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Big B to appear on CNN's Connect The World show
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<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://www.tvnext.in/tpllib/img.php?im=cat_179/2507.jpg&w=225&h=150"/> Bollywood superstar, Amitabh Bachchan' will appear on CNN's Max Foster on Connect The World - Connector of the Day which will be aired on Sat, Nov 21 at 0230hrs IST.

Below mentioned is the transcript of the interview. Any usage of the material must credit CNN’s Connect The World – Connector of the Day.

MAX FOSTER: We can start now, I am told you are celebrating 40 years in the Indian cinema, which seems incredible really, but you’ve seen so much change in the industry over the years since you’ve been in it, haven’t you? It has exploded into this huge great industry. What’s been the most notable change for you? Is it easy for you to answer that question?

AMITABH BACHCHAN: Well. I think over 40 years what has changed is the access to greater technology to be able to imbibe some of the things that are coming out in the western world almost immediately thanks to the television boom, the communication boom and for the common man to be having access to everything that’s happening in other parts of the world almost instantly, and therefore with over four hundred channels as we have in India, and you know, and increasing every year, the common man has the capacity to watch the very best that’s coming out in the field of entertainment in other parts of the world. Then when he has to compare that with what’s happening in his own country, he wants to see something at least on par with what is there in other parts of the world and therefore I feel that the younger generation today in India wants to be on par if not better than what is being seen by other makers in other parts of the world, and there is this great drive and this great interest in the younger generation to prove a point and I see that this has helped in improving the quality of our films. When I say quality I feel that technically yes we are a lot more proficient though somehow I miss some of the lyricism of the olden days.

FOSTER: I was going to ask you, doesn’t the technology sometimes get in the way of the acting you did in the early part of your career?


BACHCHAN: It doesn’t really come in the way but you know, when you’re on set and the average age on set is around 25 and you’re 68 then there’s obviously gonna be a difference. But I try to be with them, try to speak their language, their attitude. It’s sometimes interesting to know how the younger generation functions and what they feel and if I’m going to be part of this unit then it’s best that I join than, rather than be away from them.


FOSTER: And last, this is something that you’re living at the moment, isn’t it? But you’re actually playing a thirteen year old boy in your latest film. He’s got progeria. Tell us a bit about how you got involved, what attracted you. It’s such a powerful story, isn’t it? And it’s going give a lot of publicity to this, this illness.


BACHCHAN: Well, um, Balki, who is the director of this film and with whom I’d worked in an earlier film called Cheeni Kum, came up with this idea and I immediately thought it was wonderful to do it. My only apprehension was how he was going make me look like a thirteen year-old diseased with this unfortunate progeria, but he was very confident after research and studying medical manuals that there were people in, particularly in Hollywood that would be able to create this face for me through prosthetics. The other bomb that he threw was that my own son was gonna be playing my father’s role and that was kind of unique. I thought it made good copy but other than that I believe that he liked the maturity of Abhishek, my son, to play my father’s role.


FOSTER: What a strange thing to go through, but it’s gonna be fascinating to see. Let’s crack on with the viewer questions. Diptesh writes in with a question: “Would you consider roles in Hollywood movies to show the world your versatile talent, because you are huge in the Indian cinema market of course in America many people don’t know you. Have you ever been attracted over there?”


BACHCHAN: Well, firstly I don’t think that there is a great amount of versatility on my performance but yes if there is going to be an offer which is of interest I would most happily look at it.


FOSTER: Dinesh writes, “you are admired for rising to fame and making it without nepotism. How do you feel about nepotism stifling the talent in Bollywood these days? Do you think there is nepotism?”


BACHCHAN: No, I do not believe that. I believe there is a great amount of recognition to talent and if you have the talent then I think that you will be noticed in time to come.


FOSTER: And that’s the beauty of Indian cinema a lot of people say, isn’t it? That you can rise through the ranks quite quickly if you got talent.


BACHCHAN: Absolutely, absolutely.


FOSTER: Vinod writes, “so do you think Bollywood should move away from making movies that are love story-centric productions with mandatory song-and-dance sequences, (we all know them of course) and become something with a truly international appeal like Hollywood cinema? Again a comparison”.


