Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘munnabhai

The biggest hits of their career were NEVER meant to be theirs

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; January 2, 2010)

You talk to any film director and he’ll give you gyaan on how such and such actor is in the film because he/she fit the casting to the ‘t’.

Yet, the reality of the matter is something else. It is usually who is available; and sometimes who is more saleable.

Take the latest: Aamir Khan was never meant to be playing the idiot in his latest film. It was to be Shah Rukh Khan. Since SRK and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra had a difference of opinion, the Bollywood Badshah was replaced by Aamir. And while the rest is history, there are innumerable such examples in the film industry.

History knows that Amitabh Bachchan was not Prakash Mehra’s first choice for Zanjeer. It was meant to be Dev Anand or Raaj Kumar. When both actors said no, the Big B stepped in. Jaya Bachchan even thanked Dev saab for refusing the Zanjeer role. The film gave her — her real life husband and it gave Bollywood one of its most revered screen couples.

Today you wonder how Dev saab would ever have fit into the angry young man mould. But that’s an after-thought.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted Raj Kapoor to play Anand. When he couldn’t, Hrishida sent for Shashi Kapoor but Rajesh Khanna wormed his way in. And till today Anand is synonymous with the 70s phenomenon.

Shatrughan Singh continues to smart that it was he who was to be Jai in the Jai-Veeru jodi of Sholay but because he was riding a crest of super-success then, he didn’t want to do a twohero film. Amitabh Bachchan got the role instead.
Aamir had been pencilled in for Yash Chopra’s Darr but at that point he ‘accused’ Yash of playing games. And SRK made a permanent place for himself in the YRF camp.
Ajay Devgn was to play Karan in Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun. But he was ousted by politics and next thing you know is that Salman Khan was in. Till today Karan Arjun remains one of the biggest hits of Bollywood and Salman’s career. And it may become film history because he and bete noire are unlikely to star in a movie again.

Saif Ali Khan had qualms about playing a pansy in Dostana so John Abraham was brought in. John got male and female temperatures rising with this fun flick and is now a part of its sequel.

Kareena Kapoor asked for too much money for Kal Ho Na Ho; result — Preity Zinta landed this memorable film. Shah Rukh was meant to be playing Munnabhai but since he walked out after some miscommunication, Sanjay Dutt became Munna. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was in Chalte Chalte till Salman dropped in as an uninvited guest forcing SRK to call Rani Mukerji to replace her… and Rekha and Jaya would never have had their screen face-off in Silsila had Parveen Babi and Smita Patil done their roles.

Unlike real history, reel history is often made by default.
3 Idiots’ Omi is an established actor in the US, now in Bollywood

By Lekha Menon (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


His distorted Hindi speech is one of the biggest talking points in the recently released 3 Idiots. In reality, it was an almost similar monologue that fetched Omi Vaidya,  (who prefers to be called Omi) an LA- based actor, the role of Chatur Ramalingam in the Aamir Khan-starrer.

On a trip to Mumbai to check out the Bollywood scene, Omi was asked by a friend to appear for an audition. The first audition went off without a hitch, but at the second he was given a dialogue from Munnabhai… to mouth. “I just rattled it off without exactly understanding the words… almost like the speech scene in the film,” says Omi. The next thing he knew, he was pencilled in for the role of the accented, mark-obsessed NRI geek in the film.

The instructions he received from the makers were clear: Don’t take Hindi classes, stop watching Hindi movies and put on weight.

Omi followed them to the T and now of course, he is revelling in the compliments coming his way for his role in the blockbuster. “I am still flabbergasted by the response. I guess people have liked the character because he is so relatable. In a way, this character’s negativity brought out the essence of the message more forcefully,” says Omi.

Incidentally, he began his acting career at the age of six, performing for Marathi Mandals in the US (also the reason why his Marathi is much better than his Hindi). He pursued a serious acting career in his teens, graduated in film studies from NYU and did roles in  Bones, CSI Las Vegas, The Office and Arrested Development, besides ads.

But being Asian or Indian, it’s still a tough task to break into Hollywood,  says Omi. “It’s difficult for Indians to get into the mainstream. At the most, you might be cast as an IT professional or other stereotypes.”

Omi in 3Idiots

That’s when he thought of exploring Bollywood, though there were other apprehensions. “The Hindi film industry is still not taken that seriously in the West. There are myths that it is unprofessional, and is mainly about songs and dances.”

