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    'Sarkar' should take me further: Abhishek

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Thursday, July 07, 2005
    Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has declared that Abhishek Bachchan is a better actor than his father Amitabh Bachchan. Abhishek insists this has to be a joke.

    "This has got to be the biggest joke of the century. You have to see dad in (Varma''s) ''Sarkar'' to know how outstanding he is," Abhishek told IANS in an interview.

    Abhishek, who has had two back-to-back releases - "Bunty Aur Babli" and "Sarkar" - with his father, says he himself is Amitabh''s greatest fan.

    "He''s getting better with every performance. When I saw the first cut of ''Sarkar'', I dropped everything and called him. I was no longer his son. I was this huge fan who needed to connect with the greatest actor of the land," Abhishek says.

    With some recent hits or critically acclaimed performances, Abhishek is more than happy with the way the year is going for him.

    "The highlight (of the year) was getting to work with dad. And the success of ''Bunty Aur Babli'' was icing on the cake. ''Sarkar'' will hopefully take me further," he says.

    Excerpts:

    Everyone is talking about your dancing skills at the IIFA awards.

    I enjoyed that. I've become much less nervous about going on stage. Surprisingly being with Dad (Amitabh Bachchan) didn't make me nervous. In fact when he came on, I became more relaxed. This was my first international performance. I love dancing. And what I enjoy is to go on stage and do what comes naturally.

    You've become very confident about your celluloid dancing.

    The choreographers are being kind. If people like me in the song "Dus bahaane" (from the film "Dus"), it's entirely due to the dance directors Bosco and Ceasar.

    Ram Gopal Varma says you're better than your dad in "Sarkar".

    Ramu saying I'm better than dad has got to be the biggest joke of the century. You have to see dad in "Sarkar" to know how outstanding he is.

    How do you assess your work in "Sarkar"?

    I can't say about myself. But people will be completely surprised by the film. I was. I never knew what to expect from Ramu. I was (pleasantly) shocked by the end product. He blew me away. "Sarkar" just grips you. Ramu is outstanding.

    And you?

    I'm still very critical of my work. Even talking about dad is so redundant beyond a point. A month ago, there was "Bunty Aur Babli" and before that he did "Black". And now he comes up with "Sarkar". Initially the quality of his work was very daunting. But now it's just inspiring to wake up every morning and see what he's doing, and say, "Wow! This is what quality work is." I now use my dad's performances as a benchmark.

    You seem to be his (Amitabh's) biggest fan.

    I am. He's getting better with every performance. When I saw the first cut of "Sarkar", I dropped everything and called him suggesting we meet immediately. I was no longer his son. I was this huge fan who needed to connect with the greatest actor of the land.

    But you have been able to stand up to him.

    No actor can stand up to Mr Amitabh Bachchan.

    The audience has just seen father and son having a ball in "Bunty Aur Babli".

    It's good to give the audience the unexpected. "Sarkar" is a very dense and tense film, diametrically opposite to "Bunty Aur Babli" in mood and plot. I hope they enjoy watching us in this avatar as well. Entertainment isn't only about letting one's hair down. It can also have a darker meaning. "Sarkar" is a case in point. And you know what was the best part of doing "Sarkar"?

    What?

    I got to spend so much time off-camera with my dad. We'd just chill out in my van between shots. I got that rare opportunity to catch up with him.

    "Sarkar" is your second film with Ramu?

    By now he completely understands me as an actor. There's a greater comfort level between us since "Naach".

    How does the year look to you so far?

    Wonderful. The highlight was getting to work with dad. And the success of "Bunty Aur Babli" was icing on the cake. "Sarkar" will hopefully take me further.


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