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The winning ways of Aamir Khan

He has suddenly become media savvy. Diganta Guha traces Aamir?s metamorphosis.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 14:38 IST

Post the success of Rang De Basanti and Fanaa  Aamir Khan has reportedly quoted a price of Rs 11 crore for a new project. Whether he gets that price or not he has definitely put himself in a different league. His contemporaries are far below this bracket. Salman Khan charges between Rs 4 and 5 crore per film and Shah Rukh Khan even less (between Rs 5 and 7 crore).

Aamir has changed of late. Over the last year. He is no longer content to be the actor. The star has arrived. The man who made limited public appearances, was choosy about films and didn’t hike his price (for a long time he charged below a crore) is now not so inclined.

The change happened since Mangal Pandey (for which Bobby Bedi paid him about Rs 10 crore, we hear). He became more visible — giving interviews, doing ads (Titan watches and Coca Cola in particular), making appearances and playing the good Samaritan (showing his support for the Narmada Bachao Andolan). Never before has Aamir been in the public eye to this extent.

Post the success of Rang De Basanti and Fanaa  Aamir Khan has reportedly quoted a price of Rs 11 crore for a new project.

He has even become a less private person. Wife Kiran accompanies him everywhere and he recently spoke candidly about his divorce on a TV channel. “He is far more accessible now,” says an industry source. No doubt about that.


The actor is reportedly launching his own website to interact directly with fans. 


And his one-film-at-a-time policy has also been altered. Right at this moment Aamir has two films in hand — a Mani Ratnam project for which he begins shooting during the last quarter of the year and a remake of a Tamil film, Ghajini, for which he starts working from June next year.



By Aamir’s standards, the number of releases per year has increased steadily. He has had three releases since August 2005 (

Mangal Pandey, Rang De Basanti

and

Fanaa

). The last time, Aamir had three releases within a year was between April 1999 and January 2000 (

Sarfarosh, Mann, 1947 Earth

and

Mela

).



Those who know him say he is still reserved. Says director Kunal Kohli who directed him in Fanaa, “I think his exclusivity remains. He is speaking on certain issues now.”



The reason for his sudden change? “Aamir has understood the importance of the media. He is more savvy now,” says trade expert Taran Adarsh. Or is it the 40-year-old actor’s sudden realisation that it’s time to connect with the masses that have made him what he is?