Amitabh Bachchan

Indian film actor
Amitabh Bachhan
I believe that cinema picks up ideas from society and not the other way round.

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan (Hindi: अमिताभ बच्चन, IPA: [/əmitaːbʱ bətʃːən/]; born October 11, 1942) is an Indian film actor in Hindi cinema.

He first gained popularity in the early 1970s when he established himself as the "angry young man" of Hindi cinema, and has since become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema, appearing in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades. Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards and twelve Filmfare Awards. He holds the record for most number of Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter, and was an elected member of the Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987. He has also acted in Hollywood film, The Great Gatsby as a non-Indian Jewish character, Meyer Wolfsheim. He also anchors a very popular television show titled Kaun Banega Creorepathi (a Hindi version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"). Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2001 for his contributions towards the arts.

Contents

QuotesEdit

  • I strongly believe that cinema has the power to influence people and bring all of us together for a greater purpose – of peace, brotherhood and solidarity. By showcasing films from around the world and creating a platform for healthy dialogue, DIFF has taken cinema to its next level of social relevance. Personally, I am humbled by this recognition from Dubai, a city I consider as my second home.
  • When they were growing up, I was working from morning to night. When I left, they were asleep, when I came back, they were asleep," once he told a magazine. Even when they were young, he couldn't visit their school as Shweta and Abhishek asked him not to visit them to avoid too much commotion
    • His biggest regret is not to share the "growing up moments" of his children quoted in "Bachchan Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at DIFF".
  • If Slumdog Millionaire projects India as a Third World, dirty-underbelly, developing nation and causes pain and disgust among nationalists and patriots, let it be known that a murky underbelly exists and thrives even in the most developed nations. It's just that the Slumdog Millionaire idea authored by an Indian and conceived and cinematically put together by a Westerner, gets creative Golden Globe recognition. The other would perhaps not.
    • In his blog, reported in Andrew Buncombe, "Slumdogs who seek success", The Independent (January 16, 2009), News, p. 30.
  • We had forgotten the art of using silence to convey emotions in our films and that's what you seem to have mastered. You've used silence to great advantage in the film. It's brilliant.
    • To Farhan Akhtar, after a private screening of the film, Lakshya, reported in Cine Blitz‎ (2004).
  • He never gave us a script and we never asked - we were safe in his hands.
  • I believe that cinema picks up ideas from society and not the other way round.
    • Reported in Cinema in India‎ (1991), p. 37.
  • When your back is against the wall, there's only one way to go and that's forward.
    • On Rajiv Gandhi, reported in Steven R. Weisman, "India a Year Later: Gandhi Leaving His Mark", The New York Times (October 30, 1985), A-1.

Quotable quotes by Amitabh Bachchan.Edit

. Quotable quotes by Amitabh Bachchan. India Today. Retrieved on 15 December 2013.

  • Frankly I've never really subscribed to these adjectives tagging me as an 'icon', 'superstar', etc. I've always thought of myself as an actor doing his job to the best of his ability.


  • You want to talk about the fading of an icon? You never said I was an icon in the first place. But you want to talk about it in a derogatory fashion. You say the superstar has fallen. But you've never called me a superstar ever. It's only that you use these words when you want to say something derogatory.


  • I was very shy as a child. Very shy. Lot of problems with very simple things. Like entering a restaurant all by myself.


  • I hate to talk about the accident. It's like really pushing me into areas that I've put away. It's going to be difficult. See, I never knew that I was going to die. I knew that there was something very wrong with me but I never knew that I was going to die. And the entire period when I was seemingly gone, when I was struggling for life, I was in a state of coma. I was unconscious. That was the difficult period for my family. It was easy for me because I was oblivious. The difficult period for me started after I got okay. When you're told what you've been through. And it's not enough that you've been told. The worst phase is when you discover that what they have told you is, in fact, true. Your entire body is finished from within. You're in full bloom, you're healthy and you're full of life and gusto. And to suddenly find that the body is not there. You can't move your fingers. Your legs can't support you. And your whole system has gone through a battering. But you know that it was there. It was just there the other day. How come it's not working? It was a very frightening time.


  • He knows me, he knows the doctors here, and we are the best hospital in this part of the world. It's true, I am serious.


  • We are not the people we are in films. I am not an alcoholic. But I portray that. I can't bash up 20 guys at a time in real life. It's just that I do it well on-screen.


