London: The Bachchans, the first family of Indian cinema, were out in force in London for the world premiere of the Bollywood film Raavan.
Abhishek Bachchan, his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and father Amitabh Bachchan attended the showing late on Wednesday, as did the film’s director Mani Ratnam and Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman.
They were given the red carpet treatment at the British Film Institute Southbank complex next to the River Thames in central London.
The film, which stars Abhishek Bachchan and his wife, an actress and former Miss World, will be released in cinemas worldwide on Friday.
“India is the largest film industry in the world. We sell twice the amount of tickets that Hollywood does,” Abhishek Bachchan told Sky News television.
“They are at a threshold where people have suddenly developed this love for Indian cinema.
“But I don’t think it’s going to be this huge rage in the English-speaking world. There is always a language barrier and that is something that has to be respected.”
The film is a loose adaptation of the Indian epic Ramayana, in which the wife of Lord Rama, Sita, is abducted by a demon. The movie is packed with action scenes, many of which take place in dense jungle.
Asked how she handled being thrown into water repeatedly while filming stunts for the movie, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan told the BBC: “It must have made acting easy, don’t you think? Just throw her in there and suffer, and let’s just film that.”
Her husband added: “She came out looking as good and we were like ‘Come on that’s so unfair´.”
Two versions of the film were made simultaneously -- one in the Hindi language and one in Tamil -- and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan said this made it “even more challenging.”
But she said the experience was enjoyable and “very, very close to my heart.”
“As an actor there’s so much to do and so much to give to the character in the narrative, so I think we actors are always greedy and hungry and looking for work where we are actually able to enjoy the entire process.”
She added that it was also nice for the couple to work with the director, Mani Ratnam, as he was “very, very dear to us.”
“The director is my first director, the person I faced the camera with for the first time ever,” she said.
“And here we were working together on what we believed is a good piece of cinema.”
Amitabh Bachchan came to London after spending time in Paris.
“Abhishek and Aishwarya have flown in just this evening after hectic and tiring procedures being conducted for the promotions on Raavan, and it was such a delight to be all together again,” he said in his blog Tuesday.
“Took them out to dinner, caught up on events and times, laughed.”