But all his fears were put to rest once he joined the cast. “Here, there is a personal touch, unlike Hollywood. Even if they don’t pay you by the hour and there is no extra time, there is warmth and care. I basically saw my Bollywood innings as a challenge. A lot of credit also goes to Raju and Abhijat Joshi for the way the character came across on screen.”

Not surprisingly, after the stupendous success and appreciation, he is here for the long haul. Omi, plans to divide his time between the US and India and work in films ‘that don’t necessarily typecast him as an NRI but are dynamic and enjoyable.’

And for the record, he has now started taking Hindi classes as well.

STYLISH: Aamir Khan sporting a Millionaire attire in Three Idiots

Raju Hirani relies on Munnabhai design store to dress up Aamir for hit song in new film

SMITA ROY Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 28, 2009)

While 3 Idiots has already become a box-office hit and its popular song Zoobi Doobi has climbed the music charts at full speed, one person who is as happy as Raju Hirani and the film’s cast is Siraj Furniturewala of Millionaire who dressed up lead actor Aamir Khan for that number. Siraj and his fashion store have been associated with Hirani ever since the filmmaker made Munnabhai MBBS. “Raju is as particular about what he chooses as is Aamir. And I take it as a compliment for Millionaire to have such a long association with him. We provided the clothes for Zoobi Doobi as well as the wedding scenes in 3 Idiots where we dressed up all the lead actors including Kareena Kapoor, Sharman Joshi and R Madhavan,” said Siraj. Dressing up Aamir, given the actor’s demand for perfection, was not a problem at all “It took three sittings to decide on the kind of stuff he’d need. My brother Afzal and I, and the whole team of 3 Idiots, worked on this together and Aamir selected the clothes which were apt enough for the situations in the film,” revealed Siraj, adding, “to be appreciated by Aamir in itself adds another feather to the cap of appreciation.” He’s looking at an even longer association with Hirani as well as Vidhu Vinod Chopra. “Both of them, with their inputs on the style and the look, helped us get better in our designs,” he said.

Although 51 weeks had passed in 2009, it still seemed incomplete. There was not a single Hindi flick this year which could be happily showered with never-ending appreciation and 5/5 ratings. Thankfully, 3 Idiots has arrived in the final week and given us the much needed ‘film of the year’! To tell you the truth, I am finding it difficult to express my satisfaction and happiness in words. Rajkumar Hirani has come up with an extremely superior product. And like his previous Munnabhai flicks, 3 Idiots also entertains and at the same time enriches! And the enlightment is such that will remain with you for a long time and would not vanish away after coming out of theatre! Needless to say, it’s a must watch!!

The story of the movie: Farhan (R Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) are in search for their college friend, Ranchoddas aka Rancho (Aamir Khan) who has vanished after the convocation. They missed him terribly as he was a special friend. He was different from others. He reaffirmed the simple ideas of life which were left behind by everyone for ‘textbook knowledge’ which results in profitable future. He propagated his ideas in a humanistic manner without fear and thus, challenged even the head of college, Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Boman Irani). He inspired Farhan and Raju to think out of the box and to not end up mugging knowledge. Watch the film to find out where Rancho had disappeared and why.

3 Idiots is a winner from the first scene! The essence of the film could be explained even in serious manner but then that would have been too boring. Rajkumar Hirani smartly uses his smart technique of making us laugh (like hell) throughout the film but at the same time, giving us some important lessons of life. Also, what is immensely likeable about Hirani’s style is the protagonist’s character sketch. In all the 3 films, the lead actor is a source of positivity, giving important teachings in a sweet manner and spreading smiles everywhere. Rancho is also Munna Bhai and vice versa!


The film is wonderfully structured and perfectly comes back and forth (the flashback portion is running parallel in the film). The first scene, where Madhavan exits from the plane which has already taken off sets the mood. Then the ragging session where Rancho enters the film and teaches a nice lesson to the seniors was simply outstanding scene! Undoubtedly, the funniest scene in the film was where Chatur aka Silencer (Omi) gives the speech on Teacher’s Day. Believe me, it would bring the house down for sure! After a loooong time, I was laughing uncontrollably for 5 minutes continuously! This reminds me-the humour in the film is not slapstick or crass-it’s novel and something that would surely tickle your funny bone!

