MUMBAI: On the completion of 12 years of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black on Saturday, megastar Amitabh Bachchan revealed that he didn’t take any salary to work in the project as just working with the filmmaker in such a project was “sufficient fees”. Black, which released on February 4, 2005, revolves around a blind, deaf girl (played by Rani Mukerji), and her relationship with her teacher (Amitabh) who himself later develops Alzheimer’s disease. “I had just wanted to work with Sanjay, after seeing all other works he had done. And when the opportunity came, it was quite overwhelming. I did not take any salary for the film. Just being a part of such an enterprise, was sufficient fees,” Amitabh posted on his blog. The 74-year-old further said that when a fire damaged the set of the film during its production, he and Rani visited Bhansali’s house and got ready to do all the scenes again. “He (Bhansali) built the first set of the house at a new floor at Film City, the first set to be put up at this floor. I was shooting for ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ in Film City and Bhansali invited me to come over and see the set. “It was magnificent! And just before I entered, Bhansali had lit up the place with candles. It looked heavenly,” said Amitabh, who won a National Award for Best Actor for his role. However, Amitabh went on to add that when they were “half way through the schedule”, one morning they got to know about the “tragedy – a fire on set, and the entire set burnt down”.
“Rani and I sped across to Sanjay’s home to hold his hand that morning to reassure him that we would re-shoot what had been lost, again. He was quite obviously distraught and broken, but never too much to not get back up on his feet. He did. We did. And the results are there to be seen,” Amitabh added. Amitabh said Bhansali asked him to read the story of the film on his own as the director called himself a “bad narrator”. “It was special from the very first day of its shooting. Bhansali came to Nasik where I was shooting for ‘Khakee’ to narrate the script to me, started reading from a very well bound black file, read a few sentences, and then stopped. ‘I am a bad narrator Amitji, you read the script…’ and left for Mumbai,” Amitabh said. Further praising Bhansali, Amitabh said: “Sanjay’s attention to detail, his creating an ambiance to enhance performances, was simply breathtaking”. The movie also gave Amitabh a chance to realise a childhood dream. “At the premiere when we all saw the film, there were just those tears of joy within me, and of course the fact of having Dilip saheb (Dilip Kumar) in the audience was a childhood dream coming true,” Amitabh said. “When the film got over, he stood outside the hall, held my hands and just looked into my eyes. It was, what I could have allowed, to last for a lifetime,” he added.