Aamir Khan is very careful about where his name goes. Here, Mr. quality conscious chats about producing Jaane Tu...., launching his nephew Imran and also joking with Shah Rukh...
Your uncle Nasir Hussain launched you in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. You are launching your nephew Imran in Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. Is this destiny?
You can call it destiny. Jaane Tu... was being produced by Jhamu Sughand along with two other films. Unfortunately there was a financial crisis and Jaane Tu… was without a producer. When Imran Khan and (director) Abbas Tyrewala narrated the script to me I just fell in love with it. As a producer or an actor, wherever I put my name, I want the audience to identify that the film will be quality cinema. After I decided to produce the film I went through all the auditions to check if the actors were perfect for their roles… only then did I approve. But now that the film is ready it brings back emotional memories of Chachajaan launching me in QSQT. Our families are very close and we all have grown up together — Mansoor (director cousin who made QSQT, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar...), Nuzhat (Imrans mother), Nikhat and me. All my formative years were spent at their house itself...
| Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak
How different is it for an Imran Khan to debut in 2008 as opposed to an Aamir Khan in 1988? How do you think things have changed in these two decades?
Oh yes, the scenario has changed a lot today. You see earlier newcomers faced a lot of difficulties. Unlike today we never had platforms where we could promote our films. In fact I remember Juhi and I hardly gave any interviews and the few that we gave never got any coverage (laughs). But now the awareness has become a lot more and there are lot many platforms.
Would you have produced Jaane Tu... had it not featured Imran?
I dont know if I would have come to know about the film if Imran was not there because he was the one who told me about the film. The script was so good that I wanted it to be my production. I am very careful about where my name goes. Only because the product was good, I wanted my name to be associated with it.
What was your role during the making of Jaane Tu...?
My role was that of a producer. Unfortunately I was busy with Taare Zameen Par when they were shooting Jaane Tu… But now I am doing as much as I can for the film. Although I am busy shooting for Ghajini, I am trying my best to look after the post (post-production) and the distribution of the film. In fact, Mansoor (Khan) had told me that he would only be present during the shooting and I will have to take over after that.
How was it having Mansoor back in the fold? Was it tough getting him back on the sets?
I relied on pure emotional blackmail (laughs)… Once I told Mansoor, he instantly agreed to come and help us out. I am really happy that he came back when we needed him the most.
| Imran Khan and Genelia in Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na
What do you think of the finished film and of Imran as an actor?
I have not seen the final cut. We are still in the post-production stage... will see the film may be in a weeks time. However Imran has done a much better job than I had done in QSQT. For his first film, he is very good.
Why didnt you do the special appearance in the film that director Abbas Tyrewala wanted you to? Wouldnt it have helped the film?
I was busy with Taare Zameen Par and there was no time.
You were one of the first actors to begin blogging. Now that its become routine for every actor trying to promote his film, has it changed your stance? Do you find your communication with your fans any different?
No, it has not changed my stance at all. The communication level is the same the way it was when I started blogging. In fact, I have become closer to my fans now. Since it is one-on-one interaction, the distance has come down. Although I am busy shooting for Ghajini and with the prep (pre-production work) of Delhi Belly and another film with (director) Anusha (Rizvi) and of course with Jaane Tu… that is releasing soon (July 4), I try and catch up with them as often as I can over the blog. In fact, yesterday (June 18) only I posted a blog.
You have been promoting Imran quite aggressively. Can there be a situation of your stardom overshadowing his freshness?
I am just doing my job as a producer. I dont think anyone can overshadow a talent. He is young, fresh and very talented. I am sure people will like him once they see the film.
I have to ask you about the Shahrukh (the dog) licking bit and do you regret writing that post? Because not everyone can take a joke like you and Shah Rukh can...
You know what, Shah Rukh and I keep joking with each other. We have such a comfort level with each other that we can understand a joke as a joke… Thats the strength of our friendship and the understanding we share. He has made fun of me several times in the past and I have understood that as a joke. However most of our fans didnt appreciate the humour. So I apologised to them for hurting their feelings. In fact, we spoke couple of days back. I had called him to invite him for the premiere of Jaane Tu…
PRATIM D. GUPTA