There’s probably no one particular way to describe acting, and every actor has their particular style of stepping into the character and performing a scene. Some went to acting school, some in different professions like modelling got offered roles and ventured into films and some were just star kids, who wanted to be seen on the big screen or were pushed into it.
But however the person reaches the stage of their first film, there’s a lot of ‘free advice’ that they receive from co-actors, directors, friends and family during the course of their career, some which stays in their memory forever, and some which are ignored and never implemented.
For Abhishek Bachchan, there were a few of them, some beneficial and another motivational, which he spoke about in an interview with Film Companion.
When asked about the most practical advice he had got, the name that came into his mind was none other than wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. No, she didn’t give him any great philosophical acting tip, but something basic, important and ultimately hilarious, in his first year of acting, in 2000, seven years before they got married.
“My wife told me, ‘Check your teeth, check your nose.’ Suddenly, the audience realises for time immemorial, ‘That’s what he had for lunch.’ In our first film, ‘Dhai Akshar Prem Ke’, that’s what she said.”
The actor was also asked which type of scene is the hardest for him to perform. He replied, “Currently it’s the emotional scene, when you have to break down and cry… because in extreme anger and extreme sorry we tend to forget the character we are playing and become ourselves. To rein that in and direct it in a way that it’s the characters is the most challenging for me.”
This brought him to mention another more serious and important advice he received from veteran actor and acting teacher, Anupam Kher. “My unsolicited advice to any new young actor is to use glycerine because it picks up light better than your actual tears do. This is what Anupam uncle told me. While training under him, there was a session about breaking down, and I wasn’t able to cry. And I was very upset that I wasn’t able to bring myself to cry. The only problem with glycerine is once your first tear drops then it has to be you because it only gives you sensation for your first tear drop, after that you have to cry.”
But the advice that really touched him was from his ‘Dhoom 2’ co-star Hrithik Roshan, after the release of the first instalment of the action thriller. “I remember my dear friend Hrithik said something to me many years ago. We were at a success bash of ‘Dhoom’, which was considered my first successful film. And he came and hugged me and he was so happy because he’s been through my journey and we’ve all started together and there’s a huge amount of love and respect.
“He said, ‘Your struggle starts now.’ And I was like, ‘Ha? What have I been doing for so long?’ ‘You just gave your first hit, now the tough part starts. This is what’ll make you a better actor, because now you have something to lose.’ That made a lot of sense and I was like, ‘That’s deep.’ ‘It’s going to keep you on the edge.’ We either run away from that or embrace that.”
The actor revealed three different kinds of tips he received and all were different and useful in different ways. And that just shows there’s so much more to acting than what we sometimes think of it.