Producers panicked when Anurag Kashyap told Big B to tone down his ‘Amitabh Bachchan wali acting’: “Yeh show band karwayega.”
Anurag Kashyap recalled what he described as a ‘kamaal ka kissa’ about working with Amitabh Bachchan on the television show Yudh.
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap recalled directing Amitabh Bachchan to tone down his performance while they were working on the television show Yudh, and said that this made the producers nervous about whether the acting icon had taken offence and would drop out of the show in anger. Anurag served as the creative director on Yudh, and went on to work with Amitabh again on his short film Murabba, which was a part of the Bombay Talkies anthology.
In an interview with The Lallantop, he recalled the ‘kamaal ka kissa’ and narrated what went down. He said that he told Amitabh to tone down the Amitabh-ness of his performance, and make it more realistic. “Woh criticism bohot ache se lete hain. Wahan Amitabh Bachchan wali acting ho rahi thi, aur maine unko bola, ‘Sir, yeh nahi chahiye, yeh toh aankh band karke bhi Amitabh Bachchan kaisi acting karta hai dekh sakta hoon. Real karna hai’ (He takes criticism well. I noticed that he was delivering a typical Amitabh Bachchan-style performance, and I wanted something more real, and this is what I told him).”
Anurag said that Amitabh asked for some time, and during that period, the producers became nervous. “Unhone bola thoda samay do, aur woh wahin baith gaye. Aur usme sab sakpaka gaye, producers wagehra, bolte ke yeh toh band karwayega show (He asked for some time, and didn’t leave. And the producers became jittery, they thought I’d get the show shut down).” They confronted Anurag about it, and Anurag said that he was just being forthright, and was willing to apologise to Amitabh if he felt bad.
Some time later, Anurag said, Amitabh let out a loud laugh because he’d remembered a story about the film Abhimaan, and being very impressed with the dialogues in that film. Anurag told him that he’s here to help him, and that Amitabh’s performance ‘flipped’ instantly. “Transformation hogaya unka,” he said.
Anurag said that Amitabh is the ‘rare actor’ who doesn’t sit behind the monitor on set. He could tell if Anurag was pleased with the shot just by looking at his face. “He is a very secure person, in this regard,” Anurag said. He also revealed that his friend and fellow filmmaker Zoya Akhtar actually reprimanded Amitabh for being late to set once, when she was working as an AD on her brother Farhan Akhtar’s war movie Lakshya. She told him that everybody was ready and that he was holding them up. Jokingly, Amitabh dubbed Zoya and Reema Kagti as the ‘Gurkha brigade’ and would deliberately be a couple of minutes late just to annoy them.
Anurag’s latest release, Almost Pyaar with DJ Mohabbat, debuted in theatres last week to mixed reviews. Amitabh was last seen in the film Uunchai.