Aamir Khan’s latest hit, Dangal has made over Rs 370 crore.(HT Photo)
Aamir Khan’s latest hit, Dangal has made over Rs 370 crore.(HT Photo)

Ahead of Trump inauguration, this is what Aamir Khan has to say

Aamir Khan says all his career decisions have mostly been “impractical and risky” in the past 29 years; adds “someone up there is looking out” for him.
By Prashant Singh | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2017 06:58 PM IST

He has just delivered the highest-earning Hindi film ever. But interestingly, instead of basking in the glory, Aamir Khan quietly flew out to an undisclosed location. “I try not to reveal where I am, as people will start coming here too. Right now, I am trying to be alone (laughs),” says the superstar, as he talks about his career and his latest blockbuster, Dangal.

As A-list celebrities, including Hollywood actors Robert de Niro and Alec Baldwin, Oscar-winning director Michael Moore and singer Cher, joined several thousand protesters on the streets of New York on Thursday night to protest against Donald Trump on the eve of the incoming Republican president’s inauguration, Aamir also opened up about actress Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes targetting Trump. Speaking about the beauty of American democracy, calling it vibrant, the Dangal actor said that in that in the US everyone is equal, they can say what they want and voice their opinions: They can make fun of the President, make comments or criticise what he is doing.

In one of your first-ever interviews (from the ’80s) you said, ‘My performance will be my publicity…’, which holds true even now…

I have always believed that your work speaks for you. And if you work consistently and in a particular manner over time, it has an impact on people. As an actor, that’s all you need to do.

Aamir Khan started his career with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. (HT Photo)
Aamir Khan started his career with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. (HT Photo)

In the same interview, you also said that being typecast can make you feel claustrophobic…

Yes, it will be very boring for me. Same role kitni baar karunga? (How many times will I play the same role?) I don’t like to be stuck in any one image. I want to change myself, surprise my audiences, and even myself. In fact, I want to challenge myself, so I don’t like to do the same things again.

Aamir Khan’s career took a new turn with Lagaan. (HT Photo)
Aamir Khan’s career took a new turn with Lagaan. (HT Photo)

This year, you will complete 29 years in the industry, since your debut with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (QSQT; 1988). Do you look back at your journey?

Yes, I do. I think I have been very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful writers and directors, who came to me with their unique scripts. And I also got to learn so much from them. So, it’s my good fortune to have worked in films such as Lagaan (2001), Taare Zameen Par (2007), Rang De Basanti (2006), 3 Idiots (2009), PK (2014), QSQT, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) and Sarfarosh (1999). It has been a very exciting and fulfilling journey. When I look back at my career, all my decisions — on the face of it — have mostly been impractical and risky, with the latest instance being Dangal (2016). I feel someone up there is looking out for me because I am certainly not looking out for myself (laughs). Also, I have been able to do [the kind of] work that I believe in. Not all of us are lucky enough to be in the position where you can choose to do what you want. I feel very grateful to be in that position. I am able to do the work that I love.

Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes made headlines across the world. (AP)
Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes made headlines across the world. (AP)

Recently, Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes started a discussion about Indian stars not talking openly about real issues…

I feel America, as a democracy, has always been a vibrant one from this point of view. People have been free to air their opinions on anything (topic) or anyone including the President. Stand-up comics can often make fun of the President, make comments or criticise what he is doing. And that’s the beauty of the democracy, where everyone is equal, where you can say what you want and voice your opinions. People may or may not agree but that’s how democracies ought to be and should be.

Aamir Khan’s Ghajini started the Rs 100 crore club. (HT Photo)
Aamir Khan’s Ghajini started the Rs 100 crore club. (HT Photo)

A number of exhibitors and distributors are ecstatic with the response to your latest film. They have, in fact, also sent you letters…

It’s very humbling. And it’s satisfying to see everyone in the system happy vis-à-vis money is concerned. I feel all these things are byproducts of a good film. But I don’t do films keeping numbers in mind. As an actor, I don’t even know the business of the films that I have seen, such as Pyaasa (1957), Teesri Manzil (1966), Mother India (1957), Mughal-E-Azam (1960) and Do Aankhen Bara Haath (1957). I am not interested in numbers.

Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots started the Rs 200 crore club. (HT Photo)
Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots started the Rs 200 crore club. (HT Photo)

A few weeks back, incidents such as the Bangalore molestation shocked many. Is women safety a concern for you too?

Of course, such incidents are disturbing and unfortunate. It’s shameful that they happen. My heart goes out to the girls who had to go through such awful behaviour. More importantly, we should realise that the person who is a survivor – the girls in this case – have done nothing wrong. People who committed these acts need to be ashamed of what they have done.

Aamir Khan’s new hit, Dangal has become highest grosser ever in Bollywood. (HT Photo)
Aamir Khan’s new hit, Dangal has become highest grosser ever in Bollywood. (HT Photo)

Coming back to films, due to the high expectations from you, do you ever feel pressurised?

When I sign a film, the pressure [of expectation] isn’t on me. I pick films based on how I react to a script. When a script interests me, I don’t think of the box office [collections]; and the case in point being Taare Zameen Par (2007) or Dangal (2016). They are unusual and not conventional, mainstream films. I don’t think of money or the box office [collections] when I decide to do a film. However, the last couple of weeks before a film releases, are nerve-wracking and pressurising. It’s then that I start realising that the expectations are high. I am unaware of what people are expecting or imagining. But I can’t do anything about it later, as I have already made the film that I wanted to.

Watch Dangal trailer

Do you pay heed to the comparisons drawn between films starring Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and you?

No, I don’t because I feel every film is unique. I don’t believe in comparing as I am not a very competitive person from that point of view. When I see my colleagues doing good work, it doesn’t make me feel like, ‘Arrey, usne mere se better kiya hai (oh, he did a better job than me) so, I need to be even better.’ When I see good work, I feel happy for my colleagues, including Ranveer (Singh) or Ranbir (Kapoor). I also loved Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) in the Munna Bhai series. It makes you feel so proud and happy to see that your colleagues are doing so well. If I am competing with anyone at all, it’s myself. I want to better myself and do better than what I did last time. I want to learn and grow as an actor.

Aamir Khan-starrer PK was the first film to make Rs 300 crore. (HT Photo)
Aamir Khan-starrer PK was the first film to make Rs 300 crore. (HT Photo)

You started all the ‘crore clubs’ — Rs 100 crore with Ghajini (2008); Rs 200 crore with 3 Idiots (2009); Rs 250 crore with Dhoom:3 (2013) and Rs 300 crore with PK (2014)…

I haven’t started any club (laughs). It’s the media that has started all of it. It’s a coincidence and I never even think about it. Let me put it this way: I am doing films that I love doing. I am enjoying my work. Whatever else is happening is a byproduct of it. Plus, it’s happening on its own. I believe in what Rancho says in 3 Idiots, ‘Chase excellence and success will follow you’.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Priyanka Chopra finally met Nick Jonas and his parents in London.
Priyanka Chopra finally met Nick Jonas and his parents in London.

Priyanka is reunited with Nick, her in-laws in London, wears sweater made by mom

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 08:19 AM IST
Priyanka Chopra was reunited with her husband, singer Nick Jonas in London, where she is currently filming her upcoming series, Citadel.
Close
Vidya Balan’s last release was the Shakuntala Devi biopic.
Vidya Balan’s last release was the Shakuntala Devi biopic.

Vidya Balan says she 'hated her body' when her weight became a 'national issue'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 07:06 AM IST
  • Actor Vidya Balan has said that it has taken her time to accept her body because, at one point in her life, she used to hate it.
Close
Actor Divya Dutta has multiple projects set to release and be shot in the year 2021.
Actor Divya Dutta has multiple projects set to release and be shot in the year 2021.

Divya Dutta: I was jumping like a kid after coming back on set after so many months

By Rishabh Suri
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 11:22 PM IST
Actor Divya Dutta considers it a ‘blessing’ to be able to work again after the ‘crazy circumstances’ which took place in the Covid pandemic.
Close
Actor Bindiya Goswami and filmmaker JP Dutta with their daughter Nidhi Dutta and son-in-law Binoy Gandhi
Actor Bindiya Goswami and filmmaker JP Dutta with their daughter Nidhi Dutta and son-in-law Binoy Gandhi

Nidhi Dutta: I will count myself lucky if Binoy and I can be half as happy as my parents are

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:18 PM IST
The actor talks about her dream wedding, the importance of relationship and what she hopes she got from her parents
Close
You have to keep hammering the thought of equality and keep putting it out there constantly, Bhumi says.
You have to keep hammering the thought of equality and keep putting it out there constantly, Bhumi says.

