Aamir Khan on Dangal and life: I am lost in my own world

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Aamir Khan: I am cocooned in my own world. I become non-communicative. And it takes a huge effort on Kiran’s part to pull me back to Earth.

I am very comfortable doing a small film after a big one: Aamir Khan.

There are less than two weeks for the release of Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal. Yet, the actor believes in promoting the film in his own way. Aamir Khan chatted with us during a cold evening over few cups of tea about his film Dangal, its promotion and beyond. The actor was at ease and had to say something on everything. Below are excerpts from our conversation with Aamir Khan.

On being called Mr Perfectionaist:
I am not a perfectionist. Perfection doesn’t exist in real life. It’s a wrong title for me. When am doing a scene I am looking for the heart of moment. A scene should have that magic. If I get that magic, the shot is complete for me. I will not go into the technical details. Am passionate about acting. So I should be called Mr Passionate and not Mr Perfectionist.

Is December lucky for Aamir Khan’s films?
I am hoping that my previous films didn’t work because of luck. They worked because people loved them. My films get ready at the end of a year. From a holiday point of view, both Diwali and Christmas are two important dates. It’s more of a coincidence that my films get released on Christmas, but it’s a happy coincidence. I like Christmas.

On giving his creative inputs to Nitesh Tiwari during Dangal
Essentially, it is the director who is the creative head of a film. The final authority on all decisions lies with the director. That is how it should be. And then other team members can give their creative inputs. There was never a moment in Dangal where I had to overrule or had a strong disagreement with Nitesh. Hopefully, my and Nitesh’s sensibilities are quite similar.

On launching Dangal trailer without much fanfare
I can’t remember why I didn’t launch a proper trailer of Dangal. I must have been busy.

On promoting Dangal in a unique way
It’s a rumour that I promote my movies in a unique way. Marketing is a very much a part of filmmaking. My intention is to always send that message to the people – that we have made a film honestly and what is it about. I do things according to a film’s requirement. For example, in 3 Idiots I was travelling around the country in disguise. That concept came from the film’s story. It’s about two friends who are searching for their friend. So people might think it is an innovative idea, but it is not.

Is Aamir Khan tensed before the release of Dangal?
I am always tensed. I have not been able to sleep for 4-5 days. I go to bed at 4 am and sleep for an hour or so before heading for work. I have come with high hopes to Delhi. I am hoping that I will have a good night’ sleep today.

I was in my comfort zone when I was doing Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak.

On being less active on Twitter
Twitter is a platform where you can engage with your audience. The way actors interact with their audience via Twitter is a part of their personality. So if I interact less, that is a part of my personality. I am mostly lost in my own world. I am not aware of what’s going on around me. I don’t read newspapers for days on end. I am cocooned in my own world. I become non-communicative. And it takes a huge effort on Kiran’s part to pull me back to Earth. It is not that I don’t value Twitter or Facebook as a platform. I speak less. That’s me.

On working with Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra
Dangal is a very demanding film. And it can be challenging is it’s your first film. I was happy to see the same kind of passion in all four girls that I had when I came to the industry. These girls grew up in the city. Sanya is from Delhi and Fatima grew up in Mumbai. They had to transform into girls from village Balali. They had to transport themselves into a different world. They are not doing a romcom. It’s easy to do a first film where you are in your comfort zone. I was in my comfort zone when I was doing Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak. They had to go through rigorous casting. We also tested them for wrestling. I was worried if they will not able to handle the pressure. They worked with such passion and hard work. I never had to ask them to come on time on sets. When you see the film, you will see that they are 10 steps ahead of me.

What was daily routine like before starting Dangal
We used to do wrestling training for two hours, followed by 3-4 hours of Haryanvi training. Then we would do two hours of weight training. That was our routine.

On selecting films
I am very comfortable doing a small film after a big one. I don’t go think about numbers. Luckily, fear hasn’t stopped me from doing what I want to do. I have always worked instinctively.

On working with Sakshi Tanwar
Sakshi was a dream come true to work with. She is a one-take actor. As an actor, she has a nice combination of skills and emotions.

Who would he cast in the female version of Dil Chahta Hai
You should cast young girls in the film, Out of the three, two should be Fatima and Sanya. Both are bright actors. It was a mistake when they cast me, a 36-year-old man for the film. We should not repeat the same mistake. Farhan should cast actors in their early 20s.

On shooting his films in Punjab
Punjab is a fantastic state to shoot in. Our experience with Rang De Basanti was nice. It’s very difficult to shoot in public without the cooperation of people. In that sense, people from Punjab are very cooperative and hospitable. When we were shooting in a village in Ludhiana, people used to gather at roadside to say hello to me during morning and evening. And it continued for 90 days. Where do you get to see that? When one of my friends came to meet me on the sets, one Sardarji stopped him saying that don’t disturb the team as they are shooting. Later, that Sardarji became a part of our unit as a security guard.

On films that he liked this year
I like Sultan and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. I like Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma’s work in ADHM. I loved the songs.

On Lagaan memories: Everyone in the industry told us that the film is not going not work. We were speaking Avadhi, wearing dhotis and playing cricket. The scenes of cricket were not ending at all. My wife Reema told me that she couldn’t understand the language we were speaking in the film, how will the audience understand the film? There is a scene in the movie where I say, ‘Ma ye beda uthake maine kauno galti toh nahi kar di hai?’ One day I and Ashu ( director Ashutosh) are sitting and I say instinctively, ‘Ashu, yeh beda uthake hamne kauno galti toh nahi kar di?’ I always remember that line. So fear is always there. And my films are so new and unique that I don’t know where I will end up. Fear keeps me alert. And it’s also a part of an excitement.
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