Fanaa turns 11: Director Kunal Kohli shares that Aamir Khan suggested Kajol’s name
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Fanaa turns 11: Director Kunal Kohli shares that Aamir Khan suggested Kajol’s name

Filmmaker Kunal Kohli walks down memory lane and shares his memories of making Fanaa, which brought together Aamir Khan and Kajol for the first time playing the lead pair on-screen.

bollywood Updated: May 26, 2017 12:02 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Aamir Khan,Kajol,Fanaa
Filmmaker Kunal Kohli will make his acting debut with Phir Se, which will be directed by him.(Yogen Shah)

Fanaa perhaps will remain one of the most special films in Kunal Kohli’s career as a director. As the film completes 11 years of its release on May 26, Kunal shares that the best thing about the film was the on-screen pairing of actors Aamir Khan and Kajol. Why so special? “Fanaa is the first and the last film till date where both the actors were paired opposite each other. So convincing both, Aamir and Kajol, and having them on board for the film remains my best memory of Fanna,” says the filmmaker.

Kunal also shares that he had approached both the actors separately and they had quite liked the script. “We went to Aamir first and when we asked him who he thinks would play the role of Zooni the best, he said ‘I will give you three names and that is Kajol, Kajol and Kajol’,” recalls Kunal, who was quick to add that he and Aditya Chopra, were not sure about Kajol, as they thought she would choose to do Karan Johar’s film.

Fanaa was the first and last film this date where Kajol and Aamir Khan have been paired opposite each other.

“Karan [Johar] was casting for KANK (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna) at that time, and since Kajol and he were thick friends, Adi (Aditya Chopra) and I thought she would work in that film. But when we approached her, she gave her nod at the first narration,” shares Kunal.

The Hum Tum (2004) filmmaker feels that along with Aamir and Kajol, what made the film all the more special was the fact that it also had actors such as Rishi Kapoor, Kirron Kher and Tabu in supporting roles. “Working with such a bunch of brilliant actors was experiencing something inspiring every day. The way Aamir used to say his shayaris, how we shot film in minus 27 degrees in Polland, and the songs that are still being played at various radio stations make me feel proud,” says Kunal, who also remembers that this was the last film where composer duo Jatin-Lalit worked together.

Ask him to share the most interesting anecdote from the film, Kunal reveals, “I approached Aamir with the English dialogues and he wanted me to come back to him after translating them in Urdu [the language his character speaks in the film]. I told him that it won’t take more than a month and he wondered how could I write them in a month’s time? So, though I finished penning the Urdu dialogues within a week, but I had to wait for another week before showing him the final script or else kya pata woh bol dete ki bahut zaldi likh diya… (you never know, he might have said that it’s impossible to write it so quick). Though he said something similar but then he also loved what I wrote and we retained it [in the film].”

Recalling another incident, Kunal shares how he suggested the tagline Subhaan Allah for the hit song Chaand Sifaarish Jo Karta Hamari. “While Salim (Merchant) of Salim–Sulaiman was arranging the music for the song, they made me listen to the music of Subhaan Allah and said what do I think can be the catch line, and these two words suddenly came out of my mouth and they decided to retain them,” he says.

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First Published: May 26, 2017 12:01 IST