Abhishek Bachchan

  1. Amitabh Bachchan, Sooryavansham, India, 1999. The inevitable idea was to Bachchan, 57, and his son, 23, as father and son. But the Big A was not also known as The Big B for nothing. With a lot of cake-up, he played both Singhs… his third successive dual role. Baby B’s debut was delayed until 2000. In the next eight years, he completed 44 films.
  2. Akshaye Khanna, Dil Chahta Hai, India, 2001. For once the role was called Siddarth, not the star… Mumbai director Farhan Akhtar wrote it for Roshan Hrithik who begged off – as did Abhi. The tale of three friends over the years was attacked by Indian critics for being too Western – yet still won seven Filmfare awards!
  3. Vivek Oberoi, Saathiya, India, 2002. Abhi (AB, you see) declined Shaad Ali’s directing debut but agreed to his next movie, Bunty Aur Babli. 2005.
  4. Kal Penn, The Namesake, 2006. India’s sole international film-maker, Mira Nair asked Abhi to play Gogol. Naturally. Then, she realised her error. She needed an Indian who looked as if he grew up in America… The New Jersey born Penn chased her for the role and was perfect. The Namesake was his favourite book and often borrowed the hero’s name, Gogol Ganguli, when signing hotel registers. In 2009, Penn quit the hit TV series, House, to work for President Obama as associate director of the Office of Public Liaison.
  5. Ajay Devgan, Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, India, 2007. Abhishek was due to co-star (again) with his asthmatic father, the mighty Amitabh, but quit playing Veeru, settling for a guest shot as the Gypsy Singer (in contact lenses) in the “Mehbooba” number Singer.
  6. Ritesh Deshmukh, Aladin, India, 2009. With the great Amitabh as The Genie (move over Robin Williams!), his son Abhi was suggested for Aladin. But Pa felt they were in to enough other films with each other that year. And so Aladin (in the 2009 sequel, too) became a former New York architect – and son of the Chief Minister of Maharastra.
  7. Ritesh Deshmuk, Aladin, India, 2007. Junior was shortlisted for the title role, but Senior suggested another actor as he and his son had other plans together Senior played Genius – the first of two successive Bollywood version of Robin Williams films, Aladdin, 1991, and Jack, 1995. Aladin (one d – in the 2009 sequel, too) was a former New York architect – and son of the Chief Minister of Maharastra.
  8. Rana Daggubati, Department, India, 2011. This nearly became the third screen meet of the Bachchan father and son. As if anything could top Abi the son playing his father’s father (!) in Paa, 2008. Junior must have read this script. The political thriller (or comedy?) was blasted as “the worst movie ever made in Indian film history,” by IMDb member Narenawhiz.
  9. Prithviraj Sukumaran, Raavanan, India, 2010. He was due to play Dev Prakash Subramaniam in the Hindi version, Raavan – but realised he was not fluent enough with the Tamil language . His wife, Aishwarya Rai, remained in both versions (shot simultaneously) as Dev’s wife, Ragini.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9