Mumbai

The complex includes a multipurpose hall for movie previews, social events, conferences or seminars and cultural gatherings, besides incorporating several features to make it green and eco-friendly

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PM to unveil national film museum in Mumbai. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday inaugurate the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) that has come up in a 19th century heritage bungalow and a modern building in the country’s film capital, an official said here on Thursday.

A galaxy of dignitaries like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, A.R. Rahman, David Dhawan, Rohit Shetty, Waheeda Rehman, Jeetendra Kapoor, Asha Parekh, Raveena Tandon, Pankaj Kapoor, Rakesh Mehra and others are expected to attend the opening ceremonies.

The NMIC will provide a glimpse into the Indian film history and help film students, film-makers, fans and critics to learn and understand cinema as a medium of artistic expression in the country and globally.

The museum has on display artefacts like vintage cameras, projectors, editing and recording equipment, costumes, photographs and other materials portraying the journey of Indian cinema since its dawn in 1913 with the first full-length feature film, “Raja Harishchandra” made by the legendary Dhundiraj Govind Phadke, known as Dadasaheb Phalke.

There are also film sets, props, film tapes, sound tracks, trailers, transparencies and a rich collection of film-related literature and memorabilia depicting Indian film history in a chronological order.

Designed by the National Council of Science Museums, it was first envisaged in 1997, and set up in the 19th century heritage bungalow Gulshan Mahal and in another adjacent modern five-storeyed building, spread across 12,000 sq. metres.

India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The museum comprises more than three dozen interactive galleries devoted to cinema and its journey from the silent era to talkies, black-and-white to colour, from the film rolls era to digital technology and a children’s activity gallery.

The NMIC project was undertaken by the state-owned Navratna public sector undertaking, NBCC (India) Ltd, and promises to be a delightful treat for historians, tourists and film buffs from all over the world thronging the country’s film headquarters.

NBCC Chairman-cum-Managing Director Anoop Kumar Mittal said the entire NMIC complex is a potential ‘film hub’ narrating the rich history of Indian cinema in the heart of south Mumbai.

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The unique design features include a unique front elevation designed with inclined structural glazing support by cable nets with spiders and a glass facade to provide a 3D view impression to the structure, said Mittal.

The complex includes a multipurpose hall for movie previews, social events, conferences or seminars and cultural gatherings, besides incorporating several features to make it green and eco-friendly. (IANS)