The intermission point was bewildering but the mystery unravels beautifully in the 2nd half. The best thing about 2nd half is you can never guess what will happen next. When a conflict arises, it is solved well in time and when you feel the film is ready for the climax, another conflict surrounds the main characters. However, one doesn’t get bored and doesn’t get impatient for the film to get over. Everyone will enjoy and get engrossed to whatever is dished out by Hirani.

The delivery sequence (involving Mona Singh) was just fabulous. It shows that quick and out of the box thinking can save the day when all our knowledge fails. Just brilliant! As for the climax, it was totally justified. The film touches various topics concerning student life (including student suicide) and depicts and debates in a just manner.

Each character had a purpose in the story and not a single one was unnecessarily added. Aamir Khan, without a shred of doubt, was the most important character of the film and needless to say, he was amazing! The best part is the way he slipped easily into the character of a student and came out with flying colours. Notice the manner in which he scratches his head and ears, the way he walks, his mannerism and body language-all matched with that of a restless and mischievous student. Also, seeing Aamir as Rancho, you’ll forget all his past performances. You’ll forget that he is the same Aamir who played the ferocious amnesic in Ghajini or the lovely teacher in Taare Zameen Par. Like all his recent films, 3 Idiots will also be remembered for a long long time to come!

R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi also maintained a strong position throughout the film. Madhavan is the narrator and does a great job in it. Also rocking was his beautiful performance in the airplane scene and his confrontation with his father. Sharman, on the other hand, did full justice to his character which was no easy task.

Boman Irani rocks! I had mentioned earlier too that it’s extraordinary that this actor plays a different kind of character in all his films and each performance stands out from the other. Here, he was great as strict disciplinarian and watch out for his dialogue delivery! Kareena Kapoor (as Pia), too, has an important role and looked lovely in the bespectacled look. Nice to see that after delivering 3 flops in this year, she finally came up with a winner! Omi was exemplary! Everyone will surely love his chamatkaar speech! What an actor he is! Mona Singh has amazing screen presence. Although her role here was miniscule, she would hopefully receive more offers after this film. Jaaved Jaaferi and Parikshit Sahni were alright in their small roles. Others were good.

Shantanu Moitra’s music was melodious and ‘ear-catching’ (can I use this phrase?!). Best song was of course Aal Izz Well. Zoobi Doobi’s picturisation was amazing. Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe was quite touching.

Sanjay Wandrekar, Atul Raninga and Shantanu Moitra’s background score was perfect. C K Muraleedharan’s cinematography was flawless and he’s one of the contenders for Best Cinematography for sure. Watch out for the lensman’s amazing aerial shots in the song Behti Hawa Sa!

The film is loosely inspired from Chetan Bhagat’s first novel Five Point Someone. Hirani has smartly adapted only some portions of the book and interpreting and modifying it to suit the story. Hirani along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Abhijat Joshi wrote the screenplay which was brilliant to say the least!

Finally, Hirani came up with the story and directed the film too. Like his previous flicks, here too, he raised questions but didn’t turn the situation overdramatic or serious. He kept it light by adding jokes and funny situations and at the same time giving us an important lesson-do what you feel like in life. Even ‘Rock On!!’ had touched this topic but 3 Idiots will have a wider reach. Also note the outstanding way in which he handled Sharman’s suicide sequence beautifully! Hats off to these geniuses! Keep delivering such meaningful flicks!

Some of the best scenes of the film:

1.       The first scene
2.       All songs
3.       The ragging session
4.       Rancho in the first lecture
5.       Viru Sahastrabuddhe aka Virus tells Rancho to teach in the class (amazing!)
6.       Rancho and Farhan at Raju’s place
7.       Rancho meets Pia in the wedding
8.       Rancho and Pia bring Raju’s dad to hospital
9.       The intermission point
10.     Farhan and Raju with Jaaved Jaaferi (hilarious!)
11.      The chamatkaar speech!
12.     Drunk Rancho enters Pia’s room
13.     Rancho and gang trying their best to make Raju normal
14.     The last 25 minutes

On the whole, 3 Idiots is undoubtedly the best film of 2009! Whether you are a student or parent or professor, this one’s a must for all! Needless to say, missing it can be a big crime! Commercially, the film should be the 2nd film after Ghajini to cross 100 crore collections in domestic market! All Izz well indeed!

