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February 22, 2000

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'He is a sensible boy'

Raj Kanwar After having directed several successful films, such as Deewana, Judaai, Laadla and Daag -- The Fire behind him, director Raj Kanwar is now working with Abhishek Bachchan in Dhai Akshar Prem Ke.

One of the most sought-after newcomers, Abhishek is keeping a low profile till his first film, Refugee, is released. So we spoke to Kanwar to find out more about the young actor and his film.

Why did you choose Abhishek Bachchan? What kind of a role does he have in the film?

The subject of Dhai Akshar Prem Ke is very close to my heart, one that has been with me for a long time. I used to meet Abhishek often, at parties and other places, and I noticed that he had the look of my character, Karan. Especially his eyes, his lip line and his body language matched that character. I approached him and narrated the script to him and he agreed to do my film. It's a love story. But the storyline is very intense. It concerns human relationships. I always make films with my heart, rather than my head. Abhishek's role in the film is intense as well.

Did it require a lot of hard work on your part to mould him?

Abhishek Bachchan Not at all. He is a director's delight. He is very talented and I didn't need to put in any effort to mould him. He is very good with roles. He is so free with the unit that you donít even feel that he is a star son. These are the qualities of young people today like Hrithik Roshan, Bobby Deol and now Abhishek Bachchan. They are so youthful and vibrant. It's a real pleasure working with them.

How is he on the sets? Is he a natural actor who can turn his emotions on and off?

He is absolutely natural. He doesnít let his character overshadow his moods. He easily gets under the skin of a character and carries it off with precision. Once he is finished with a shot, he is his usual laughing, talking self. I guess having actor parents has helped him a lot.

When you first met him with the story, did he accept the film on his own, or were his parents involved in the decision-making?

Abhishek takes his own decisions. His parents weren't involved in his decision to do my film. His parents donít even make any suggestions. They keep out of his professional life and let him decide. In fact, when he heard the story, he was quite charged and excited about doing the film. He is a sensible boy. He has a very good story-sense, and is professional, enthusiastic and cooperative.

Would it be too early to state how he would fare as an actor?

Abhishek Bachchan I personally think he is going to be a good actor. He is very talented, he understands this medium and performs accordingly. His background has definitely helped groom for this industry. My only advice to him is that he must choose his roles carefully. He must always listen to his heart and do as it tells him to. He will be very successful one day.

Interviewed by Sharmila Taliculam

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