Choosing to play Mahavir Singh Phogat, a middle-aged father in Dangal was not an easy choice for Aamir Khan. Explaining the time he took to sign the film at the film’s poster launch recently, he said, “When I read the script I was moved, as it made me laugh and cry. It is a very inspiring story. I had done Dhoom 3 and PK in which I had to look slimmer and younger. For Dangal, I had to play a 55-year-old, which is closer to my real age. I was worried playing an older man and thought I would rather do this film after about five-six or eight-ten years. I felt practically I shouldn’t do the film at all. But I gave it a second thought, which indeed came from my heart, and I called director Nitesh to come over and narrate the story again to me. It is at this point of time I decided to follow my heart and not my mind.”
About donning varied roles and bringing in changes in his physique he quipped, “Kiran often jokes that I am not the same person she got married to 10 years ago. I get transformed into some or the other character always, so I forget every time as to how I actually look like. Even Kiran hardly remembers my real look, having seen me with so many looks. Surprisingly, Kiran loved my look as Mahavir.”
When asked why women are fond of elderly men, Aamir reacted, “You just revealed a secret to me! I was unaware of the fact that women are crazy for elderly men. For the past 25 years I have been trying to look younger for no reason.”
About the intensive training sessions under Rakesh and later on under Rahul Bhatt, Aamir says, “Rakesh helped me gain weight and prescribed the nutrition needed for it. But he had to leave mid-way as he had to train (Salman) Bhai. I am aware of the fact that Rakesh has been Salman’s trainer and so there were no hard feelings. Rahul Bhatt took over from where Rakesh had left and thus I continued with my training and completed it successfully.”
Now that the actor is back in shape after wrapping up production on the film, Aamir joked, “Now, whenever I hold Kiran tightly in my arms, she would complain of her neck being hurt. She would say, ‘I liked to hold you when you had put on weight, since you were as soft as a pillow.’” Clarifying a little more he said, “Whosoever I love — my kids or my wife — I always love to hold them tight while I go to sleep. This gives me sound sleep.”
The actor was all also praise for Sakshi Tanvar, who plays his wife in the film. “Sakshi is an amazing actor. While I was struggling to get my lines perfect, Sakshi would just come in and finish the shot in one take. Her exuberant performance left me spell bound,” he concludes.