Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is turning 70 on October 11 and film director R Balki, who has delivered hits like 'Cheeni Kum' and national award winning 'Paa' with Big B, describes the Bollywood legend as a once in a lifetime actor.
Balki also feels that Indian cinema is living a special moment with the veteran actor. "He is once in a lifetime actor and the best way to respect and be friendly.. and love him would be to continue adoring him," Balki told PTI.
The ad filmmaker feels that such a multi-talented actor is a rarity.
"He is an icon. We are fortunate enough to be living in an era where people like him are there. And I don't think one will get to see another Amitabh Bachchan in the next 100 years. I don't think it can happen," Balki added.
"Besides his talent, hard work the personality and his acting skills is a difficult combination to get all together. It is a special moment in Bollywood in which we are living. He is the heritage monument of India," he said.
But there are certain things that Balki dislikes in the 69-year-old actor. "The dislike part is he does not drink and smoke, so I can't smoke in front of him. I like everything about him - the way he conducts himself, his wit and humour, his genuinety, his intelligence and his commitment and love for acting," he said.
After working with him in several ads and three films, Balki feels its always an honour to work with an actor of his stature. Balki directed Bachchan and Tabu in 'Cheeni Kum' (2007) where a 34-year-old falls in love with a sixty-plus man. While 'Paa' (2009) saw the senior playing the role of a child suffering from progeria.
Also, in wife Gauri Shinde's directorial debut film, 'English Vinglish', Bachchan is seen in a cameo role. Balki was the co-producer of this film.
"I think it is an honour to work with him. As long as he is ok and doing films with me I am privileged. He is an absolute amazing actor. I don't think so there are any filmmakers who don't want to work with him," Balki said.
"He does provide his inputs, suggestions. But he will never force his point of view," he added. Balki is working on another project which will star
Bachchan. "I would not do a film with him if it does not suit him. Fortunately, the ideas that we have worked upon till now were for him.. There is another idea that I have for him and I think he will be best for that (film)," he said.
"He is the biggest motivating force in filmmaking. The moment I have an idea I tell him and if he likes it he agrees. I did not have to convince him, he got convinced by the subject of the films that we have worked on till date," he
added. Big B is one such actor who has a huge fan following not only among the older generation but also the younger lot.
And Balki is no different from anyone and he admits that he is the biggest fan of the great actor. "I am his huge fan and that is the biggest relation I think I can have with him. I think it would be presumptuous to call him a friend, I would be over exaggerating, I think it would be like disrespecting him," he said. And now that Bachchan is turning a year older on October 11, Balki feels the actor is still like a 40-year-old.
"He is bull shitting about his age... For me he is just 40-year-old. He is lying. I think his energy is superb. He does not look or behave like a 70-year-old man, he is so cool," he said.