This is what makes Amitabh Bachchan the hot brand that he is, even at 75

Even as he turns 75 today, Amitabh Bachchan is one of the richest actors and one of the most in-demand endorsers in Bollywood

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Everyone is looking for the Don — the original one in Bollywood. And that is with good reason. In the fickle business of stardom, Amitabh Bachchan, who turns 75 today, 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.)

Sam Balsara, chairman of Madison World, one of the leading advertising firms in the country, said, “He (Bachchan) brings two key elements to the brand: Statesmanship and maturity through his iconic status, which no other cricket or Bollywood celebrity can match. He brings credibility to the brand. Read More

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You don’t have to be a cricket fan to love ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’

Tendulkar comes across in the film as guileless and driven

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There is something about Sachin Tendulkar, something so correct and so innocent you want him to win in life even when you know he is no more the ‘God’ of the cricket field.

The rousing farewell speech that Sachin gives at the end of this astutely emotional journey into the heart and mind of India’s most celebrated Bat Man, left me dewy-eyed. This, when I know zilch about cricket and practically nothing about Sachin’s exploits on the field. What I do know “and what this film is able to tell us in comprehensive strokes of revelation” is that greatness is not thrust on the great by chance.

One has to break bones and crack ribs to get there.

Sachin: A Billion Dreams” is the story of a national hero who sails through every crisis with his simple philosophy of good existence and hard work. Sachin’s life is blameless. He has never been in any controversy and he doesn’t incite scandalous thoughts. This film could’ve easily been the opposite of what the Sanjay Dutt biography would be, given the man’s colourful lifescape. Instead the director unfolds a treasury of memories and anecdotes in which the aroma of ambition is mingled with the flavour of yearnings.

Sachin Tendulkar’s wife talks about how he would clam up after every defeat on the field. Does that make him a difficult man to live with? She doesn’t say. Dissent is not an option that people close to Tendulkar would want to exercise. What I gathered after watching Tendulkar’s tale being tossed into a cauldron of exploratory channels all leading to a glorious exposition on heroism,is that every great life has a very strong support system behind it. ReadMore…