Aamir Khan won’t make films for kids Ira, Junaid unless they fit the role: ‘Can’t be dishonest’
The constant buzz around Bollywood star kids and their speculated big screen debuts is perennial. Pop this question to Aamir Khan and he beams at the fact that both his children — Ira and Junaid from his first marriage — have chosen their career paths without any help from him.
“I’m so glad that they’re following what they want to do and what’s most important is that they’re doing it on their own. They are not taking my help in anything,” Aamir lets the proud father take over.
While Junaid made his acting debut with theatre, Ira has recently made her directorial debut with a play, a Greek tragedy titled Euripides’ Medea. Asked what all they’ve learnt from him, Aamir says, “I have no idea what they’ve taken from me; that you’ve to ask them. But what I can say is that they’re doing things entirely on their own, which is good because I think that’s how it should be. Ira had told me (about the play), but she had not asked me for any help, nor did she say, ‘Dad, please guide me’. Junaid is acting in theatre and he’s also on his own. So, both are doing what they feel like doing.”
However, Aamir is quick to add that everything makes him nervous as a parent. “So, when I go to see Junaid’s play, I’m like, ‘I hope he has done well’. And now that Ira is directing a play, I hope she does well. I’m nervous for her. It’s a natural parental response hoping that your child has done well. But I guess that there’s no escape from that nervousness,” he shares.
Talking of star kids, the debate around nepotism doesn’t seem to die down anytime soon. While Aamir says it’s “entirely Ira and Junaid’s decision if they want to get into Bollywood and they’ve to find their own way”, he’s certain that he won’t ever be “dishonest” to himself and his craft.
“For me, not just them, to cast anyone in a film, the main criterion is ‘Are you appropriate for that film?’ If you’re not, it doesn’t matter whether you’re my relative or my child. I can’t be dishonest to what I believe in creatively,” Aamir continues, “So, if I do cast Junaid, it’ll be because I feel he’s right for the role. And if it ever happens that I produce a film that Ira wants to direct, it would be because she’s right for the film, not because she’s my daughter.”
On the work front, Aamir reveals that his production house is in the process of developing a number of “exciting” projects — including films and series — for the web space. “There are certain stories, which need telling in a way that allows you episodes. So it depends on the material you’re making. We’ll see how it goes because development is an uncertain stage. The thought is there but until the script comes out, we won’t say anything.”
Though Aamir is content with his filmography, is this urge to venture into digital space a result of the fact that many established names from Bollywood have made their presence on the web, we ask. The actor clarifies, “No, it’s nothing like that. As a production house, we don’t make content in terms of platforms. In these 19 years of me producing films, I think we’ve only made eight films, whereas production houses conventionally would like to produce multiple films in a year for it to be economically viable for them to run. But, for us, until we get material that excites us, we don’t venture into even a film.”
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