My rating-***** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/3_Idiots-182740-1.html

Sushmita Sen reached out to the usually reticent Akshaye Khanna on the sets of No Problem with a good morning hug and insisted on getting a good evening hug from him too
By Meena Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 25, 2009)
What happens when an actor, who is known to be reticent, gets visibly excited about the presence of a female co-star in the film? One would think of their interaction on the sets of the film being talk of the town. Talk of the town, it is but for a different reason.

// // // The story goes that during the casting of Anil Kapoor’s No Problem in May 2009, Akshaye Khanna who is known to be reticent got visibly excited about the prospect of working with Sushmita Sen. Akshaye had said, “Kangna Ranaut is opposite me. However, I am very happy that Sushmita Sen is in the film.”

(L): Akshaye Khanna (R): Sushmita Sen


However, once the film’s schedule began, Akshaye continued to be a recluse on the sets. Sushmita, who is just the opposite in nature to Akshaye, swung into action, to help her co-star shed his inhibitions.

A source from the sets says, “While shooting at Filmistan Studios in Goregaon where they had a 10-day schedule, the only person Akshaye mingled with was Anil Kapoor, with whom he had lunch everyday. Seeing Akshay’s reclusive nature, Sushmita, who is well-known to have people give in to her charms, thought upon a neat plan to reach out to the actor. The actress, who believes in Munnabhai’s jaddu ki jhappi theory, made a pact with Akshaye. Sushmita told Akshaye that she would greet him with a hug and a ‘good morning’ everyday and he had to reciprocate the gesture with a hug and a ‘good evening’ too. As per the plan, Sushmita was seen actually giving Akshaye a warm hug on the sets, after which the actor sported his brightest smile.”

Although Sushmita was not willing to discuss her secret pact with Akshaye because “then it is no longer a secret”, she did confirm about giving the actor a hug. All she says is, “We are in a people’s profession yet we hardly ever make the first move to reach out to someone who we don’t know too well. I for one am all for reaching out.”

Sushmita did not want to talk about her arrangement with Akshaye but sources on the sets confirmed the news.

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 24, 2009)


The much-hyped premiere of 3 Idiots promised what seemed impossible – bringing all the three Khans under one roof. Well, turns out that it actually is impossible. For while Salman Khan made a gamely appearance, Shah Rukh did not complete the picture of the happy Khan-daan. It was left up to an unchaperoned Karan Johar to pass on the good wishes for both of them.

Amitabh Bachchan was missing in action as well, taking some of the sheen away from the big premiere. Of course, other stars showed up but many of them are associated with the film or with director Rajkumar Hirani’s earlier Munnabhai series.

From (Left): Kareena kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, Kiran Rao and Aamir Khan, Imran Khan and Avantika, Rajkumar Hirani and Vinod Chopra

Aamir Khan, always the professional, played the courteous host despite the fact that he was running a high temperature. His doctor had visited him twice yesterday and his fever had hit a raging 103 degrees. Dressed in a Sabyasachi suit, he received the guests with the cast and the crew of 3 Idiots at a multiplex at Wadala, while his wife Kiran Rao stationed herself on the first floor near the screens. She was seen discussing the film with Chetan Bhagat. Bet he was trying to figure out which bits from his book finally made it to the film.

Salman caused quit a stir when he appeared and had to be whisked away and he entered the venue from a different route. Kareena Kapoor, looking stunning in a saree, came in with a dapper-looking Saif Ali Khan. Mona Singh, who makes her debut with the film, was seen in a quiet corner with her father, keeping a low profile. Bhushan Kumar was heard saying that he had cancelled his family vacation for the premiere. Touching.

Mansoor Khan was the self-appointed babysitter as he was seen loading up on the popcorn for Aamir’s kids Junaid and Ira. Reema, Aamir’s ex-wife, was also present.

Sanjay Dutt came without his devoted wife Manyata, while a bearded Sonu Nigam decided it was better not to leave his better half at home.

Sanjay dutt Sharman joshi Salman khan

Aamir Khan, who at 44 plays a 22-year-old collegian, says in his mind he is stuck at 18!

