Aamir Khan recalls ex-wife Reena Dutta scolding him on Lagaan sets: 'Uss din itni daant padi'
Aamir Khan has said that the one memory about Lagaan that stays with him is how his ex-wife Reena Dutta went from being someone who knew nothing about films to an ace producer.
Actor Aamir Khan, on the 20th anniversary of his Oscar-nominated film Lagaan, praised his ex-wife Reena Dutta, the producer of the film. He said that Reena had no interest in films prior to working on Lagaan, but soon became familiar with even the technical side of things, to the point that she scolded him for making a decision that caused a delay in filming.
Aamir Khan said that Reena and director Ashutosh Gowariker would often be at loggerheads, and he'd have to step in to sort out the disputes, as a 'referee'. Once, she even scolded him. "Uss din itni daant padi (That day I got a good scolding)," he said.
He said during a media interaction, "The one thing that remains with me is the way Reena handled the film. Reena, my ex-wife, was the producer of the film. And she was somebody who had no understanding of cinema until then. Though she was married to me for a number of years, she wasn't interested in films. When I told her one night that I was producing it, and would need her help, she said, 'I don't know anything about film, what can I help you?'."
Aamir said that he encouraged her to give it a shot, and Reena promised him that she'd learn. "Usne I learn kya bol diya, usne pura seekh liya (She outdid herself, and learned it all). She met Subhash Ghai, she met Manmohan Shetty, who runs the lab. She went to the lab and asked to be shown a negative, a sound negative, processing, printing, the full lab process. She went and met producers, directors, technicians, to understand what is filmmaking. And I told her I'm not going to tell you anything. So she learned on her own. She cracked it, and produced a film as if she's a veteran. And that's something that I'll remember always in my life," he said.
He also recalled an incident in which he got scolded by Reena for making a decision that delayed the shoot. After realising that the 500 extras they'd originally asked for weren't going to be enough, Aamir and Ashutosh told Reena they'd need 1500.
"So he told Reena, ‘This isn’t looking enough I would need more people.’ Reena was like, ‘Now, at the last moment, how will I get more people? You asked for 500 people and I got it. Now, you shoot'." He said that Reena scolded him, for doing 'masti'. Eventually, their decision to delay the shoot cost them more money, but resulted in a better scene, Aamir said.
Aamir and Reena were married from 1986 to 2002. They have two children, Junaid and Ira Khan. Aamir is now married to filmmaker Kiran Rao, with whom he has one son, Azad Rao Khan.