Anand Pandit recalls why Big B is the biggest icon Bollywood will see in a long time
It is well known in industry circles that veteran producer Anand Pandit is not just producing Big B’s next ‘Chehre’ but also shares a very close friendship with the legend.
For the filmmaker the superstar’s life and film journey is one that he has followed closely – first as a fan and then as a friend. On Big B’s birthday, Pandit recalls the moments from the superstar’s trajectory that truly impacted him cinematically, creatively, and emotionally.
He says, ” I think it was ‘Anand’ that was my first memory of him. I remember noticing him as the calm and composed Babumoshai. Then it was in ‘Bombay to Goa’. But ‘Zanjeer’ was the game-changer. It really had me rooting for him. The angry young man that almost the entire country identified with. I was very young then – must have been in school but I remember how everything he did had an impact on the entire generation. His style, his voice, even the way he ran. His dialogues in ‘Deewar.’
His quiet persona in ‘Kala Patthar’. Everything was noticed and emulated. As one of his biggest fans, he meant everything to me. Back then we would collect his posters for our walls. The name Vijay had become synonymous with him. He was everywhere. He made us all dream big – like his character in ‘Trishul.’
He taught us about friendships and sacrifice in ‘Sholay’ and Hindi cinema in a way that directly impacted an entire generation of people. From the poorest to the richest. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would get to know him so well. And you can’t even begin to imagine what it means for me to work with him today. It’s unbelievable!”
Pandit feels that it will be hard for any actor to have the far-reaching impact Bachchan has had on the industry and legions of fans. As he says, ” I believe without a doubt that Mr. Bachchan is one of the biggest icons of the Indian film industry. He has influenced millions of Indians over the generations. His discipline and his punctuality is legendary. His dedication to the craft is awe-inspiring.
Even today he carries with him the enthusiasm of a child. I have seen him sit out in biting minus degree cold weather in Poland during the shooting of Chehre. He would wait even after all his work was done just to watch others at work. Such is his love for his craft. I am blessed to know such a magnificent human being and to be working with this legend of a man. Happy Birthday!”