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; December 22, 2009)

Aamir Khan, as you know, has gone into hiding to promote his new film that releases this Friday. In disguise, to people’s surprise, he has popped up in different parts of the country over the past week: at Varanasi, as a Banarasi babu; outside Sourav Ganguly’s house in Kolkata as a cricket fan; in an Ahmedabad school, defying Narendra Modi’s fatwa; at the Chanderi village in Madhya Pradesh; then a Punjabi wedding in Faridkot; and, yesterday in Chennai. How this is helping the film, I don’t know; but I’m sure Aamir does, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns to Mumbai as Santa Claus on Christmas Day. He is hoping the festival will prove as successful for him as it did last year when he released Ghajini, and in 2007 — for Taare Zameen Par. Just before he went underground, Aamir told me over a quiet cup of tea at his Pali Hill home: “Christmas is a coincidence, but I’m hoping it will be third time lucky. I also believe for a film made well, any time is a good time to release it, otherwise no matter how you plan it…”
He has no doubts that this film has been made well. It’s been produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Raju Hirani. And, acting opposite him for the first time in his 20-year-career is Kareena Kapoor. Of his gorgeous co-star, Aamir said enthusiastically, “She’s outstanding, a great and
instinctive actress, extremely committed, a team player, we get along well, and she’s good looking… what more to ask for?” I agreed. The vibe between the two actors is exciting, and they look good together, the age difference between them notwithstanding. In the film, he plays a 22-year-old collegian. “That,” he told me, “was the biggest challenge for me as an actor at 44. I’m asked often if I feel my age. No, I really don’t. All of us are stuck in our heads at a particular age. And that age depends on your personality. I’m stuck at 18. And, I’ll be 18 till I die!”
He got into this film straight from Ghajini. Which meant, he had to shed that eight-pack streetfighter’s body painstakingly built up over 13 months for one raw scene of action. “It was heartbreaking,” Aamir revealed. “I didn’t want to lose it. But I had to look boyish. I had to stop training, get onto a careful and strict diet, and I began playing badminton… for three-four hours. Catch a 44-year-old doing that!” But he did it, because this is the same Aamir Khan who has always used his body as a tool in his films. “The way I look is important,” he admitted, “but for any character, it begins with how you feel in your head. What makes the character tick? You get into the mind of the character. From that flows how the body will look. My character in the new film is a free-spirited kind of guy, unusual in his thinking, and with a childlike curiosity about life and things around him.” He really didn’t want to play this role. “Get someone who’s 22,” Aamir advised Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra when they approached him. They told Aamir, “In real life, you are the character of this film, you don’t follow the path, you’re non-conformist, you do what your heart tells you. As for looking young – if you could build yourself up to look huge in Ghajini, now work on becoming small. Go for it.” And Aamir did. He said of Raju, “His big strength is that his films are not only entertaining, but also enriching. Like Munnabhai! You go home taking something valuable from the film.” And as for Vinod, who is rumoured in Bollywood to be arrogant and bold, Aamir said, “He is how he is, but he understands his director and creative team and supports them, and he has a passion for cinema. Being a director himself, Vinod is creative and he gives his films a great release. I look for that quality in a producer… whether he is able to give the film a good platform after I’ve worked so hard on it.” That Aamir Khan always does, whether he’s making the film for himself or some other producer. And he enjoys making one film at a time, which he will release on Christmas Day! “I could do more, in my lifetime I could do 500 films, but when I’m doing a film all my energies are into it. At that point, I don’t enjoy taking on anything else. I enjoy the space I am in. I’m not a factory or a huge production system. I’m… kya bolta hai… a handloom product. A one-machine-one person-one shirt kind of actor. I’m not a largescale outfit producing a million shirts. Numbers don’t excite me and are not my strength. I enjoy marketing a film. But towards the audience. My connect is with the audience. I enjoy dealing with the audience, not with exhibitors, distributors.” And that is what he is probably doing somewhere in the country right now, maybe in disguise! (Contributed by Meena Iyer, Aakansha Naval Shete)

For the first time, Deepika Padukone will star opposite Salman Khan in Kick directed by AR Murugadoss

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 09, 2009)


The self-effacing AR Murugadoss, who directed Aamir Khan in Ghajini, has now been signed on to direct Salman Khan in producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s next action-romance Kick, a remake of the 2009 Telugu film directed by Surender Reddy, starring Ravi Teja.

What comes as a surprise is that Deepika Padukone, who has till now been close to the Shah Rukh-Farah Khan-Karan Johar group, will star opposite Salman in the film.

Deepika Padukone AR Murugadoss Salman Khan

Although Deepika has just wrapped up Houseful with Sajid Nadiadwala, he was hesitant when he approached her for Kick wondering if she would have any reservations about working with Salman. According to reliable sources, Deepika made it very clear to Nadiadwala that she is open to working with every actor.