BACHCHAN: Yeah, come and watch ‘Paa’, which is my next film releasing on December 4th. It’s a wonderful story. It’s about a child that’s infected with progeria. It’s got me staring in it, and Abhishek. We do want to make different kinds of films and I think that the audiences are dictating the terms as to what they want to see and I think that recent releases and, well, they’re not so successful releases, have indicated that the audience isn’t Indian. Erm, are now wanting to move away from the typical formatted escapist commercial cinema and see more cinema with great amount of meaning. It may be closer to Hollywood, we don’t know, but I know that the audience’s taste has changed.


FOSTER: What do you think that says about India and how it’s changing?


BACHCHAN: I always believe that whenever a country does well economically everything about it starts getting noticed, so ever since the, the, the economic liberalisation that took place in India suddenly India became a household name, you know, our culture, our food, our music, ah, our sense of dress, our movies ah, they all start getting noticed so, I would say that a lot of it has to do with the fact that eh ah, the economics opened up in India and that gave rise to a great amount of interest in our country.


FOSTER: Ali Afshar comments on your visit to Afghanistan back in the 80’s for a film that you were doing at the time. How did you find the country and the people back then and I guess that reflects on how we see the country now through the news media.


BACHCHAN: Eell when we went to shoot that Afghanistan was having its problems and we did actually arrive in the middle of a lot of conflict and turmoil but I have to say that it’s been one of my most memorable trips. The affection and the warmth of the people of Afghanistan is just unforgettable. And I carry with me such such warm memories of my visit there. Ah, I mean it would require an entire different programme for me to describe to you what I went through in Afghanistan. Just unbelievable affection. And I’m truly, truly grateful for that.


FOSTER: Ok, Sai Maddali yeah, wonders if there’s anything you hate about Bollywood and another viewer adds to that same theme, saying that it can be very discriminatory in terms of looks. I think it’s a compliment to you there; you are all very handsome and good looking acting fraternity, aren’t you?


BACHCHAN: He probably designed that question looking at me. No, but I don’t think there’s any this kind discrimination at all, as I said, talent is what matters and it matters in every kind of creative art form. If you have the talent, it’s very difficult not to be noticed, eh, yes looks do play a part in it, but you know, what gives us a look if you don’t have the talent?


FOSTER: OK and another political one for you from Mohammed Moinuddin, talking about India’s relationship with Bangladesh so, what are your views on the recent at border shootings there? Do you have views on that?


BACHCHAN: Ahm, it’s very unfortunate. Ah, as neighbours we should ah, we should live like neighbours and admire and love each other, and it’s very unfortunate that these incidents keep happening. But I must say that there is great affection between the two, between the two countries and the people of the two countries. I get a lot of interesting mail and affection from the people. My wife, who is also an actress, has just returned from Bangladesh as a matter of fact. She was there shooting a film and she was absolutely just, so, so affected by the warmth and the love that she got from the people of Bangladesh. So I think that we are all virtually the same kind of people. Boundaries, yes will separate us, but our love and affection and our respect for each other will always be there.


FOSTER: And finally a lot of questions have centred around your son’s wedding. Amir talks about the rumour that you did not invite any Muslims. Was that a conscious decision?


BACHCHAN: Well. That’s a really no nonsense, absolutely a nonsense question. Uh. This was I think a media mischief that was played on us just because the media was not invited to a private affair in our house. There’s no question of this at all. In our customs, in our wedding customs as you may perhaps know, the mother’s brother actually gives away the bride or the son. And my wife’s brother, well she doesn’t have a genetic brother, but she has adopted a brother, and he’s Muslim, and he did all the rites for giving away of my son. I also want to tell this gentleman that when my daughter got married, she had a very dear friend who was from Pakistan, and she absolutely refused to get into the marriage ceremony until he would arrive there on time. And we had to go through a huge process of visas and passports, and he did arrive. So that’s the kind of affection we have. And this kind of talk, this discriminatory talk is just not tolerable by me or for any member in our community.


FOSTER: Amitabh Bachchan thank you so much indeed, that’s very interesting. Thank you.


BACHCHAN: Thanks very much.

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