  • I never expected to play lead roles! Primarily, because I was not the conventional good looking hero, and in fact, I used to feel I’ll never look as good as Rajesh Khanna. Why the hell am I going into it? Now that we are being frank and talking our hearts out, I’d like to say that I still remember a photograph of Kaka's which came in Filmfare and I thought ‘yaar, ye aadmi kya khaata hain? Iske gaal itne lal kaise hain?’


  • I am very happy with what I see. The grey, the not-so grey and the camouflaged That's life. One has to live with it.


  • Haven't seen any of the movies in which Rekha aped me. I think it is highly improbable that a lady should ape me. If it is so, then all I can say is that i am terribly flattered.


  • A lot of people wouldn't believe me now if I told them I used to down pints of beer with friends, loitering on the banks of the Nainital Lake while at Sherwood College. Something I would be embarrassed to admit now, but that still was youthful joie de vivre. Later in the film industry it became a kind of social compulsion to be seen at parties holding a wine glass in one hand and a cigarette in another, looking all classy and affluent. There was a certain artificiality about it I couldn't fathom. Maybe that's what gradually led me to become a teetotaler.


  • I absolutely don't nurture any grudge against those calling me overrated. Well, they are merely conforming what I've been asserting for years now. Yes, I have been exalted to a pedestal much higher than I merit, which has both embarrassed and elated me.


  • Basically I am just another actor who loves his work and this thing about age only exists in the media.


  • a has-been superstar.


  • When I was exposed to brighter lights, I began noticing prettier things, faster cars, motorbikes...girls! Then just like any young man I wanted it all!


  • Truly I don't know what a 60-year chap is supposed to feel. I like doing some of the things that my son does. I love the kind of clothes the young wear. I love going to their hangouts. I love to talk like them. I'd love to be included in their evenings out, I don't see myself in a rocking chair reading a book.


  • My greatest regret has been that I could not share the joy of growing up with my children. When they were growing up, I was working from morning to night. When I left, they were asleep, when I came back, they were asleep. In many ways, I envy Jaya who spends more time with them. Of course, these days, thanks to the condition put by the various associations, there is just one shift and I do get back home early. But now the kids are at the boarding. And I miss them. In certain respects, we have probably not been able to give them a very normal upbringing. Specially after I entered politics and the security problem came up. Going to school with six-seven guards holding machine guns is not really the wisest of ideas for a growing child. And I'm sure it must have affected them adversely. Not being able to go to friends' houses without checking out details, without informing the security. Not being able to invite their friends home for various security reasons. Metal detectors, checking out proper-ties and their friends. Even my friends and people who visited me were checked out. They were embarrassed but it couldn't be helped.


  • I may be number 1-10 at the box office but that still does not mean that I am irreplaceable.


  • In a country which lacks so many things, people want to look up to an idol. They want to feel this is their hero. In exactly the same way, as they would want a whipping horse, to put all the blame.


  • I've always said that actors should be treated very carefully. We need a lot of understanding. There are millions of things that could destroy us. We are broken up people inside. That's why you find a lot of us landing up with the psychiatrists.


  • I know that there are a lot of areas inside me which I need to analyse. But I need time. I can't be rushed into it. Even if it keeps lingering in the back of my mind always. I keep joking, fooling around on the sets, trying to push everything away for a later day scrutiny. I don't even want to acknowledge those dark corners of my insides as yet. And if at all I do it, I'll do it for no one else but myself. Not my wife, not my parents. Maybe my children - maybe just my son. Nobody else. Of course, there is also another way of looking at things. Supposing I did not have this pressure of talking to the media, maybe people like you and others would have always thought of me as somebody else. I don't know what opinion of me you have now. I don't know what you felt before you met me, how you felt while you were interviewing me and how you feel today and how you'll feel tomorrow. But I'm sure there will be a difference. Because forming an opinion without meeting a person and judging your instincts and impressions after meeting him are two different things. Most people I've met of late have gone back thinking exactly the contrary of what they thought earlier. I've tried to be as honest as I can with you. I can tell you that I've never spoken like this to anyone before. I wonder if you're convinced. You don't look it. Maybe I will convince you someday.


  • I would say people will want to watch the younger lot rather than me. We need to give them more time. It will be a little harsh to put them aside. They are working in a much more competitive climate. They are working with many more disadvantages than perhaps we were. The audiences too, are not as tolerant as they were in my time. I think the audience gave me a lot of breathing space. I made mistakes and kept trying to rectify them in film after film. It takes a while to do away with the soiled laundry.