Bhumi Pednekar: Women are a far cry from being equal to men

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 10:11 PM IST
On International Women’s Day (March 8), Bhumi Pednekar stresses upon the fact that “being a woman in today’s world, comes with a lot of responsibility”
Close
Kangana Ranaut with Vikas Bahl.
Kangana Ranaut with Vikas Bahl.

Kangana thanks Vikas for his role in her career despite their personal equation

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 09:38 PM IST
  • Kangana Ranaut, who earlier accused Vikas Bahl of inappropriate behaviour, thanked him for turning her career around with Queen. She said that he 'played a very significant role' in shaping her destiny.
Close
Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput took the Centre of Gravity challenge.
Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput took the Centre of Gravity challenge.

Shahid Kapoor nails Centre of Gravity challenge with Mira Rajput, watch video

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 08:32 PM IST
  • Shahid Kapoor aced the Centre of Gravity challenge, much to the surprise of his wife Mira Rajput, who called him a 'smooth operator'. Watch the video here.
Close
Aaliya Siddiqui had filed for divorce from her husband Nawazuddin Siddiqui last year.
Aaliya Siddiqui had filed for divorce from her husband Nawazuddin Siddiqui last year.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's wife Aaliya ready to resolve issues with Shamas Siddiqui

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 07:07 PM IST
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui's wife Aaliya has reaffirmed her wish to reconcile with the actor in a new interview, adding that she is ready to mend her ties with his brother Shamas.
Close
Vicky Kaushal at the Indian Army camp in Uri.
Vicky Kaushal at the Indian Army camp in Uri.

Vicky visits Indian Army base camp in Uri, shares photos from his 'lovely day'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 06:26 PM IST
Vicky Kaushal thanked the Indian Army for inviting him to their base camp in Uri to spend the day. He took to Instagram to share pictures from his visit.
Close
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma at a birthday party.
Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma at a birthday party.

Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma let their hair down at a party

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:51 PM IST
A candid picture of Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma celebrating the first birthday of Wriddhiman Saha's son Anvay in Ahmedabad was shared online. See it here.
Close
Rhea Kapoor has been dating Karan Boolani for several years now.
Rhea Kapoor has been dating Karan Boolani for several years now.

Rhea Kapoor showers boyfriend Karan Boolani with kisses in cute photos

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:29 PM IST
  • Rhea Kapoor dedicated an adorable Instagram post to her boyfriend Karan Boolani. She shared pictures of her showering him with kisses. See his reply here.
Close
Taimur Ali Khan recently turned older brother.
Taimur Ali Khan recently turned older brother.

'Cowboy' Taimur steps out with dad Saif Ali Khan and half-sister Sara Ali Khan

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 05:05 PM IST
  • Taimur Ali Khan was photographed in Mumbai on Sunday. The star kid was seen out with his father Saif Ali Khan and half-sister Sara Ali Khan.
Close
Ibrahim Ali Khan turned 20 on March 5.
Ibrahim Ali Khan turned 20 on March 5.

Inside Ibramin Ali Khan's birthday bash with Saif, Sara calls them 'carbon copy'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:47 PM IST
  • Sara Ali Khan shared two new pictures from brother Ibrahim's birthday party. More pictures were shared by one of Ibrahim's friends.
Close
Anupam Kher turned 66 on Sunday.
Anupam Kher turned 66 on Sunday.

Inside Anupam’s birthday ‘pawri’: Watch actor dancing with his 'best friends'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2021 04:12 PM IST
  • Anupam Kher, who turned a year older on Sunday, shared a video from his birthday 'pawri' with his 'best friends'. Watch it here.
Close
Vidya Balan in a still from The Dirty Picture.(HT Photo)
Vidya Balan in a still from The Dirty Picture.(HT Photo)

Vidya recalls parents' first reaction to Dirty Picture: 'Dad clapped, mom cried'

UPDATED ON MAR 07, 2021 03:51 PM IST
  • Actor Vidya Balan has recalled feeling worried about how her family would react to The Dirty Picture. She revealed her mother and father's immediate reaction to the film.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP