We joined Ludo on Anurag Basu’s goodwill: Abhishek Bachchan

Actor Abhishek Bachchan says working with filmmaker Anurag Basu on the upcoming ensemble drama Ludo felt like giving the reins of one’s life into someone else’s hands, trusting they would take care of it.

Written and directed by Anurag Basu, Ludo brings together actors Abhishek Bachchan, Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Shalini Vats, Aditya Roy Kapur, Rohit Saraf, Inayat Verma and Asha Negi.

At the film’s trailer launch on Monday, the director, producer Bhushan Kumar and the primary cast united to share their experiences of working on Ludo for two years. Reiterating an observation about Basu that his filmmaking has come to be known by – lack of script briefing to actors – Abhishek said that Ludo was an anomaly in his career as he didn’t know anything about the film except the director.

“I had no idea it was an ensemble cast. I didn’t know the story. I didn’t know anything. If you ask any of my co-stars, they will tell you that my biggest fear about this press conference was the question about the story of the film. You ask each one of us, and they will tell you that Anurag Basu came one day and said he is making this film. We all joined it on his goodwill,” the actor said.

Abhishek Bachchan, last seen in Breathe: Into the Shadows, revealed how on his first day of shoot, which was October 19, 2018, he learnt about his co-stars.

“The first day I came on set and we were shooting with Pankaj ji and Adi, and I suddenly realised,’Oh Adi is there and Pankaj ji is also there! Let’s move on now.’ They (co-stars) all will agree with me.”

The rest of the cast nodded as Abhishek detailed Anurag Basu’s instinctive style of filmmaking. The actor said he was reminded of his training days.

“Everybody associated with the film had the greed to work with dada. He is somebody whose work I have admired, and we had been trying to work together for many years. It was a no-brainer. In life, it’s also nice to sometimes just take a leap of faith. It’s nice to do work which takes you back to your training. Working with him is a lot like that because of the process that he has. He doesn’t over-brief his actors. He wants their performances to be instinctive and their reactions to be as natural as possible.

“People might think, ‘Arey! Dada doesn’t tell us this or that. We don’t know when he will shoot.’ But that’s a part of his process because he wants as pure an emotion to come out. That’s the film he has made. Such a pure, clean film. This all happened because people have blind faith in him,” the actor said.

After working in the industry for more than 20 years, to go on a set without the “pressure” of getting everything right also freed Abhishek Bachchan.

“We have become a bit too manufactured today. Not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s nice once in a while to throw caution to the wind and take that leap of faith. That’s why I loved working with you (Basu). I could just show up and there was no pressure in that sense. I knew dada would take care of me. I enjoyed that,” Abhishek concluded.

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