The only director who worked with all four actors in the Bachchan family – Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya – was the late and much-missed Rituparno Ghosh.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali on working with Amitabh Bachchan in Black, “What he did is beyond anything I had hoped even from an actor of Mr Bachchan’s stature”
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has worked extensively with Aishwarya and only once with Amitabh Bachchan. The collaborative creative energy in Black resulted in one of the last great performances by Mr Bachchan.
Recalling the experience, Bhansali said, “Every filmmaker in India hopes to work with Amit ji at least once. But I do hope I can work with him again. Black was a memorable experience for both of us. At least it was for me, and I hope he considers it among his landmark performances. Because I feel what he did to the character of Debraj, the tutor to the blind and deaf Michelle, is beyond anything I had hoped to get from even an actor of Mr Bachchan’s stature.”
The epic filmmaker was very clear that he wanted only Mr Bachchan in the role. “I would have shelved Black if Mr Bachchan had not agreed to do it. Luckily for me he agreed almost right away. He was very pleased to work with me. I was of course over the moon. No filmmaker in Hindi cinema can consider his career complete without working with Mr Bachchan,” said Bhansali.
And to think Mr Bachchan did the film free of fee.
Said Bhansali, “It is true he didn’t charge a single penny for Black. It was his way of showing how much he believed in the project.”
On working again with the Mayanaayak, Bhansali said, “I would love to. But I have to search for something to match Black, if not surpass it.”
Interestingly, Black was co-produced by Bhansali and Applause Entertainment. The latter company, now heavily into web series and feature-film production, is helmed by Sameer Nair, the brain behind Mr Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati.
More Pages: Black Box Office Collection
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