Two films releasing on 1 July will see actors at opposite ends of the age spectrum squaring off for box-office supremacy. Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap features Amitabh Bachchan, while Imran Khan plays the lead in Delhi Belly. But if Poori Jagannath, director of Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap, is to be believed, his film will also appeal to the youth since “Amitabh Bachchan is younger than Imran Khan”.
Edited excerpts from a phone interview with the 44-year-old director of Bachchan’s latest film:
Tell us something about the film?
Vijju, Amitabh Bachchan’s character, is an ageing Mumbai gangster who returns to the city after spending 20 years fiddling around in Paris as the owner of a pub. He returns to Mumbai on a particular mission and decides to reinforce his earlier dominance. Vijju is quite an iron man. Yet he is witty and kind. But he takes umbrage whenever anyone calls him a buddah (old man) and takes it upon himself to prove the moniker wrong.
Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap
Will we be seeing an old versus young clash when your film releases along with the much-anticipated ‘Delhi Belly’?
I firmly believe that Amitabh Bachchan is younger than Imran Khan! (laughs) Believe me! He is so energetic on the sets and it’s often difficult to believe that this is an almost 70-year-old guy performing such intricate action stunts.
How did your association with Bachchan materialize?
I have always been a big fan of Mr Bachchan. I still have a big poster of him in my house. Having always wanted to do a film with him, I approached Ram Gopal Varma, whom I had assisted on a few films earlier, to help me out. Ramu asked me to write a new story. Last year, he introduced me to Mr Bachchan, who liked the script that was narrated to him. And just like that, he agreed to act in my film.
You are a veteran of the south Indian film industry. Is this your first venture into Hindi cinema?
I have been working as a director in Telugu film industry for the last 10 years. I have directed 20 films and produced seven others. But this isn’t my first shot at Bollywood. I made a film both in Telugu and Hindi which was released by the name of Shart in the year 2004 and starred Tusshar Kapoor and Amrita Arora. The Telugu version had Amisha Patel in the lead role.
Tell us a bit about the shooting schedule for the film.
I began shooting around three months ago and had the film canned within 44 days. Shot entirely in Mumbai, the film has been jointly produced by Viacom18, AB Corp. and Poori Jagannath Films.
How was the experience of working with Bachchan?
Wonderful! I loved working with him. Despite his towering stature, he has this habit of making you feel so comfortable on the sets. I was so happy to see him so interested in the whole project. He would reach the sets on time and ensure that he practised his dialogues at home. See, once the director announces pack-up, everybody has this habit of running from the sets at the earliest. But Mr Bachchan would stay back and talk with me about the following day’s scenes. He would even read his scenes one more time and carry a copy home. All this, mind you, at his age.
Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap will release across theatres on 1 July.