For a sequence in Paa Abhishek needed to carry his father piggyback and trot across a vast field. An exercise in role-reversal that had everyone on the sets petrified and apprehensive.
After all, it is one thing to play your father’s father. But to carry him on your back and run in paternal passion is quite another.
To the director Balki’s surprise and relief Abhishek simply breezed through the difficult scene. “Abhishek did it in one take. He carried his father effortlessly across the vast field. We shot the sequence near Cambridge in England at a place called Bury St Edmunds.”
The place was chosen not just for its green acres which facilitated Abhishek’s run with his father on his back, but also to avoid large crowds of gawking Indians.
On asked how he felt to be carried by his own son the Big B quipped, “Carrying me piggyback was Abhishek’s job. Jaya and I merely produced a strong boy! No, the most tedious part of playing the 12-year old boy in Paa was the makeup. I had to sit still for 4-5 hours every morning without moving, eating or even drinking water. For a sunrise shot I had to be up from 11 am the previous night doing the makeup to be able to shoot on time the next morning.”