In Dubai to promote his new movie Bhootnath Returns, Amitabh Bachchan was his usual suave and drily witty self. Asked what his advice to the youth was, Big B quipped, "I am beyond giving advice. I want the youth to give me advice."
But pressed to answer for a young audience, he replied, "The usual advice...study hard, obey the law.... In the context of this movie, I'd say be conscious of social issues [facing us]."
A sombre Big B
Weirdly, soon after he answered this question, someone asked him the exact same question about advice. "I just answered," Bachchan Senior responded. Indeed, he did!
As you know, Mr Bachchan reprises his role of a ghost in this movie (the sequel to Bhootnath). Most people fear ghosts, what does the superstar fear? "Right now, I fear this question!" he said. But then he got serious, explaining that as an artist he feared "not living up to people's expectations."
Boman Irani, who plays a politician in Bhootnath Returns, was asked what he thought of Bollywood movies these days. The talented actor said he appreciated the fact that there were "very different voices and stamps around. It's an exciting time to be here."
Boman Irani (centre)
Amidst all the focus on Big B (questions from most journalists were almost exclusively being directed to him), some of the media (among them Masala!) said they wanted to hear the movie's child artist Parth Bhalerao speak - he'd not been asked anything! To this, Amitabh himself took the mike and started to conduct an impromptu interview with the child himself! He also had Usha Jadhav, who plays Parth's mum in the movie, speak to the gathered audience.
Big B asked Parth how he felt about being in the movie and the youngster responded with a short but sweet, "Bahut achcha laga raha hai". The 71-year-old prompted the child to share some more, going on to ask him about his feelings when Boman Irani's character scolds his character in the movie. "I was scared," Parth confessed.
Senior Bachchan then teased the child, "Aren't your exams going on? What are you doing here at this press conference?" Parth smiled and said that he would go home and study. And possibly think about how Amitabh Bachchan himself interviewed him in Dubai!
Parth and Big B