Nadiadwala doesn’t deny the presence of Murugadoss and Deepika in the Hindi remake of Kick. “Murugadoss I’ve met and Deepika of course is already my leading lady in Houseful. I loved Murugadoss’s work in Ghajini and so did Salman. We were very clear about not getting the original Telugu director as I don’t believe in letting the South Indian directors do the Hindi remakes,” he says.

The challenge now is to make Salman’s action sequences in Kick different not only from Ghajini but also Wanted.  Nadiadwala says, “I don’t want Kick to look like Wanted 2. We’ll be shooting the action scenes in Tokyo.”

Salman will be doing a lot of martial arts and kick-boxing in Kick and Murugadoss wants to make sure the action quotient in his next film is on par with the action sequences in Ghajini.

Sajid has roped in the Munnabhai writer Abhijat Joshi to script the Hindi adaptation of Kick. “He lives in the US but is expected to be in India during the release of 3 Idiots (co-written by him). That’s when we will lock in on the script,” adds Nadiadwala.

Aamir Khan may be the most powerful man in Bollywood today giving successive hits as actor, producer and director but his eyes still gleam with unexpected animation as he sits down to do an interview. Here he is, candid and uncut

By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 20, 2009)


• In 3 Idiots you play a guy from 20 to 24 years, while you are actually 44. How old are you in your head?

I still imagine myself to be 18 or 22. The other day I was at the birthday of someone who I had always thought of as older than me in my head, an uncle type person. I asked him, how old he was that day and he said 30 and I got a shock because suddenly I realised that I was 14 years older than him. I am, of course, 44, which is middle-aged, but somewhere in my head I am lost in the 18-20 age group.

 

• Did that help you play this character?

No. But given that it is necessary to get into the head of a character when you are jumping age lines, it gets more challenging. Jumping age lines, jumping accents, or jumping sexes like my playing a woman is always tough. I had actually told Raju to take someone younger but he insisted he could see me in the role. He said, “In real life, you are so close to Rancho, (the character that I am playing) I feel if you are saying what Rancho is saying people will believe it. What Rancho says is the philosophy of the film and I need someone who people will believe in.”

• You exude a lot of confidence on screen. Are you really a very confident person inside?

I think I am average, in the sense that most people are confident to a certain degree, people go through self doubt. I too go through self doubt. I am given to thinking, “Am I doing the right thing?” I only do things that I enjoy, that’s my first rule. I must be happy in what I am doing. If I am not happy doing an ad, I won’t do it. I don’t do it for commercial reasons. Yes of course I am earning money while I am doing it, but that’s not the core reason for doing it. This ultimately shows in my work, otherwise I am as confident or diffident as the next man. I also need reassurance like everyone else. I also need people to say “I liked your film”.

• When you were directing yourself in Taare Zameen Par was there anything about you as an actor that disturbed you as a director?

I have to say no. The actor and director in me saw eye to eye. Yes, when I see the film today, there are moments where I feel the scene could have been pitched differently. But that is in retrospect. That’s the corrective process in me when I am watching any of my work.

• In hindsight which of your successful films needed the most correction?






One of them would be Fanaa, the other would be Ishq, both highly successful films. In the first half of Fanaa, the character was pitched too filmy. I would have pitched him slightly different. In fact, Kunal (Kohli) and I had a long discussion about it. I would have made the character more real and more layered because as human beings we don’t have a singular emotion. When I am playing a character my attempt is that it should not be single dimensional, it should be layered. Ishq again had a lot of broad strokes and it’s also a very successful film.

• As a director do you have an actor wish list?

I am not sure whether I am thinking as a director right now. I think at heart I am still an actor. Of course now that I have taken the first step and directed one film, I am more open to listening to stories. Actually I have a very strange answer. While I am not in the mood of a director just now the opposite is also true. I think like a filmmaker. Coming back to your question, my wish list would really depend upon what the script is. So my casting would really be based on who can best play a certain part and who will suit the role. Each and every person connected to the film should feel that he is in love with it.

• Does success isolate you?

Success can be extremely isolating. And often, for multiple reasons. When you are successful, a celebrity, especially an actor, your stardom is like a magnet. It’s like the sun. (In fact, I wonder who coined this term ‘star’. Because every star is actually a sun). Because you are a star, every one is attracted to you for different reasons, some valid, some invalid. Some honourable, some not so honourable. But, as a human being our bandwidth is limited. So often what happens is that we need to shut off. It is humanly impossible to deal with so many things.

