While Mumbai was grappling with the monsoon mayhem over the weekend, Amitabh Bachchan braved the heavy rains and reported to Film City, Goregaon, for rehearsals of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC). Even though he has hosted nine seasons of the quiz-based reality show and knows it inside out, it is characteristic of the megastar to come to the set fully prepared.
"His energy is more than what it was during season one," says director Arun Sheshkumar, who took the 11th season of KBC on floors, on Monday. Over the past 19 years, Bachchan has played the perfect quizmaster as his know-it-all Computerji and he have tested the common man's general knowledge, thus making the subject more alluring than ever.
Sheshkumar — who has been associated with the series for the past 11 years — credits the legend for having held the audience's attention over the past two decades while ensuring that the game stays relevant. "Every year, Mr Bachchan becomes younger. He becomes like a kid on set. He tells us, 'Chalo, aaj kya naya karna hai?' He enjoys the process as the kid in him is very much alive. For us, it becomes more challenging to bring in the novelty. He treats himself as part of the show, and not as a superstar. There is no one on the set who can say that Mr Bachchan did not wave out to him."
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The director cites a prime example of Bachchan's curiosity. "The latest addition to the KBC set is a buggy camera. It has become Bachchan's favourite toy as it follows him around," he laughs, before adding, "This is the first time that such a camera is being used on a reality show. It has been used in IPL matches earlier."
Up ahead is a hectic three-month schedule as Bachchan and his team scout for the worthy candidate, who will take home Rs 7 crore for prize money. "One episode is shot in three hours. We shoot two episodes per day."
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