Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

Talking Shop: Abhishek Bachchan

One of Bollywood's best known couples - Abhishek Bachchan and his wife Aishwarya Rai - have been busy promoting their new films.

Delhi 6
Delhi 6 tells the tale of a boy who returns to Delhi after living in New York

The former Miss World-turned-actress stars alongside Steve Martin in Pink Panther 2. Meanwhile her husband Abhishek - son of the legendary Amitabh Bachchan - is releasing his latest Bollywood film called Delhi 6.

Delhi 6 is inspired by the postal code of the ancient walled city in Old Delhi and forms the backdrop to the movie.

The story revolves around an American Indian, Roshan, who travels from the USA to India for the first time with his ailing grandmother.

On his recent trip to London, Abhishek spoke about his wife's movie as well as his own.


Your wife is currently starring in Pink Panther 2 - what did you make of her performance?

Absolutely hilarious. I was laughing my head off! I mean it's the Pink Panther - you can't go wrong - it's a fantastic franchise and a great genre.

It's something Aishwarya hasn't done before - she hasn't done much comedy. She was very reluctant to do the film at first and made the mistake of asking me how I felt.

I said: 'Listen don't even think about it. You know you've got Steve Martin, Andy Garcia, Alfred Molina, Emily Mortimer and Jean Reno in it.

Pink Panther 2
Aishwarya Rai stars alongside Steve Martin, playing the hapless Inspecteur Clouseau

'They are actors we've all grown up with and you're getting the opportunity to work with them.

'Just Steve Martin alone, according to me, is a complete genius so just work with him for the experience. You'll be richer for it.'

She said OK and she did it and she had a blast making it. I'm happy she did it and she's happy she did it.

Let's talk about your film Delhi 6...

I think especially for a lot of people here in the UK or anyone living outside India whose families are from there will associate with the film.

It's the journey of one boy who goes back home to Delhi from New York. It's really going to touch a chord with people who know what it feels like to spend a lot of time outside their homeland.

I'm very proud of the film. I saw the rough cut of the film and I'm immensely proud. I want to scream from the roof tops 'people go watch this film'. It's a good film.

You filmed at the Taj Mahal, didn't you?

There's a scene in the film where they take me to the Taj Mahal. You can't go to India and not see the Taj Mahal. So since it's very close to Delhi - there's a scene where we go there.

The authorities were wonderful and they gave us permission to film there. We were shooting quietly and then came away.

In the movie you work with some of Bollywood's legends, such as Waheeda Rehman and Rishi Kapoor. What was it like to work with the older generation?

Brilliant! Brilliant! I think the greatest thing about them is they're more like kids on set. You go there thinking I'm just going to absorb and learn from these great actors but you end up realising they're actually observing you and learning from you. That's what makes them great!

It's your second film with Sonam Kapoor- what was it like working with her?

Great fun! She's such a wonderful young actress and I wish her all the best because I think she's done a very commendable job in the movie.

She's someone who's really going to leave her stamp on Indian movies. She's great fun and a pleasure to be with on set.

I'm intrigued by the character named after an Indian sweet - Jalebi

Jalebi is played by Divya Dutta, another wonderful actor. That's just it - it's a huge bouquet of wonderful characters - it's just wonderful to be part of it.

Tell me about your next film which you are shooting with your wife Aishwarya Rai

We're currently shooting a film with Director Mani Ratnam in India which hasn't got a title yet but will be ready by the end of the year.

Delhi 6 goes on general release in the UK on 20 February. Abhishek Bachchan was talking to BBC Asian Network's Shabnam Mahmood.

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