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‘Wanted to remake Roman Holiday with Sridevi’

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | LIPIKA VARMA
Published Nov 18, 2018, 4:24 am IST
Updated Nov 18, 2018, 4:24 am IST
The powerhouse performer gets candid about his celebrated TOH co-star, his juvenile infatuation with Sridevi and an occasional penchant for poker
Aamir Khan
 Aamir Khan

Mr. Perfectionist has had always wanted to share the screen with the shahenshah of Bollywood Amitabh Bachchan. Way back, the two even did a mahurat shot for a short film that never made its way to the theatres. And now after years of wait, Aamir Khan was finally seen with Big B in Yash Raj Films most ambitious project of the year Thugs of Hindostan. The actor is said to have spent every minute with the senior star during the shooting.  And for someone who loves to interact with the media, with his movie in the theatres Aamir invited journalists to talk about his film and answered all queries.

Aamir starts by vividly describing his character in the film. “Actually, TOH is not a serious period film at all. After a long time, I am doing a film that has no social message at all. Whenever I hear a script and enjoy it, I choose to do that film. This is a larger than life film. I play a cheater; an untrustworthy character, who can unhesitatingly cheat his own mother. He lives for himself. So much so, he will run away with the beloved of his friend. Making friends with him is very dangerous, as he is very selfish and an unreliable character. Being a mainstream film, the only risk is of a hero playing such a negative role (an anti-hero). So, I do fear for the audiences’ reaction. But while choosing a film, I always take the challenge if I enjoy the script,” he explains.

 

The actor insists that his character is not at all like the Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean. “I don’t think Victor (director Vijay Krishna Acharya) has written the character with any resemblance to Jack Sparrow. The only resemblance is, woh bhi badmaash hai. Watch the film, aap Jack Sparrow ko bhool jayenge. Not because of my acting, but for the way this character has been written by Victor,” he asserts.

Working with Amitabh, however, has left an indelible impression on Aamir. “It was an experience of a lifetime. I never left him for a single minute. I was always sitting with him on the sets. I asked him various questions that I had in mind for a long time. But I am not going to share with you’ll,” he chuckles.

Although, he does reveal how Bachchan had once sent him a letter praising his performance in Lagaan. “Amitji sent me a letter after watching the film. It’s been 18 years now; the film released in 2001. Amitji saw the film and told me, ‘you have given a mind-blowing performance. I especially loved some 20 scenes in which you have performed exuberantly. I wished to watch those scenes again and again.’ This appreciation made me feel so happy. I was really thrilled,” he shares.

Speaking of appreciation, Aamir does not wish to take the credit of opening a new foreign territory to the Hindi film industry, viz China. “In fact, the people of China made my film 3 Idiots a super duper hit. The people of China saw my films, Lagaan and Tare Zameen Par, in a pirated version. They loved the films so much that they subtitled them. And it’s because of their love for my films that they need to be credited for opening a new territory for Hindi films. Dangal is our first film that was released in China theatres for the first time. And yes, TOH will go to China after two months. Usually, we need a period of two months to submit our films and TOH is yet to be submitted in China. Abhi toh film ki copy aayi hai, so submission will take time.”

Sharing a glimpse of his early days, Aamir admits to being a one-night gambler every Diwali. “I may have been 18 years old…,” he ponders for a while, “Maybe, I was just 16. I would save about a 1000 rupees, especially because my building friends would gamble on this night. We played teen patti with the older people in our building. I remember I would just spend one rupee for a blind show and two rupees for another show. Now I have started enjoying playing poker. This game depends on your luck too, but it is also a mind and a strategy game. Once I started playing poker, I did not like playing teen patti anymore.

While Bachchan was definitely on Aamir’s list of actors, not many know that he wished to work with Sridevi and had a crush on her. “I had a solid crush on Sridevi. I remember once, we were to shoot for a magazine and I had to look into her eyes. I was unable to look straight into her eyes, only because I feared that she would come to know about my crush. I was awestruck by her beauty,” he says, adding, “When I had watched Roman Holiday, I went to director Mahesh Bhatt and told him we could make this film. As the heroine, who is a princess is 23-24 and the hero who is a journalist is 18 or so.” Unfortunately, Aamir’s wish of working with this legendary performer remained unfulfilled.

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