  • You know, I think in the world of creativity there will always be risk. Whatever you do. Because creativity is something that is very personal, very individual. I may think that I am doing something great, you may not think that or the public outside may not think that, and you have an opinion.


  • It's nothing really. It's the unique presentation that makes me look good in the action scenes. Why did I dare do them? That's a funny question! Why do I act? Why do I breathe!


  • It's absurdly foolish to hail me as a method actor, no one can be anymore mistaken. Method is a technique practicable only by the initiated few across the world. However, some amount of method is certainly inherent in every actor who applies it in their performances to some extent, myself included, so at the other end of the spectrum, I wouldn't believe an actor who says he doesn't follow any method either just as I wouldn't any other actor loosely claiming to be a method actor.


  • There's no particular complex that I have about acting in a Hollywood movie if offered. Some would say there's a lot here in our industry for us to go there and suck up to them. I don't consider it sucking up. If I am offered a blink and you miss appearance in a Hollywood film starring Brando, De Niro, Pacino or Nicholson, where I just have to go and hand a suitcase to them, I would simply do it out of sheer veneration for these great and renowned artists. And yes, despite all my success and fame in our industry and nation. There's no vanity I harbour in my mind in order to do that.


  • I think it’s more to do with economics now. Earlier, one used to wait in queues for hours in the heat, trying to buy a ticket, to go and see Shammiji in Junglee or Dilip saheb in Ganga Jamuna. Whereas now, thanks to the video boom, one gets the stars in one’s bedroom at a snap of one’s fingers. There is no mystique left.


  • There is always this criticism that the lyricism and the poetry and the language and the dialogues of the past, the written word, is not so prevailing now. To some extent, yes. For somebody that has lived through those years and come back, I feel that when I go to concerts and when I go to public events, nobody asks me to recite dialogues from Baghban or Paa (laughs), they say ‘can we have Deewar?’ or ‘Can we have Agneepath?’ or whatever. So I’m assuming, therefore, that there was a lot more strength and value in those dialogues than what we have now. But I think that, in defense of today’s generation, maybe they don’t want it. They don’t like too many words. This generation is very cryptic in the way it communicates, they’ll have just one or two words where we used to use four of five sentences in our time. That attention span has become very short. So they use one or two words, ‘it’s cool’ or ‘you’re rocking’, to describe the whole feeling. That is the style of the younger generation and if this is what they want, we must make films that follow it.


  • No I didn't ban the press. The press banned me. In later years in the blossom of my career, some editors got across to me and said they wanted me in their mags because the readers wanted me. But I refused because it wasn't me who started the war.


  • I think it comes very naturally. It’s wonderful to be light and informal rather than aloof and indifferent- (On his personal camaraderie with his co-stars).


  • I think that I’m at a stage where the onus and the responsibility of the leading man, and therefore the onus and responsibility of the success of the film, and its marketing and its sale etc, is really not on my shoulders. Therefore, let me do what is coming my way. Therefore to do something like a Nishabd or even a Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag...well, I enjoyed doing them. Okay, people didn’t like it and they trashed it. And that’s fine, we must respect that. But I didn’t mind doing those roles because they tested my creativity and I enjoyed doing them.


  • No, it doesn't affect my morale. Because life must go on. I would pick up a paper or a derogatory article and stick it in my bathroom or my desk and see it every morning. I look at it as something that has to be overcome- (On his reaction to the abuse and ridicule in the Press).


  • I am always embarrassed and a little awkward about receiving this sort of attention.


  • The whole intention was to act. There were rough times, but I had landed up with my driver's license and thought to myself that if I didn't make it as an actor, I would ply taxis.


  • I couldn’t possibly do a love story like Maine Pyar Kiya. I can perhaps do a more mature love story. Then again, we tried a love story with Silsila but it didn’t work. One thing is for sure, we can’t be doing what Salman is doing.


