Shoojit Sircar's decision to release Gulabo Sitabo directly on Amazon Prime Video was met with fierce criticism by the theatre owners. If Amitabh Bachchan is affected by the talk of the OTT-theatre divide, he doesn't show it. Instead, he begins the chat with a joke. "I don't understand what OTT stands for. For me, it has always been O-T-Teri. Sorry, that was a bad one," says the megastar, wisely battling the hate with humour.
Several younger actors are wary of seeking a digital premiere for their offerings, owing to the misguided notion that one is not a star in the true sense unless he dominates the 70 mm screen. However, Bachchan remains a trendsetter of sorts. Having courted superstardom over five decades, the senior actor knows all too well that it cannot be equated to screen size or social media following. "I have sleepless nights before the shoot of my films [till date]. I battle each hour to increase my views on Instagram. The youngsters get 30 lakh to 40 lakh views as soon as they come on board. I go 'whoopee' in excitement when I hit a lakh. But I am no one to question their decisions."
In his third collaboration with Bachchan, Sircar had described him as "hangla" [greedy] for good work. How does he maintain his zest for work after reigning supreme for so long? "These are requisites for any professional. You need to work to your fullest creative capacity. Reuniting with Juhi [Chaturvedi, writer] and Shoojit is like driving a car. You live in Mumbai all your life and learn how to drive in the city; you are familiar with the traffic, the rules and regulations. Suddenly, you are asked to drive in Delhi. You don't forget how to drive, but it takes time to get familiar with the streets and the rules," he says, adding that it was a privilege to team up with Ayushmann Khurrana. "He is a distinguished talent, and I am a fan of his work."
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