After having to turn down offers to be on the jury of the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival for three years in a row, actor Aamir Khan finally made it this year. But despite the long-awaited honour, the actor has been skipping the event’s social dos because he’s too busy training for his anti-hero role in Dhoom 3.
Known for his attention to detail, Khan is focused on perfecting the look of a con artiste in the movie, which begins shooting later this year. According to a member of the star’s entourage, Khan wakes up early and starts his day with a two-hour workout at the hotel gym.
"He rises early for his workout sessions and wants to be mentally and physically refreshed when he starts viewing the day’s movies. Since he wants to do complete justice to his role as a jury member, he’s not having any late nights," explains our source, adding that Khan has stopped smoking too.
As a jury member, Khan watches at least three movies a day, followed by an early dinner and interactions with filmmakers and actors from diverse countries and backgrounds. Conceding that watching films is his favourite past time, the actor calls his experience at the Berlin Film Fest "a treat." He enthuses, "Sometimes, I even watch four films and I must admit that the talent is amazing. The experience of watching such different cinema from various parts of the world is truly enriching. We have some really excellent talent showcased here."
Not surprisingly, Berlinale is also abuzz with the actor-filmmaker’s latest production Dhobi Ghat, directed by his wife Kiran Rao. A number of directors and admirers of Khan have been approaching the couple, requesting them for a copy or DVD of their much-acclaimed movie. Having fared very well overseas, the film is being called a modern classic from India.
Rao, who has found herself engaged in many creative discussions about her directorial debut, says, "It feels great when people come up saying how much they loved Dhobi Ghat and asking for a DVD or copy of the movie. More so because I was going through mixed emotions before the film’s release and now, to be lauded by the talented filmmakers and actors at a prestigious film festival like this, is just amazing."
Seeing the enthusiasm for Dhobi Ghat, Khan called his office back in Mumbai to get special DVDs of the film dispatched to Berlin at the earliest. Though official DVDs of the movie are not out yet, the actor-producer couldn’t refuse special requests at Berlinale. "We started making Dhobi Ghat as an experimental movie. But seeing the response it has evoked, I couldn’t refuse special requests from people who were eager to see it. I’m very happy for Kiran," he beamed.