Tuesday, Dec 26, 2023

Amitabh Bachchan would take adrenaline shots to remain conscious as he shot Sholay during the day and Deewaar at night

In an interview, Abhishek Bachchan recalled how his father, Amitabh Bachchan, was able to shoot Deewaar and Sholay at the same time in different cities.

amitabh bachchan deewaar sholayAmitabh Bachchan's Deewaar and Sholay were released in the same year.

Actor Abhishek Bachchan looked back at how the film industry has changed in the two-plus decades that he’s been an actor, and said that he’s envious of the time that his nephew, Agastya Nanda, got to prepare before shooting for his first film, The Archies. In an interview, Abhishek said that back in his day, he’d just show up on set and follow the director’s lead. But, he said, things were even more challenging in his father Amitabh Bachchan’s time.

Speaking at the Galatta Plus Hindi actors roundtable, Abhishek recalled a story that his father once told him about juggling multiple shoots at the same time, and how he was able to pull it off. Abhishek also recalled that the record for the most shifts in a day was set by Shashi Kapoor, who was juggling 11 different projects at the same time at one point. Subsequently, rules were imposed restricting the number of films one actor could do simultaneously.

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He said, “I was doing double-shifts early in my career, and I was tired one day, and went home early in the morning. He was having his breakfast, ready to leave. He said, ‘How was it?’ I said I was very tired. Very casually, he said, ‘We used to do a lot of this. I was shooting Sholay about an hour’s drive from Bengaluru, where the Ramgarh set was. We would shoot all day, I would pack up, take an hour’s drive to Bengaluru airport, take a flight to Mumbai, go straight to Ballard pier, where we were shooting the climax of Deewaar. I would shoot all night, come back home, take a shot of adrenaline, fly back to Bengaluru the next morning and shoot all day’. He did this for a month.”

Abhishek asked his father when he’d sleep, and Amitabh said, “Once you take the adrenaline, you can’t sleep.” He’d nap on the flights between the two cities, Abhishek recalled, as he looked back in awe at ‘the kind of work’ actors of his father’s generation did.

Festive offer

Deewaar was directed by Yash Chopra, and Sholay was directed by Ramesh Sippy. Both films have attainted all-time classic status, and are often cited as the greatest Hindi movies ever made. They were released at the peak of Amitabh Bachchan’s Angry Young Man era, and established him as the biggest movie star in the country after Dilip Kumar and Rajesh Khanna’s run.

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First published on: 26-12-2023 at 11:34 IST
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