Aamir Khan has said that he has no problems doing remakes, as even before Lal Singh Chaddha, he has done Ghajini and Dil Hai KI Maanta Nahi.
Be it time, preparation or efforts — trust Aamir Khan to put his heart and soul into the characters he portrays onscreen. At present, the actor is totally devoted to his next, Lal Singh Chaddha — an adaptation of Hollywood film Forrest Gump — and is making sure that from his character’s looks to shooting locations, he leaves no stone unturned to get them right. “I’ve been after this film for the last eight years, so I’m thrilled it’s finally happening,” the actor tells us, as we caught up with him for a sit-down chat during his recent visit to the Capital. Excerpts:
So, what brings you to Delhi?
We’re on an extensive recee for Lal Singh Chaddha… seeing locations in Delhi, Punjab, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ladakh, Rajasthan and I’ll be travelling for two to three days in each city.
When the film was announced, the title received a mix response. Did that make you anxious?
That’s the character’s name. [Actor] Atul Kulkarni has done the adaptation and he has made him a Sardaar (sikh guy), that’s why I’m growing my beard. So far, I’m happy with the script; we start shooting on November 1. Hopefully we’d be able to execute it well.
Tom Hanks did the role when he was 30, whereas you’ve crossed the 50-mark. Do you find it a challenge?
Not really. [In Forrest Gump]… if you see the each running shot, it’s not more than 30 seconds. Woh cut karke sequence mein lagta hai ki woh char saal bhaga. So, that’s not a worry. The challenge is actually getting the ‘sur’ of the character right.
Do you think audience easily relate with such sensitive characters onscreen or is there always a risk?
I think so. This character is very lovable. He’s so innocent… he has got this different way of looking at things. He’s someone you immediately empathize with when you connect. Unless I perform it badly (laughs), then it’s a different game. As a written character, it’s such that you’d fall in love with him straightaway.
Amid the debate that Bollywood films lack originality and that’s why we see so many remakes or adaptations; do you feel any pressure?
I don’t have a problem in doing remakes. I believe that whenever a script excites me, I want to do it. I have done remakes in the past, too — It Happened One Night was remade into Dil Hai KI Maanta Nahi and Tamil film Ghajini was remade as Ghajini in Hindi. But, it’s not something I do very often. Most of my films are original scripts. As a creative person, I feel it gives you an opportunity to reinterpret the same material. It’s like doing Shakespeare — down the centuries, people have been doing his plays again and again.
Be it Ghajini or Dangal, you’ve set the bar high when it comes to getting the look right for a character. Do you want to take it easy now?
Each time you have to not just be the character but look like that, too. In this case, I feel Lal Singh is a character — bodily and physically speaking — I see him as a lean person throughout the film, who is not exceptionally muscular. That’s how I’m hoping to project it. And I’d be speaking Punjabi in the film that I’ve just started learning.
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