Aamir Khan is one the biggest and easily the most reclusive star in the Hindi film industry. He switches off from the real world to make films, and sometimes journalists have to wait for years to sit down with him and get him talking about his unusual style of working and creating magic on the silver screen. One of those rare interviews happened in New Delhi where Aamir, 52, is promoting his new production Secret Superstar which he produces and appears in. Here are seven takeaways from Aamir Khan's exclusive chat with NDTV.
- "When I am shooting a film then everything goes soft focus," said Aamir
- "I don't believe in strategies," Aamir added
- "I am a big screen person," Aamir also said
1) Switches Off When Making Movies:
"When I am shooting a film then everything goes soft focus. My family also complains that I don't give them time. When my film shoots get over, I spend time with them and I also meet you guys. As much as possible I cut myself off, and it's something I enjoy doing, I get lost in that world, it's important for me to do that."
2) How Aamir Selects His Directors:
"If the person I am going to work with has made a film then I watch his/her films to see if he/she knows the craft, that's simple. If they are first timers like Advait Chandan is, then as a producer I request them to shoot 5 to 6 scenes of a film. I do a screen test for the director. I want to see whether the person can use the tools of cinema to tell a story or not. I must feel the director is dying to tell a story. There must be a story within him/her that wants to come out. That's the reason why Dil Chahta Hai, Lagaan, and Rang De Basanti worked so well, Ashutosh, Farhan and Rakesh had a story inside them. It's very important that the director should have the fire in the belly to tell the story."
3) Aamir Speaks About Women Empowerment:
"It's a process. Everyone is contributing toward it, and that's why it's working. Films like Dangal do make an impact I believe, and I hope Secret Superstar also does. We are contributing in our way by telling stories. I believe that we have moved forward. We are a big country and also a young country. We got our independence in 1947, that's not very long ago I feel. So if you take all these aspects we have come a long way, yes we certainly have a long way to go. There have been changes and hope we continue to move in the right direction. Stories like Secret Superstar will help propel that process forward."
4) Did Aamir Have A Strategy To Reach New International Markets?
"I don't believe in strategies. I love what I am doing, that's the main thing. I had no idea my work will be appreciated in China and Hong Kong, and I did nothing to make that happen. All the credit goes to people of China and I am grateful to them. We are releasing in Turkey for the first time. Fans in Turkey have been telling me for 8 to 10 years to release the films there at the same time. I just suggested that to my distributors. So it's the demand, and it works the other way and not by me doing some strategy."
5) Why Did Aamir Move His Releases From Christmas To Diwali?
Till a few years ago Shah Rukh Khan used to release his films during Diwali, Salman Khan during Eid and Aamir Khan during Christmas but this year SRK doesn't have a film for Diwali and Aamir is releasing Secret Superstar. "It's not like that. Diwali is for everyone, and so are Eid and Christmas. We wanted to release Secret Superstar around July or August, but we realized we wouldn't be ready. So we pushed it and the next best time was Diwali. For me what's important is that we should be ready with our film and then select the next best day."
6) Quality Of Response Is More Important Than Quantity
"If 10 people see my movie and all ten really love it, then that means a lot to me. Rather than ten million people go and see it and most of them hate it. Box office is one of the indicators, that just tells me how many people have seen it. If box office numbers go up after the release that's an indication that word of mouth is good. I am not interested in hitting a record or a high mark with the number. How does it matter if a film makes 100 crore or 115 crore or 95 crore? It doesn't matter."
7) Watching Movies In The Cinema Or On Streaming Apps: Aamir's Pick
"All the mediums are relevant; it's up to an audience how they enjoy it. If you are in a hurry and don't have the time, they can watch a movie on the mobile in their car; I don't do that, I don't enjoy that. I love the big screen experience. When I am watching something, I want a big screen, I want surround sound, and I want everything that will make that experience better, be it 5.1 audio or Dolby Atmos. I am a big screen person."
Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar stars Dangal actress Zaira Wasim and releases next week.