  • The next superstar could very well be ET!!! Sincerely, at that point in the history of Hollywood, there were no stars. Paul Newman has said on record, ‘What’s the point in my being an actor? The three greatest hits have been mechanical gadgets!’ There was a shark in Jaws that crashed the box-office, there was this peculiar animal in ET and there was that robot in Star Wars. I saw it millions of times. And everytime I see ET I find it’s a lovable person. So maybe you don’t need an actor, it’s going to be a computer! Look, one of the poignant scenes in 2001 Space Odyssey was the death of the computer. The computer on board is programmed to take the spaceship to a particular planet and also manage everything, right to the food of the astronauts. Then they realize that this very same computer is actually programmed to sabotage the mission. So this astronaut unscrews the computer. It dies with the voice going fainter ‘Don’t kill … me … don’t … kill me’. If just mechanical gadgets are going to be moving us to tears, then Paul Newman is right.What is the need for actors?


  • I would rather talk to the mirror than to the press. There is a part of me that remains within me and the rest goes out to the public.


  • I had left all I had including my job because I had a desire to work in the movies. I didn't have a place to stay. You know there is a limited amount of time you can spend with friends because you're barging into their house. So I spent a couple of days on Marine Drive benches in the company of some of the largest rats I have seen in my life.


  • It's a great opportunity to be together apart from celebrating Indian cinema.


  • Why should youngsters get butterflies in their stomachs while working with me when my condition too is no different from theirs?


  • Me a playboy?! You must be joking. But playing something like Robert Redford's role in Indecent Proposal would be a pleasant surprise.


  • I don't think my beard is so important that an editorial should be devoted to it. I recently saw in the same newspaper, in an editorial, a comment about Lal Badshah. Of all my films, of the 94 films of my entire career, Lal Badshah should end up in the editorial of The Times of India! I don't think I deserve it. I don't think my film deserves it. And I don't think my beard deserves it.


  • I have often been called a political opportunist simply because I've had friendships with those from varied spheres of the political scenario. It's risky to even have hi and hello relations now with persons from a particular domain. But I think it has got more to do with that spectrum than it has to do with the people in it.


  • I didn't like Jaya's Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma, though I did like her performance. I felt the movie was too verbose. I thought why did they have to make a film? They could have simply written an article.


  • During those five years (of retirement), I traveled a lot and in some of the cities I visited, there was a kind of immediate recognition, whether it was Egypt or the Middle-East, or Russia or Africa. This kind of surprised me. It wasn't so much a reflection on me. It was a reflection on the Hindi film industry. People didn't know me by name, they knew me by my film name. They sang my songs when they saw me on the street, and came up to me and called me Vijay, for instance. I felt that if there is so much recognition of this medium and this industry in totally non-traditional regions of the world, why is it that something is not being done to market this or to promote it at a much larger scale? This is when I thought of the idea of forming a corporation much like international corporations worldwide to get a kind of professionalism and a kind of corporate attitude to the entertainment industry in this country and to be able to exploit it in all parts of the world. That was the attraction. That really brought me back again. Also, during my 30-year career, one of the accusations that used to come my way was that you've never invested back into the film industry. You've invested in pharmaceuticals, in this and that. But you've never invested your money back into the industry. But here, I felt, was one activity that was very genuine. I really was putting money back to raise the standard of working in the industry- (On his motivation behind starting ABCL).


  • What has age go to do with acting? (What has) it do with the roles you play? There are just a handful of people who say this. Surely, I must be my own judge. None of them were around when I was deciding to work in my movies. Nobody told me I should work in an Anand or a Saat Hindustani. Or that I should work in Deewar. It is very easy to criticize the food once you have got it ready-made in front of you. But no one wants to be there when you're packing up the pyaaz and the bhindi and the mooli. So really, I should be my own judge.


  • I cannot stop them. This is their affection and love and we live for this. And I hope that this love and affection remains with us so that we are inspired to work more and be able to satisfy their desires and expectations.


  • There are no withdrawal symptoms yet (post retirement in 1992). I'm enjoying the feeling of being faltu.


  • But I would dance with my daughter if I could. And if I can dance with Shilpa Shetty, then I will do that- (On being asked in an interview whether it was suitable for a man his age to dance in a song in the film Lal Badshah with Shilpa Shetty, who was young enough to be his daughter).


  • The problems of this country are not going to be solved by one actor or even 10 actors. The problems are far too big. On the screen we get poetic justice in three hours. Poetic justice doesn’t come in a lifetime.


  • Romantic films are in, which means we are out of jobs!


