The Bachchans are referred as the first family of Bollywood how do you react to such titles?
We’re a family. We are happy about that. Being the first, second or third family doesn’t matter to us. That changes every two years.
Is there any particular ritual or rule in the Bachchan household that you had to follow growing up?
If you are home then Ma’s law was that if every body is in town then you have to have at least one meal in the day together. No exceptions. And that’s something that’s stuck on. In my life family time is top most priority and if we can have any opportunity where all of us can be together, then we will make that happen.
Does constant comparison with iconic dad Amitabh Bachchan bog you down?
I have never had a problem being compared to him and who doesn’t want to be compared to Amitabh Bachchan? You can’t allow comparisons to deter you. You still have to do what you believe in. I am his son, I love him very much and I am his biggest fan. I want him to be around forever and I want him to be the best. I don’t think any son competes with his father. In fact, they are very happy to stand behind and support their father - just as I do, and I am proud of that.
You are looking super fit these days. Tell us about this super sexy look!
(Laughs) I lost weight for Mani’s (Ratnam) film Raavan that I am doing right now. He wanted a very lean look for the film and so there were countless hours in the gym…Countless.
You say you knew you wouldn’t become a superstar over night. But would you have wanted to?
Well, it’s not a nice thing to say but I am happy the way my life turned out the way it did. I am not taking away from achieving success instantly. I just feel that wasn’t written for me, you know. And I feel what I have learnt through the years that my films weren’t doing well, what it taught me as a person, as an actor are priceless things which I would not have learned. That’s a guarantee that I wouldn’t have been the actor that I am today if my first film had been a super success.
Aishwarya said you spend more time before a mirror then she does, is that true?
Yea yea! I mean have you not seen me? I think I need to spend even more time! I have to look presentable whereas she can just roll out of bed and look stunning. I have to work at this!
She also mentioned gifting you the international rap artist Nelly’s mic - that must have totally floored you?
Yes she gave me that for Valentine’s Day a few years back because she knows I love Nelly. I think he’s fantastic. And she got me a mike that he used in one of his concerts and it’s autographed by him. In fact it’s on my desk in my office. It’s fantastic and definitely one of my prized possessions.
Will you be giving her something as personalized as that any time soon?
You mean will I give her an autographed mic any time soon? Sure, probably one that I have sung on!! (Laughs) Well yea, that’s an idea. No she’s just too cool with gifts. She always comes up with the most wonderful ones.
So is she the one who decides who gets what gifts?
Oh yea totally! I am terrible with gifts. Like my extent of a good gift are flowers! That’s as creative as I can get in gifts. Ash and mom come with the coolest ideas about gifts. Dad and I just take the back seat. The girls are best at it; we two are simply disastrous when it comes to buying gifts!
Do you shop a lot when abroad?
Nah, I don’t like shopping.
So who shops for you?
All the women in my life barring one or two! My mother, my sister, my wife, my mother-in-law and now my niece! And also close friends. Karan (Johar) buys a lot of clothes for me. Karan has been buying me clothes now for the past 20-25 years.
Give one advice to men on what it takes to live through shopping addicted women?
I don’t know. Really. Shockingly, and I won’t say thankfully, the women in my life aren’t shopaholics. They really aren’t, mom and Ash both. But, you know, I wouldn’t mind doing that! I would love to indulge them in that in fact I would love to take Ash on a shopping spree. It would give me great joy to buy her things that she wants. But Ash will be like no I have this or I don’t need that. She is very cute about it. My mom is the same way. My dad and I would love to indulge them but they are very happy as they are. I can’t tell you how much joy it gives me to give things. I am a big present person – in the sense that I love to give people gifts. I may not give the best presents but it gives me immense joy and pleasure to give them.