Amitabh Bachchan birthday: What Hollywood celebs have said about the star | Bollywood


One of the greatest stars of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, is turning 81 on October 11, 2023. In his decades-spanning career, the celebrated actor has given us several iconic films. Additionally, the star also worked in the acclaimed Hollywood film The Great Gatsby, which was directed by Baz Luhrmann. The 2013 film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, starred the megastar as the Jewish gangster Meyer Wolfsheim.

Amitabh Bachchan in a still from The Great Gatsby.
Amitabh Bachchan in a still from The Great Gatsby.

On Amitabh Bachchan’s 81st birthday, let us take a look at what Hollywood stars and filmmakers have had to say about working with the star.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Leonardo DiCaprio couldn’t help but shower praise upon his The Great Gatsby co-star, Amitabh Bachchan. In a 2013 interview with NDTV, Leonardo said, “He couldn’t be a more gentle, wonderful individual to work with. And astoundingly talented. To come and play Meyer Wolfsheim in this movie and embody that roughness and a mystery, everything that comes out of his mouth is filled with so much more and so much presence. And then you see the camera cut and he’s the perfect gentleman, just a joy to be around and a wonderful collaborator. He’s a magnificent actor and I was honoured to work with him.”

The star, who will be next seen in Killers of the Flower Moon, further added, “The truth is I haven’t watched a lot of Indian films in my life but we did talk about them at great length and we always had interesting stories to tell about how we started off as actors and what it was like for him. I can’t say enough wonderful things about my experience working with him.”

Tobey Maguire: In The Great Gatsby, Tobey played Nick Carraway and shared screen space with Amitabh. In a 2013 interview with NDTV, during the Cannes Film Festival, Tobey opened up about his experience on working with him. “It was really an honour working with him. He’s so great. He’s so thoughtful. And his presence, you can feel it. He’s regal, in a sense, but also really down to earth and so modest. I really enjoyed working with him; he’s basically a very talented actor. So it was so much fun,” said Tobey.

He further continued, “After getting over the kind of feeling that I was in the presence of some kind of iconic royalty, then just digging into scenes with him was really great. I really enojyed that. It was an interesting, surprising way to go for that part, and I couldn’t imagine anybody else doing it.”

Martin Scorsese: The Killers of the Flower Moon director spoke highly of Amitabh. In a report taken from 2021, he said, “Safeguarding cinema is a global cause. Amitabh Bachchan’s advocacy for preserving India’s film legacy has been exceptional. With a career spanning over five decades, he is a celebrated actor who has put the considerable weight of his reputation behind the cause of film preservation in India and the entire subcontinent. They could not have chosen a more deserving individual to recognise this year.”

Christopher Nolan: The Oppenheimmer director presented Amitabh with the FIAF Award in 2021, given by the The International Federation of Film Archives. The director also spoke highly of the actor, and said, “I know how imperative it is that representatives of the film industry around the world come together to ensure that we preserve our film heritage. I want to congratulate Amitabh Bachchan on receiving the 2021 honour. He has played an essential role in putting the cause of film preservation on the map in India and the subcontinent.”

Baz Luhrmann: The filmmaker directed the star in an extended cameo appearance in The Great Gatsby. He compared the charisma of Big B with Hollywood stars and called him ‘the Marlon Brando of India.’ In a throwback interview with NDTV in 2022, the director said, “Amitabh Bachchan in my view is not only the Elvis of India but also the Marlon Brando of India. Tom Hanks is easily the Amitabh Bachchan of America and I mean it… I think about him and I think about Tom, they are so very similar. Amitabh would bring not just his performance to the set but also the energy, inspiration, and wisdom. I saw that on the sets of The Great Gatsby. I remember a moment between him and Leonardo and that was a quiet chat. I knew Leonardo felt that he was listening to wisdom and Tom did exactly that with Austin in Elvis. It’s so touching and so rare when an older actor is passing the baton to the new generation.”

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