Sholay' climax was to be re-shot: Amitabh Bachchan
By Dibyojyoti Baksi
Mumbai, Aug 6 (IANS) "Sholay" retains its charisma even after 35 years but megastar Amitabh Bachchan reveals that the climax of the cult classic was to be re-shot with his character Jai being resurrected as the film was not doing good business in the initial days of its release.
"As things were not going right, we all - Salim Saab, Javed Saab and Rameshji - met in our house on Saturday, the next day of the release. All were thinking what we can do to improve it (film) or if we could do something to save the film," the 67-year-old star told reporters.
"I think 'Deewar' had just been released a couple of months before that and I had died in that film. And here I was dying again in this film. Lot of people felt that the audience might not have liked me dying. They thought may be they should get me alive again and within minutes we decided to make my character live.
"We thought of going back to Ram Nagar, shoot that sequence on Sunday, putting it out on Monday and see what happens. All units were called. I remember Rameshji was ringing up Madras and we were all set to leave and re-shoot the whole sequence. When Rameshji was leaving my place, he said 'Let's wait for another day before we leave for Bangalore'. And that was historic," Bachchan added.
This Aug 15, it will be 35 years since "Sholay" was released and Big B wonders how could a film have a life so long.
"I am quite surprised that 'Sholay' had a life so long. When we were making it, I don't think any of us realised that it was going to be that historic," he said.
The actor says his memories of the film are still fresh and it seems like only yesterday when the film's script was narrated to him.
"It seems like yesterday when Salim Saab and Javed Saab narrated the script to us. The film has a lot of memories for me particularly because I had just finished working in 'Zanjeer' by then. It was just fantastic to be working with Ramesh Sippy, Dharamji, Hemaji... the only newcomer was Amzad bhai," said Bachchan.
The senior Bachchan also reveals that during the shooting of 'Sholay', actress Jaya Bachchan was pregnant with her first child, Shweta.
"Jaya and I had been married just for a year and in fact she was expecting our first child during the making. There were some shots in 'Sholay', where you can actually see her working during the pregnancy," remembers Bachchan.
Amitabh is brand ambassador of Airtel Champions League
Mumbai, Aug 6 (IANS) Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been chosen as the brand ambassador of the upcoming cricket tournament Airtel Champions League Twenty20 to be held in South Africa by ESPN STAR Sports channel in South Africa.
"I think what makes the event even more special today is that we have two great champions of their crafts, Mr. Bachchan and Saurav (Ganguly). Airtel Champions League T20 is the world championship of T20 teams from various countries," Manu Sawhney, managing director of ESPN STAR Sports, said a press meet here Friday.
"And for a tournament of this stature... this class, who better can be the brand ambassador than a man who truly represents tremendous amount of excellence, character, commitment - Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, who till today continues to be the great source of inspiration for all of us. So it's my true pleasure, Mr. Bachchan, to welcome you as the brand ambassador of Airtel Champions League T20," Sawhney said.
Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly will join as commentator.
"It gives me great pleasure to let you know that Sourav will be part of the commentator team, who will be sharing with you all the nuances of the game during the champion league," said Sawhney.
Said Bachchan: "Like every other Indian, we all love cricket... cricket excites everyone in my family and other members that come to my house and every time there is a game we are following, we call up each other; we get together in the house and sit in front of the TV to enjoy the game."
Bachchan revealed that he too had a cricketer in him.
"I used to bowl with my left hand and bat with my right hand. When we were youngsters we all believed that there is going to be a match and every thing is going to depend on this one player; we walk on and there is a massive score to achieve in a very little time and how you are going to hit the ball and getting all the adulation. Every one dreams and we all dreamt that," said Bachchan.
Asked if he would go to South Africa to watch the matches, he said: "I don't know. I would ask ESPN to invite me (Laughs). I would love to go there."
Ganguly, on his part, said the Airtel Champions League T20 would be a great experience for young players.
"It will have an impact. The technicalities have to be different; the planning has to be different. What Airtel Champions League T20 will do is it will give an opportunity to the young players to play in the tough conditions with some best players in the world," he added.
Starting Aug 26, ESPN STAR Sports will telecast the tournament to 169 countries.