July 05, 2020
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Jaya Bachchan

In conversation with Girish Karnad, on her career, her son and the fate of ABCL

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Jaya Bachchan
Did something ever happen one day when you said this is my day?
One day I met Amitabh Bachchan.

But you are doing films now.
Yes, I have roles in Hazar Chaurasi and Khalid Mohammed's Fiza. But I will choose my roles. I'm not ready to work for films like Biwi No. 1.

Which is your best film?
I don't know about best film. But my favourite film was Guddi.

Your first role was in a Satyajit Ray film. What did he think of Guddi?
Satyajit Ray only asked me what have you done. I told him I've done a Hindi film.

Why have you never done what are called glamour roles?
I couldn't handle the weight of the hairdo and the make-up. And there has to be a gali somewhere for plain-looking actresses.

Now that you're doing a play in London, what's different with theatre?
Well, I find it difficult to go overboard with my hands and legs. I don't think I'm a theatre actor. But there's greater opportunity on stage to do things differently, to improve and to improvise. I've changed with the changes in response from the audience.

What's happening with ABCL?
It's in a bit of a mess, so there's no production happening. I am interested in producing cinema and TV software and in promoting young filmmakers and artistes. Hopefully we'll be back.

But you didn't use ABCL to promote your son Abhishek.
Amitji and I felt it was important that the boy goes through the actual struggle of becoming an actor, and an actor, not a star. We did not feel it should all be laid out on a platter for him.

Why did you always wear two wrist watches?
One to show the time for my children because they were in another country.

Did something ever happen one day when you said this is my day?
One day I met Amitabh Bachchan.

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