Amitabh Bachchan has been associated with the movies for over 50 years now, and in those five decades, he has seen the peak of stardom but has also experienced the kind of lows where his audience had lost faith in him. Yet, despite it all, Big B continues to be the biggest movie star in India. The actor has often acknowledged that stardom keeps changing hands, and in an interview that he gave in 1990, he spoke about witnessing it first-hand.
Amitabh Bachchan was trying to carve a new identity for himself in the late 1980s as the movies were changing and the audience was done with the ‘angry young man’ brand of cinema. It was around the same time when Govinda had become the biggest movie star with Love 86. His subsequent films made him a household name and the younger generation made him the heartthrob of the nation. In this phase, Bachchan and Govinda collaborated on Mukul Anand’s Hum. The film also starred Rajinikanth.
While shooting for the film, Bachchan recalled that a group of kids came up to them and when one of them asked for his autograph, he was violently told by another that they should take Govinda’s autograph instead. “I was shooting with Govinda for Hum when a group of young kids came up to me and one of the boys asked for an autograph. Govinda was standing next to me. There was a young, cute girl who gave him a slap and said ‘Woh nahin, yeh. Govinda ka autograph lo‘ (Not him. Take Govinda’s autograph),” he told Movie magazine.
Big B acknowledged that “people will want to watch the younger lot.” “I made mistakes and kept trying to rectify them in film after film. But there’s no denying that it is the turn of the younger boys now, because today’s audiences are between 18 and 30,” he said.
Amitabh Bachchan has since worked with all the generations of stars that have come up in Hindi cinema. His next film Brahmastra has him sharing screen space with Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor.