Senior and Junior Bachchan switching their real-life roles on screen…nah, forget it! Won’t work. This is what the audacious Balki was told by his renowned cinematographer P C Sriram about the concept behind Paa. Only two people on-board believed it would work: Balki and Mr Bachchan. But since Balki trusted Sriram’s judgement implicitly he decided to call off the project.

However Balki flew to Hyderabad with Sriram for Mr Bachchan’s looks test. Mr B had to do the last day’s shooting of Shoojit Sircar’s Johnny Walker which never got released , in Hyderabad.The looks test was to take place at Novotel hotel.

Sriram got on top of a table in the conference room of the Novotel and shot Mr B from above , with his head prominently in the frame.Then PC said, ‘Now it will work.’ That’s how Mr B was made to look much smaller than his tall height. They shot from above.

The prosthetics did the rest. Each morning it took four hours for the prosthetics to be put on. After the prosthetics were in place Mr B couldn’t eat anything only sip liquids with a straw until the shooting for the day was done late in the evening.

Vidya Balan who played Mr Bachchan’s mother had serious reservations about the role.But once she saw her screen -son all her apprehensions evaporated. What she saw was Auro, the character, not Amitabh Bachchan, the actor.

Looking back Balki wonders, “How the hell did we do it?’