When Aamir Khan refused to do Lagaan, called it a 'bizarre thought': 'In five minutes of its narration, I rejected it'

Aamir Khan said in an old interview that he turned down Lagaan after hearing the script and asked filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker to make changes.
Lagaan was released in 2001.
Lagaan was released in 2001.
Published on Jun 23, 2022 05:59 PM IST
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Actor Aamir Khan is currently awaiting the release of his film Laal Singh Chaddha. The actor has delivered several hits in his almost 50 years long career. But his film Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India, which was released in 2001, still remains one of his most memorable. In an old interview, Aamir revealed that he turned down the film after hearing the script but his parents convinced him to do it. Also Read: Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker reveals the one 'correction' he'd make to the film in hindsight

Lagaan remains one of only five Indian films to have been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars, the others being Mother India, Salaam Bombay!, Little Terrorist and The White Tiger.

In an old interview with Pinkvilla, when Aamir was asked about his Oscar-nominated film, he said, “When I heard Lagaan, in five minutes of its narration, I rejected it. I was like it is a story of people who are not able to pay Lagaan as there are no rains and they play cricket with British people? I was like 'What a bizarre thought is this? I told Ashutosh, ‘This is a strange story. I told him to get me a different story’.”

He added, “I loved the final script of Lagaan and found it unbelievable. I told him, 'It is a fantastic script and it does break the record of mainstream cinema. But I am scared to say yes. I can't do it. Later, I would often think why am I not doing the film? Then I told Ashutosh to narrate the story to my parents. They heard it and were crying. They told me I should do it.”

Lagaan follows the story of Bhuvan (Aamir), a villager from Champaner, Gujarat, who is challenged by an arrogant British officer, played by Paul Blackthorne, to a game of cricket, as a wager to avoid paying the taxes (lagaan) they owe.

Aamir will now be seen in Laal Singh Chaddha, which is a Hindi remake of the 1994 classic Forrest Gump. The film is due to release in theatres on August 11. It is a Hindi remake of Tom Hanks-starrer Forrest Gump.

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