Aamir Khan is known to be a perfectionist. There are stories attached to every film that he has done so far. Here are some that you may or may not know, depending on how far his very active marketing team has penetrated.
1. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Aamir’s debut as a leading man in 1988 was shot with two endings, a happy and a tragic one. Director Mansoor Khan(Aamir’s first-cousin) test-ran both the versions with selected audiences all across the country. Ultimately the tragic ending where both Aamir and Juhi’s characters die was retained.
2. To this day Aamir has maintained the tradition of test-runs. Unlike many directors and stars who like to hide their films from preview audiences as much as possible, Aamir believes healthy criticism to be the key to sustained success. The main reason Thugs Of Hindostan bombed so badly is because it was a Yash Raj film and Aamir had no control over its pre-release exposure.
3. Speaking of Thugs Of Hindostan, this was the first time Aamir came face to face with the mighty Bachchan. In his 32-year career the closest Aamir came to sharing the screen with the mighty Bachchan before TOH was when the latter did the voiceover in Aamir’s Lagaan. I once raised the topic with Mr Bachchan and his sardonic reply was , “Ask him why we haven’t done any films together.” For the record, I didn’t.
4. Aamir had a huge chip on his shoulder about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black . When Aamir directed Taare Zameen Par he wanted to ensure he didn’t make the same mistakes that Bhansali did while showing childcare. When I met Aamir after the release of Taare Zameen Par he spent one and a half hours telling me why he hated Black for the way the child was physically abused in the film.
5. Fanaa with Kajol almost didn’t happen. Aamir’s experience of working with Kajol in Indra Kumar’s Ishq was far from happy. He told me in an interview that Kajol was badly behaved. Well, I guess he changed his opinion . In Fanaa Aamir played a terrorist. Given the current scenario, he would never agree to playing the same role if it was offered to him today.
6. Lagaan is perhaps Aamir’s single-most successful film to date. And to think Aamir might not have done this film at all! Ashutosh Gowariker had first offered Lagaan to Abhishek Bachchan. For nearly two years Gowariker pursued Abhishek. Finally gave up,then approached Shah Rukh Khan . Aamir heard to script and immediately agreed. His only concern was , would he be accepted in a dhoti?
7. Aamir has done some really awful films in the early part of his career, like Awwal Number, Tum Mere Ho, Deewaana Mujhsa Nahin, Issika Naam Zindagi, Afsana Pyar Ka and Daulat Ki Jung. But do you know which film he considers the worst of his career? Subhash Ghai’s Love Love Love. He told me this. But it was long before Thugs Of Hindostan.