On expectations from Ghajini
This movie is the first real action flick Aamir has worked in. “When I was offered Ghajini, I saw the original Tamil version and thought ‘My God, what a moving film’. I hope the audience says the same when they walk out after watching the hindi version,” says Aamir. “Everyone thinks the it’s just a fast action flick, but actually, it’s a touching love story too,” he adds.
On choosing a young co-star
There seems to be a trend of established male stars working with actresses half their age (Anushka with SRK in Rab ne… and now Asin with Aamir in Ghajini). Aamir refuses to call it a trend and says, “It isn’t as if I go around looking for an 18-year-old to star with. She’s quite an established star down south. If Asin hadn’t played the part so perfectly in the Tamil version or didn’t speak hindi so well, I would have said Kareena would be perfect for this role.”
On Shah Rukh Khan
Rather than compare the two mega stars, we decided to quiz Aamir on what qualities he and SRK have in common (incidentally, they share a common year of birth, both have a Hindu wife, one son and one daughter, and more). Aamir thinks hard on this one with a naughty smile and says, “If you insist, let me look at the positive things common to both of us. I think we are both very driven. And also that we are both family men. I really respect the way Shah Rukh lives for his family — his wife, kids, sister. I do the same.”
However, he doesn’t let the chance slip by to make another point. “But I don’t know why Shah Rukh keeps taking pot shots at me in media. Since he does, I reply in the same vein,” he mischievously adds. So is there truth to the rumours that he developed the famous eight-pack abs to beat Shah Rukh’s six packs? “No way. I started working out much before Shah Rukh did to get his six or eight or whatever.”
On recession and pay cuts
The industry is rife with rumours about stars having to cut down their prices following the global downturn. Aamir doesn’t mince words and says, “Some stars in Bollywood had raised their prices to artificially unrealistic levels. What recession will do is bring those prices to real levels. I never commanded an unrealistic fee. So I’m thankfully immune from this now. All I want is my film to be economically viable for my producers. If they won’t make money through me, why would they hire me?”
On India-Pak relations
“We should realise that people from both countries are victims of terror. However, having said that, if Pakistan doesn’t take any action against terrorists on its own soil, someone else will soon, and should.”
On wife Kiran, son Junaid and daughter Ira
“I’m a complete family man,” he says. So what is the most romantic thing Kiran has ever said to him? “Hmm, she has said so many that it’s tough to point out one,” he says, scratching his head and blushing just a tad bit. We ask him who, out of son Junaid, 15 and daughter Ira, 10 is his stronger critic. “I would say Junaid. Ira is more indulgent with me. She can’t critique me,” says the proud father.