Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan tells why he's unapologetic about money and ambition
Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abhishek Bachchan may be seeing a career renaissance of sorts ever since ‘Manmarziyaan’ released in 2018, but his two decades in Bollywood haven’t been without setbacks and heartbreaks.

In a tell-all interview with Rolling Stones India, Bachchan spoke about a time in Bollywood when no filmmaker even wanted to work with him, with the actor further revealing that he was replaced in countless films, sometimes without even informing him.

Abhishek Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu in ‘Manmarziyaan’. Image Credit: Supplied

“I’ve seen the good side of being an employed actor. I’ve seen the other side of being an unemployed actor. The point is, you can’t take things personally… At the end of the day, it’s just business,” Bachchan said in the interview with the magazine.

Having started his career with ‘Refugee’ in 2000, the son of Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan went on to do close to 60 films over his 21-year-long career, but not everyone was a ‘Guru’ or a ‘Yuva’ or even a ‘Dhoom’, which shot the actor to stardom. After a spate of box office duds to his name, Bachchan said he soon stopped being hot property in Bollywood.

Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan
Abhishek and Amitabh Bachchan Image Credit:

“I’ve been replaced in films. I’ve been replaced in films and not been told. And I’ve literally shown up at the shooting and somebody else is shooting there. And you had to just quietly turn around and walk away. I’ve been told I’ve been replaced in films. People don’t take your call. And that’s, that’s normal. Every actor has gone through it. I’ve seen my father go through it,” Bachchan said.

Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor in Refugee Image Credit: Supplied

He added that he has been asked to vacate the front row seat at an event when a bigger star turned up. “I’ve been in a situation where I’ve gone to a public function and you’re made to sit in the front row and you feel, ‘Wow! I didn’t think they’d put me in the front row. Okay, great!’ But then a bigger star shows up and they are like, ‘Okay, get up, move to the back’, and you go to the back,” he recalled, adding: “It’s all part of showbiz. You can’t take it personally. What you have to do is come back home, and, before going to bed, promise yourself that I’m going to work so hard. I’m going to become so good that they cannot, and they will not move me from that front row into the back.”

Abhishek Bachchan in 'Bob Biswas'
Abhishek Bachchan in 'Bob Biswas' Image Credit: Supplied

The actor also weighed in on the nepotism debate that has plagued the film industry with claims that Bollywood paves the way for star kids while outsiders are left out in the cold. Bachchan didn’t think that was the case anymore.

“If your films are not doing well, nobody’s going to put money on you to make another film. So, I do believe that the conversation around this whole nepotism has become a bit convenient,” he said.

Uday Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abrham in Dhoom
Uday Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abrham in Dhoom Image Credit: Yash Raj Films

After a two-year hiatus from films, Bachchan has been experiencing a career high of sorts through his releases on various streaming platforms. Movies such as ‘The Big Bull’, ‘Ludo’ and ‘Bob Biswas’, along with ‘Breathe: Into the Shadows’ have garnered him critical acclaim.