Amitabh has done it before in Prakash Mehra’s Sharaabi where he acted drunk throughout the film in spite of being a teetotaler in real life (and that too only in a manner of speaking, as Mr B doesn’t even touch tea) and in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black where he demonstrated bouts of alcoholic rage with alarming authenticity.
Then of course there was the legendary drunken monologue in Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony…performed without the help of any alcohol, of course.
Now in R Balki’s intriguing Shamitabh, Amitabh Bachchan plays a full-blown boozer, sloshed to the gills for the entire film.
Balki says the inebriated act was so convincing, everyone on the sets would get fooled.
“How could anyone act so bloody drunk while staying sober? He’s amazing! It is impossible to believe he was stone-sober all through,” says Balki.
The challenge, says Balki, was to make the Big B’s drunken act different from what he did in Hum or Amar Akbar Anthony. “And he has done it! The sloshed AB in Shamitabh is very different from the boozer in the other films. Don’t ask me how he did it. It’s just a different variety of alcoholism. How he knows about so many kinds of drunkards without actually drinking a drop is a mystery I need to solve.”