Aamir Khan may go all-out to promote his movies, but is a recluse when it comes to promoting himself otherwise. In the last 10 years, he has hardly done any magazine-exclusive photo shoots, and as a rule, does not attend award functions. Which is why, it’s quite a coup for HT Brunch to have gotten time with the actor for a special photo shoot that appears on their cover on March 12, two days before his birthday.
The photograph was shot by Bollywood’s favourite photographer, Dabboo Ratnani. Says Dabboo: “I’ve known Aamir since I’ve entered the industry but this particular shoot happened after a long gap of more than 10 years. But even then he hasn’t changed one bit. He’s the same person, just as professional and hardworking as before. In terms of poses, he’s evolved a lot. Aamir hardly does any photoshoots, which makes these rare shooting experiences even more fun and valuable.”
Interestingly, Ratnani, who is famous for putting out his Bollywood star calendar every January, has failed to convince Aamir to feature on it for the last 10 years. ‘But I hope to convince him this year,’ says Ratnani.
While the cover shot has a close up of Khan with his piercing chocolate eyes masked by a black and white presentation, the cover line reads tongue-in-cheek, “Bollywood’s chocolate boy turns 52. Does chocolate age as well as wine?”
Inside the issue, you see Aamir wearing a Breaking Bad t-shirt, showing he is still hugely young at heart.
“We shot in Aamir’s home-cum-office and within minutes, we had what we needed,” says Ratnani. “His eyes are so expressive that we don’t need anything else. We went for the raw, dishevelled look and like always, we got what we wanted from Aamir.”
Jamal Shaikh, National Editor of Brunch and New Media Initiatives at the Hindustan Times, adds, “It is indeed a coup for Brunch to have convinced Aamir Khan to not just do an interview before his 52nd birthday, but also allow us into his home and heart for an exclusive photo shoot, which the actor rarely does. In the last two months, Brunch has had Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir on its cover, all giving interviews on life in general, and not to publicise an upcoming film. That is the power of the country’s largest-circulated and largest-read magazine.”
Brunch has a print run of over a million copies a week and a readership that is pegged at over 4 million!