Have you noticed that stars, never make eye-contact when they are out in public. The moment you make eye-contact, you have to engage. And it’s not that we don’t like engaging. I love engaging with people. But I get tired. How many people can I engage with? That’s the nature of the beast. That’s the nature of my profession.

You have been reportedly meeting people you met on social networking sites. Does engaging with them help you perform in some way?

Now people know that it’s me on the blog, but there was a time when they didn’t. The idea behind it was to interact with strangers. Because the minute a person knows who I am, he reacts to me in a particular way. He may or may not share certain ideas with me. Or the attitude of sharing will change. The fiber of the communication will change. But if the person doesn’t know who I am, which the Internet allows, then he’s freer. That was the kind of interaction I valued a lot. There were a few people who I found to be particularly engaging. Or unusual. And those were the few people to whom I revealed who I am.

If I felt that I had a certain rapport with someone, then I no longer felt comfortable hiding, or lying about who I am. If I have reached a level of engagement of this kind, I need to tell the person who I am. So then it happened that I took three-four people into confidence.

• Since you have just completed 3 Idiots with Raju Hirani, the director of the Munnabhai series, tell me an instant recall of a Munnabhai moment?

I would say jaadu ki jhappi. That’s my big recall moment from Munnabhai. Both, Munnabhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai are my favourite films in the last five-seven odd years. They are great wholesome entertainment, which connect with you on a human level. Really connect with you on a human level.

Going back to one of your earlier questions, one of the key reasons for me doing this film, despite the fact that I am double the age of the character is Raju. I was so keen to work with Raju and I could see that Raju was excited about casting me in the film. Iske saath mereko film karne hain yaar. Agar isko lagta hain main bees saal ka ho jaata hoon toh main ho jaata hoon. Kyunki ye itna kamaal ka director hai, iske saath mereko kaam karna hain yaar.

Over the years all my professional decisions have been absurd. Its absolutely right for someone to tell me – ke tu 42 ka hain aur tu 22 ka character play kar raha hain. It may be an idiotic decision but all my decisions are idiotic. 3 idiots ka idiotic decision.

When I told anyone that I was making a film on dyslexia, they said I was mad.

When I signed Rang De Basanti, usse pehle Bhagat Singh aur Azad Singh par char filmey aa chuki thi. It was a crazy decision. My sister called me up in the evening and asked, “What are you doing?” I told her I signed a film, it’s the fifth remake of Bhagat Singh.She started laughing. She said abhi flop hui hain chauthi, aur tum paanchvi karoge. It was a bizarre decision.

Lagaan is another example. Today it is known as successful film but at that time it was a disastrous decision. None of my decisions have been practical.

How easy or difficult it is to forgive past mistakes?

Earlier, I was much more unforgiving as a person; not only towards others but also towards myself. I was extremely unforgiving of my own mistakes. In the past four or five years, I have undergone a change as a human being. I have become more forgiving of myself and others. I see it as a very positive change in myself. One of the powerful things in the world is the power of forgiveness. Its what Jesus Christ and other great philosophers have said.

Also, forgiveness comes with the genuineness of the person’s intentions. If someone has done something to hurt me and then comes and says, “Sorry Aamir”, but does not feel it, then forgiveness does not come into the picture. But if a person genuinely feels ki usse galti hui hai, then you should forgive him. It’s the same for yourself, if you realise that you’ve done some wrong, you should forgive yourself. It’s one of the most healing things.

Today we have become very unforgiving people. It may be an ethnic problem, or a community’s problem or a country’s, or in your relationships, with your wife, children, parents, we get very very unforgiving and we hold that against them. We wear it as a badge which says ‘main tujhe kabhi maaf nahi karoonga’.

I used to be like this.

