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Happy birthday, Aamir Khan: 15 of his most candid statements on love, life, fatherhood and more

Bollywood star Aamir Khan has turned 53. He had said earlier that it would be a working birthday (March 14), as he’d be shooting for Thugs of Hindostan in Jodhpur.

bollywood Updated: Mar 14, 2018 12:51 IST
Yashika Mathur
Yashika Mathur
Hindustan Times
Aamir Khan,Kiran Rao,Azad Rao Khan
Actor Aamir Khan’s next film is Thugs of Hindostan.(Yogen Shah)

Be it Aamir Khan’s role in the coming-of-age drama Dil Chahta Hai or his portrayal of Mahavir Phogat in Dangal, the actor’s work has struck the right chord with the audience. But Aamir is loved for his passionate approach towards life as much as he is for his acting. As the Bollywood star turns 53, here’s revisiting his candid words — his thoughts on life, love, work, fatherhood and more.

1. On his first love

Believe it or not, I fell in love for the first time when I was 10. I had joined tennis coaching… with a group of 40-50 children. A girl was a part of it… I was stunned to see her. It was ‘pehla nasha’ when I first saw her. I fell head over heels in love with her; was besotted by her. I used to think of her day and night. But I never mustered the courage to express my feelings to her… She was beautiful.

2. On fatherhood

Actor Aamir Khan with his elder son Junaid.

I have to admit I’m not someone who’s fully there mentally most of the time. Kiran (his wife Kiran Rao) is a hands-on mother. Reena (Dutta; Aamir’s first wife) was also a hands-on mother. I wasn’t such a hands-on father except for Junaid during that first one year.

3. On whether he’s disciplined or not

I’m totally undisciplined. The only thing that gets me into discipline is my work. Had I not been an actor, I would have been the most undisciplined person.

4. On being called Mr Perfectionist

It puts no pressure on me because I don’t believe in the title. The correct title that fits me is not Mr Perfectionist, it should be Mr Passionate, that is what I am.

5. On plans to join Hollywood, if any

I don’t have any interest in going to the US and working there. I am totally interested in working for Indian films. I have a relationship with the audience here for last 25-26 years. I give a lot of value to it.

6. On working with Chinese actors

I really want to do films with talent from China. Chinese talents and us Indians, we should make a film together. I believe it’ll be wonderful.

7. On loss and handling relationships

Actor Aamir Khan’s elder son Junaid, daughter Ira and first wife Reena Dutta.

I’ll have to sit back and list what I’ve lost. I’ve gained a lot of love, respect and popularity from my audiences and fans. What I lost is a million dollar question! I started working at the age of 18. Professionally, I got so engaged that I could hardly give time to my Ammi. Yes! A little later in life, after I got married and became the father of Junaid and Ira, I didn’t have much time for them either — owing to my busy schedule. I surely lost out on maintaining my relationships with my Ammi, kids and wife Reena, and now Kiran as well.

8. On social media

I’m not the kind of person who’s active on social media. I don’t think that will change. Once in a while, I go online and say something. My major communication with fans in India or anywhere else is through my work. Social media is a wonderful platform to connect with people. But each one of us has a different personality. I’m not a very communicative person in that sense.

9. On Bollywood and gossip

I’m not a part of Bollywood politics. I’m the last person to know what is happening in Bollywood [beacuse] I’m usually so lost in my own world.

10. His advice to youth

When you’re facing failure, one tends to feel like compromising but never do that. Keep going even when your chips are down.

11. On how he chooses his directors

If the person I am going to work with has made a film, then I watch his/her films to see if he/she knows the craft, that’s simple. If they are first-timers, then as a producer I request them to shoot 5-6 scenes of a film. I do a screen test for the director... to see whether the person can use the tools of cinema to tell a story or not. I must feel the director is dying to tell a story.

12. On his children joining films

I would love it. I mean I would be happy. See, my kids can choose whatever they want. I will support them and Reena will support them and Kiran will support them. If they join films, I will be happier because this is my field, it’s my line, I’ll get to work with them, I’ll get to share that with them. Having said that, I’d like them to make up their own minds. I don’t like to ask them what they want to do. Let them decide. I feel strongly about that. If they deserve to be launched, I’ll launch them. If I don’t feel that they deserve a break I won’t give it them, then they can find acting jobs on their own.

13. On the digital age

All the mediums are relevant; it’s up to an audience how they enjoy it. If you are in a hurry, you can watch a film on the mobile in the car. I don’t do that, I don’t enjoy that. I love the big screen experience, surround sound... I want everything that will make that experience better, be it 5.1 audio or Dolby Atmos. I’m a big screen person.

14. On work equation with Kiran

Actor Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao.

We share a healthy relationship. It’s not that we don’t have arguments and disagreements. We have them all the time because we come from different creative spaces. But what works for us is that I have high regard for her mind and creative instincts, and vice versa. A disagreement is not a matter of fear or a matter of proving her wrong or proving myself right. We’re happy to disagree also.

Actor Aamir Khan with wife Kiran Rao and younger son Azad.

15. On balancing act with son Azad

I only do two things for him. I used to take him every day at 4pm to play tennis. I’d sit for one hour while he played. Whenever I’m in Mumbai, I make sure I’m at home latest by 7pm so I have dinner with him or rather he sits with me and has his dinner. Then Kiran and I, alternately, read to him every night. So three of us are in bed together when we read to him. That’s an effort I’ve been making. I’m not involved in his day-to-day activities like Kiran is. I only go once in a while to drop him at school when Kiran asks me to.

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First Published: Mar 14, 2018 12:43 IST