  • I am not a businessman. I never have been. I have problems dealing with money. My entire career has been managed by family members or managers who have looked after my affairs. I am totally ignorant as far as money matters are concerned. For me to suddenly be thrown into this huge corporate ocean without adequate managerial capacity was perhaps the unmaking of the corporation- (On the reason behind the failure of ABCL).


  • The disturbing element of the accident was the millions of people and their expectations. Their wishes, their prayers and their feelings. And the extent to which people had gone. And you have nothing, absolutely nothing to repay them. You just sit in your bed and you just enjoy the benefit of how the others have prayed. And lots of them who really went through physical penance, when you've actually sat back and enjoyed it.


  • The amount of things I have been through and the remarkable ways in which the body has reacted is just phenomenal. No wonder I became religious, because you don't know why something's happening to you and you don't know how you bounced back.


  • When they started bumping me off in every film, it became difficult for me to die in different styles. But now I have to start thinking of different ways of getting drunk.


  • I have never ever argued about billings because I don’t think that they mean anything.


  • It was unbelievable! My family and close friends were sitting together till quite late in the night. People outside the gate just kept standing, hordes and hordes of them. It was overwhelming. I kept going out to meet them at half-hour intervals. But it just wasn't enough.

Soul Curry for You and Me: An Empowering Philosophy that Can Enrich Your LifeEdit

Bachchan, Amitabh (2002). Soul Curry for You and Me: An Empowering Philosophy that Can Enrich Your Life. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7154-984-9. 

  • One does not leave gold untouched, when one discovers the yellow metal in filth. One is ver ready to pick it up. What is intrinsically good will never change no matter where it is found. A diamond is often spotted amidst black blocks of coal. Lotus blossoms in a swamp and the beautiful rose blooms among thorns. In fact the presence of such invaluable wonders enhances the importance of a place no matter how sullied it is!
    • P. 21-22.
  • It is good to praise others but it important to look for faults within oneself. It is nice to be concerned about people but to be introspective is even nicer.
    • P. 25.
  • I do not deny the importance of truthfulness, but sometimes an untruth, which benefits someone, may turn out to be a better alternative. It is better to have an impeccable characterbut it is more important to spread love and compassion.
    • P. 25-26.
  • We should learn from the mistakes and experiences of others, particularly from those less knowledgable than we are. If our experiences are not grounded in reality, our decisions can never be correct.
    • P. 27.
  • Tread the track of life with utmost caution. But let this not deter you from taking giant leaps towards your goals. Excessive caution may reduce your speed to move ahead in life.
    • P. 31.
  • Nature is one. There is only one truth in life. We have a single universe, which has a sole creator.
    • P. 33.
  • A seed is small in size. But it carries in its womb leaves, flowers, fruits, nay even the whole tree. The human brain is very much like a seed. It may not have a great shape and size. But it traps within itself endless possibilities. It is a fountainhead of thoughts and promises that can be fulfilled.
    • P. 113.

About Amitabh BachhanEdit

Amitabh Bachhan, the One Man Industry
  • No one from Indian Cinema has made a bigger impact on the world.” he said. “
    • Comment during "The Lifetime Achievement Award" on his recognition as an artist in "Bachchan Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at DIFF."
  • I am worried. I am praying to Allah and haven't been able to sleep well ever since I heard of the recent development," the words rang out from the telephone receiver. On the other end was 25-year-old Asma Idris from Cairo, who confessed that "she was in love" with our superstar no.1.
    • A lady admirer in Cairo "Egypt's Amitabh Bachchan mania". Times of India. 2 December 2012. .
  • It seemed as if all of Cairo had turned out to welcome him at the airport when he came in 1997...We are planning to name the suit, where he stayed, after him.
    • Tarek Lotfy, Mena House Hotel assistant director recalled in "Egypt's Amitabh Bachchan mania".
  • This Amitabh Bachchan seems to be more popular than me in Egypt.
    • Actor Omar Sharif during a visit to Egypt quoted in "Egypt's Amitabh Bachchan mania".
  • There was a feeling of rebellion in the society and the star with a biggest rebel in celluloid screen Amitabh Bachhan became the icon. His angry young man image caught the attention of all the sections of society. The frustrated youth in his angry young man image saw a window of opportunity to rise against all odds.
  • I'd be accused of bias, but worldwide currently Pa [Amitabh Bachchan] is absolutely iconic, he's celebrated, he's respected. He definitely is deservedly iconic, and I say this without any bias, and if I am accused of it so be it.

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