Like two peas in a pod

Sometime ago we had asked Imran Khan to rate himself and Aamir on a scale of 1 to 10, according to a few parameters…

Aamir rates Imran according to the same parameters…

 

Good looks

Aamir - I won’t rate myself as I don’t like it. Imran is exceedingly good looking. I’d give him a 9.
Imran - I would put us both at a 7 at this point just because of how young and great he is looking

Patience

Aamir on Imran-
8 or 9
Imran - Aamir is a 10 and I am 9.5. We are both tremendously patient people. Again because I’m younger, I’m that 0.5 percent less patient but I am the supremely patient being that you’ll meet

Quest for perfection

Aamir on Imran- He is extremely committed so 8
Imran - Aamir is a 10, I’m probably an 8

Spontaneity

Aamir on Imran- 8
Imran - Aamir is 6, I’m a 7

Acting talent

Aamir on Imran - 6. He is good but he has a long way to go.
Imran - I put myself at a 6, I put him at a 10. I so honestly think he is the best actor in the country today

Communication skills

Aamir on Imran - 4
Imran - Mine aren’t too good. I’m not good at all, so 5 for me and him I don’t know, maybe a 7. Yeah he is better than me.

Charm

Aamir on Imran - 8
Imran - I am more charming than he is definitely; he is not a charming person. He is 5. I’m an 8.

Tendency to lose temper

Aamir - We lose our temper, but we can handle it. We don’t react. So, I would give him a 2.
Imran - One and one

Fidelity to spouse or girlfriend

Aamir - He is scoring a 100 on that one right now. So 10.
Imran - That’s a 10 for both. We are both very staid, solid guys.

3 Idiots

NOTHING BUT THE BEST WILL DO: Ajay Devgn, used to intense action roles, returns to the comedy genre tomorrow with his new film
…Ajay Devgn is confident of his Diwali release All the Best

MARK MANUEL Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; October 15, 2009)

You would have thought, with two other big budget, multi-star films releasing tomorrow alongside his All the Best, Fun Begins…, producer-actor Ajay Devgn might be in an excitable state of nerves. Far from it! On Monday evening, when I met him at home over coffee, Ajay was uber cool. Also, sleepy. That’s because it was 8 pm and in the Devgn bungalow at JVPD, it’s lights out at 9. “My daughter Nysa won’t sleep without me,” said Ajay explaining the early nights. “But, yes, I saw the film again yesterday with family and friends who are absolutely honest in their criticism. And, from seven to 65, they were all laughing nonstop! My mother, who normally worries about my releases, was relaxed. And I’ve never seen my father laughing so much. So I’m quite confident the film will work.”

He’s busy dubbing for London Dreams with Salman Khan. And shooting with Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor for Rajniti. But it’s All the Best that Ajay is living right now. And happily for the producer in him, the book on this
Devgn Films release is that it is a clean comedy that families can enjoy for Diwali, there are no double meaning dialogues at the cost of humour, the situations in the script are hilarious, the performances by Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Fardeen Khan and, well, Ajay himself are funny and riotous. “The film takes ten minutes to sink in,” Ajay revealed, “but from then on until the climax, you’ll laugh. There is an emotional moment in between. It’s needed. You take a rest in between laughing!” I understand the production of the film in Goa and Hyderabad was one big party. “We had a blast,” Ajay agreed, “this is a good team, and for 80 to 90 per cent of the film, all the characters are in every scene. Well, five are definitely there… and there are seven or eight characters. The climax has 20! All complement each other. When you are comfortable with your co-stars, when the entire cast understands that the film is the most important thing, then there is no stress. It’s team work. You can see that in All the Best. There’s great rapport between Sanju and me, Bips and I always get along well, Fardeen — I just got to know, but what a great guy he is, and Mugdha took just a day to get comfortable.”

Ajay is handsome in his praise for his director, Rohit Shetty, who apparently knows the pulse of comedies. “A comedy improvises,” said Ajay, “but how much works, when do you stop stretching it? Rohit has mastered the knack of entertaining audiences. He stopped
well within the limit.”
And he’s also generous in his acknowledgement of Sanjay Dutt’s performance: “His best — after Munnabhai, what timing, but Sanju was behaving like a producer… he was more worried about the film than me!” His own performance, Ajay is naturally reluctant to discuss. From action and intense roles that won him two National Awards, he’s now doing comedies. “I’m honest at what I do,” he shrugged, “and I guess that works.”

It was getting onto 9 pm and Ajay was stubbing out his last cigarette when the door burst open. Little Nysa bounded in, cutely dressed for bed, but with a reserve amount of energy and mischief left in her to fuss over her
father. “How long,” she demanded. “Five minutes, sweetheart,” the big Bollywood produceractor said unconvincingly. She picked up his phone meaningfully and began to fiddle with the keys. “Nysa… please, not my phone,” Ajay was pleading. “All the best,” I told him slipping out.
mark.manuel@timesgroup.com


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.