Aishwarya Rai keeps Aaradhya grounded: Abhishek Bachchan opens up on family, Manmarziyaan

He was last seen on the big screen over two years back. Post that, Abhishek Bachchan quietly went on a self-imposed sabbatical after Housefull 3 (2016). But now, he is “raring to go”, starting with Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyaan. “For me, the difference [after the break] was more internal. I felt a lot more focused,” says Abhishek, about his life, why the break, new film and more.

Yes, absolutely. It came very naturally to me. I thought it was time to take a break, re-evaluate and reassess what I was doing and how I was doing it. It was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. Then, one day, I finally took the plunge and I am happy I did. I think somewhere, a sense of complacency was starting to set in my work and I didn’t want that because I didn’t like it.

We have always been busy and working. Even when Aishwarya wasn’t making films, she was busy with her other work such as brand commitments etc. However, she is a completely hands-on mum, who is entirely involved in Aaradhya’s life.

Aaradhya is a very sweet kid but I don’t think she understands that bit. She knows we are actors, who appear in films and on TV. She also realises that her dadi ma goes to the Parliament. But I don’t think she understands the concept of, ‘oh, my parents and grandparents are really famous people’. We have tried to keep things as normal as possible for her. Her mother teaches her all of that. Aishwarya is very good at keeping Aaradhya grounded.

It’s been a difficult job (smiles). But honestly, I never gave thought to any kind of pressure that came with me being my parents’ son. I have never let that [thought] weigh me down. I have been very clear that I have to do my work and tell my stories. Being part of films in not easy; it’s a very difficult job.

It was magical. It took me almost two days to get used to Anurag because we all have a preconceived notion about how he is going to be. You think that he will be this dark, brooding, intense person, who would be sitting alone. But in reality, he is always jumping around and totally different. At first, I was like, ‘kaun ho bhai tum, Anurag kahaan hai’. He just disarms with the amount of love that he gives his actors. As for Aanand, he is such a successful film-maker, and has a unique point of view and voice, but he allowed Anurag to do what he wanted to do, without any influence at all. That takes immense strength and guts.

I have managed to fill almost the entire next year with work and that’s the way I want to do it. I want to continuously be working and would like to do a lot of work. As soon as Manmarziyaan releases, I will start my next film. Makers will be announcing it very shortly. But yes, the coming years are going to be full of work.