Bollywood veteran in new action film

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Bollywood veteran in new action film

MUMBAI, India - Veteran Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan may be nearing 70 but he hopes that his new action film will prove he still has what it takes to beat the bad guys.

The 68-year-old, best known for classics such as “Sholay” (“Sparks”) and “Deewaar” (“Wall”) in the 1970s, plays a gangster in “Bbuddha... Hoga Tera Baap” (“Your Dad’s Ancient”), which hits screens on July 1.

“The Big B,” as he is widely known to fans, sings, dances and fights his way through the film in a similar way to his “angry young man” characters of old. The only difference now, he jokes, is that he’s just an “angry man.”

“It’s always difficult to do action at this age but thanks to technology in cinema, life has become much easier but still you need your basic energy,” he told reporters in Mumbai recently. “I don’t go out and do things that will make me feel young, except the regular gymnasium regime, yoga and eating the right food.”

Bachchan, who retains a faithful, fanatical band of followers in India and across the world, has been a mainstay of Hindi-language cinema for the last five decades.

But his longevity is all the more remarkable given he nearly died in an accident on the set of the film “Coolie” in 1982 and the resulting operation and blood transfusion led to him contracting cirrhosis of the liver. He has been in and out of hospital for check-ups ever since.

“Bbuddha” was co-produced by Bachchan’s own AB Corporation Limited at a reported 100 million rupees ($2.2 million).

The actor, who has starred in more than 150 films, says that work is what drives him, even at an age when most people usually slow down. He has recently been seen in the film “Aarakshan” (“Reservation”), alongside Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, and has two other films in the pipeline.

“It is work that drives me,” he said. “I feel happy that I get up in the morning and I have work to do. I will keep working until I die.”

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