As part of their Sarkar Raj promotions, Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan arrived in Delhi on Monday along with director Ram Gopal Varma. Here are some excerpts from their media interaction:
Amitabh, on the parampara of Sarkar Raj
The manner in which the Subash Nagre character and the way the Nagre family moves forward is the parampara of Sarkar.
But this is not a sequel to Sarkar. It is another episode in the Nagre family. There is a power project proposed to be set up in Maharashtra. The Aishwarya character is working hard to make it fruitful and the Nagre family has a big role to play in the project.
Amitabh, on his blog
We wanted to create a website for myself and when I approached Big Adda, they suggested I start a blog. I thought it would be a good idea to pen some of my thoughts in the blog. It is just one way of keeping in touch with my fans. Earlier the only way to connect with fans was in public forums and by the response you got whenever you were in public.
If the applause was loud enough, you knew you had arrived and if it wasn't, you knew you had to work at it. Long ago, when two of my films released one after the other, a couple of youngsters approached my car, peeped in and said, "Please leave this city. You are such a bad actor you don't deserve to do this any more."
So it is only when you interact with people that you know what they expect of you and how they hold you, It is important for us to be in touch with them. Stars need the people as much as the industry needs the stars.
On Shatrughan Sinha's remark that though Amitabh is older than him, he is in fact his [Sinha's] junior in the industry:
Woh Buzurg hain. I have been taught to keep your mouth shut in front of elders. So I will keep quiet.
On the concept of power in Sarkar Raj.
Power has a lot of connotations. It might be political, domestic social and media power. But here in Sarkar, what we are dealing with is palace politics.
There is a central figure and if you don't have access to the central figure you have to depend of subsidiary figures to reach him. So those people who act as a channel between you and the central figure become subsidiary centres of power. The central figure -- in this case, Subash Nagare -- has the power to do something for the people that is not generally possible under constitutional powers. How he goes about doing it is how the story unfolds.
On criticism about his ritualism being a blotch on his father's legacy.
I had written to Rajendra Yadav and I wish the issue ends there. What I do and which goddess I worship is a personal choice. I don't think that needs to be dissected in public sphere.
What irked me most was bringing in my father's name in this issue. He is no more and as a son, it is my duty to defend him. So, I took my dad's side and responded on his behalf.
Further, I do not even know till this date what manglik means. My son married a person whom he wanted to marry and that's where the matter ends. He did not marry an astrological chart.
On working with the family:
On the set everybody was an actor. After the wrap is called, we get back to being family. The best part was that we got a lot of quality time together. We were shooting at the Ramiji Rao film city in Hyderabad and spending six weeks together was something that is unheard of with the kind of work schedule Aishwarya and I have.
On the movie premiering in IFFA:
It is a terrifying feeling. This would be my second film that opens in IFFA in front of the industry people. The first was Yuva and everyone had good things to say about it.
They are your colleagues and co-workers. It is your fraternity that is going to judge you. You don't want to let them down.
On his dad:
I don't have the kind of discipline that dad has. I won't blog because there is no point in starting something and leaving it midway when you know you wont be able to sustain it and do it consistently. I am awed by dad's discipline, the way he allocates time every day and updates his blog.
On the mad rush for six-pack abs:
When everyone gets six-packs, I will be the only one who doesn't have it and it will make me unique. Honestly, I am happy with my one-pack and would like to keep it as long as possible.
On Shenshah, Badshah and Khiladi:
There will be only one Shenshah in the industry and that will be dad. What are the names? I don't know about them...
On her coming together with Big B-Abhishek for the first time since Kajra Re:
I know Kajra Re was very memorable. But in terms of seeing us at the same time, Sarkar Raj is very different. It is a full length feature and it will be equally memorable if not more for the audience.
On working with family:
To begin with one must understand that I am not a girl who incidentally got to know this family. I have know them and we have worked together earlier too.
It is also not that since I have become family, Ramu [Ram Gopal Varma] cast me. In fact the script was given to me before it was public knowledge that Abhishek and I would marry each other. To Ramu's credit, he has shot it exactly the way he had written it. He hasn't made any compromise on the script just because we are husband and wife in real life.
On her role in Sarkar Raj:
I play a person who is involved in setting up a power project in Maharashtra and the Nagare family is involved in it. If you want to know whether we are romatically linked in the movie, that is something I will let you find out when the movie releases.
On rumours that she is pregnant and the couple having bought a place in Dubai to stay away from the media:
I am not pregnant and I am not hiding from anyone. Am I not here in front of you? When we are expecting a baby, you will all come to know of it. We won't keep the news from you. And we haven't bought a house in Dubai. While we are at it, I would like to add that I do not sport a pair of Rs 10 lakh glasses in the film. That is also a rumour.
On her Hollywood projects.
Singularity has been delayed by a year. I don't know if the co-stars may be changed. But till now, Brendon Fraser is there in the movie.
Then there is the movie with Meryl Streep. It is an adaptation of a French film and the script is in the process of being rewritten.