Everyone is looking for the original Don of Bollywood — and with good reason. In the fickle business of stardom, Amitabh Bachchan — who turns 75 this Wednesday — has managed to remain relevant, anchoring Kaun Banega Crorepati, starring in films, and endorsing products.
Currently, he is one of the busiest actors in the country. After he is done shooting for KBC for Sony TV, he will be on the sets of 102 Not Out — a feature film in which he plays Rishi Kapoor’s father. It is expected to hit the screens next year. According to the latest Forbes’ list of richest actors in the country, he is ranked nine, with earnings of $9 million. This puts him ahead of Ranbir Kapoor (earning $8.5 million). He is the only one on the list above 60 years of age.
While his last film Sarkar 3 (2017) bombed, producers believe he can still hit the jackpot if the content of a film is good, such as Piku (2015) or Pink (2016). That’s the reason he still commands an attractive fee of Rs 7-10 crore per film, according to analysts.
Age is no impediment to his work as an endorser, either. Bachchan is the first choice for many corporate brands and also for governments looking to push social messages. Currently, he endorses 10 brands — ranging from inner wear (Lux Cozi), mobile phones (One Plus), jewellery (Kalyan Jewellers), air conditioners (LLoyd), to e-commerce sites (Just Dial), to name a few.
Bachchan is also the brand ambassador for the goods and services tax.
Companies are happy to fork out Rs 2 crore a day (most companies generally hire him for three to five days), because they know his magic will work. So what makes him tick at 75, when most stars are content with a Lifetime Achievement Award? (He has already got the coveted Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.)
Bhusan Kumar, chairman of Super Cassettes that owns the T-Series brand and is producing 102 Not Out, said “Piku and Pink have shown that with good content, Amitji’s movies do very well. What makes him different is his energy level — the discipline, his contribution in promotions, and his professionalism” Kumar is already talking to Bachchan to produce another movie. Film analyst Komal Nahta also pointed out that while some of his movies have flopped, no one has blamed Big B. “He is talented and disciplined as well as professional — that is a potent combination in Bollywood,” he said.