Indian Cinema completes 100 Years this year. At the same time Bollywood’s own Mr.Perfectionist Aamir Khan also completes 25 Years in Indian Cinema. The Superstar, chocolate-boy, man with the midas touch, an actor who chooses quality over quantity, talks about his journey, stardom, inspirations and life…
Congratulations on celebrating your Silver Jubilee in Bollywood!
Time has moved so fast (smiles). I don’t understand how fast have I traveled these 25 years. During my debut in QSQT (Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak), I had no idea how long I would survive. I was very new and I used to hear that an actor’s lifespan is maybe 5 years. After 5 years, People start getting bored of you. I had my own insecurities when I started out. And this is the happiest moment for me, knowing I have been a part of the film industry for so long. Co-incidentally, the Indian film industry is also celebrating it’s 100th year!
Who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank those writers and directors who have worked with me, because without their contribution, I wouldn’t have gone on this long journey of mine. I would like to thank Nasir Sahab (Nasir Hussain), my uncle who gave me my first film. I would like to thank Mansoor Khan who directed my first film. I would like to thank all my co-actors including Juhi Chawla, who worked with me. I have learnt so much from everyone be it the cameraman, sound recordists, music directors, lyricists etc. I would like to thank my audience who tolerated me for 25 years. They saw my films, Showered their love and respect on me. The love of my Audience is priceless for me. And after my Audience, I would like to thank my family who stood by me every time. For the support they have given me, be it my Mother, Father, Reenaji and Kiranji.
How do you feel about being such a powerful star?
When I was new I had no idea how my career would shape up. My first film QSQT was a block-buster and I became a “star” over night. My world turned upside down. But after that there were a few films of mine which were unsuccessful. I made mistakes and learnt from them as well. But when I think of that phase I feel very proud because those mistakes made me a better actor. At that point of time I made a serious decision for myself. I would not sign another film for the money. I would not do a film for just a big banner or a big director. I would only do a film if my heart was convinced about the script. For the last 24 years, I was firm about my decision. I have always kept a non-compromising attitude when it comes to quality.
And you had no fear while taking that decision?
I walked alone when I started off. People used to think that I am new and I am not signing many films and it will be hard for me to survive. They also used to laugh at me as I worked totally opposite to the film industry’s laws. And I kept convincing myself that I never knew any other way of working. It is all by the blessings of the almighty that I was successful every time.
What is a “power” according to you?
Power is something that works only when you make proper use of it, in a good way. If I am so powerful that I can hold 100kgs at a time, And some huge weight falls on you but I don’t help you in that, what is the point of me being so powerful?
Any films that you regret doing?
I don’t regret any films that I have done so far. I know that I have done some films which were not made up to the mark or which have not worked at the box office, But as I said earlier, I have learnt from those films. I give my failures as much importance as my successes.
From marketing a film to buying shares, you have always been a trend-setter…
(Laughs) No it’s nothing like that. I only take those decisions which I feel are worth taking. I am not scared about walking on a new path or taking a risk. Because my motto is those who have truth and courage in their hearts, they always win.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
Ok according to me, I think I have two qualities which are good and bad at the same time. First, my passion and madness towards my work which I also consider my strength. But it can be dangerous sometimes. For the simple reason that when passion and madness grows, you sometimes forget everything around you. The second quality in me is I am very stubborn. Carrying this stubbornness in me, I have even done a few films despite the fact that people advised me that they could be flops (laughs).
You had a bad phase with the media some time ago..
As I said, I am stubborn. In my career there were a few false rumours which were carried over board by the media and I took it personally. I am also a very emotional person and I thought to myself that when the media doesn’t like me, Why do I have to show them my face? So I started keeping a low profile because I was hurt. When I get hurt, I don’t retaliate. The media got more upset with me over this. I was in a situation where I didn’t knew what to do (laughs). I asked myself what am I doing wrong? I got no answers. Later, I did a film called Taare Zameen Par where I met Dr.Shetty and discussed this with him. He made me understand that a child needs only four important things in life. Security, trust, dignity and love. I got the point started sharing these four important factors with media. Because not only children, but we as a grown-up needs these too.
Which actress has made the biggest contribution to your life?
I think it’s the one and only Madhubalaji. She gives me one smile and I’m gone (laughs).
One last question, do you remember the first day of your shoot?
Yes I do remember the first day of my shoot very clearly. It was a scene in QSQT and we were shooting in Ooty, Where me and Juhi Chawla are in the Jungle and I wake up in the morning only to find Juhi is missing. We were ready with the equipment and everything and suddenly this fog comes in and didn’t move for 8 hours and the whole day was wasted. I thought to myself how unlucky I am that my first day of the shoot didn’t happen (laughs). I wondered, will I be able to make it as an actor for the rest of my life? So the moral of the story is please don’t be superstitious, Even if your start is not easy, keep walking.
Story courtesy: Vaalee Supreet