Kiran Rao On Aamir Khan's Star Power: "I Use Him Shamelessly"

Laapataa Ladies will hit the theatres on March 1

Kiran Rao On Aamir Khan's Star Power: 'I Use Him Shamelessly'

Aamir and Kiran at Laapataa Ladies screening

New Delhi:

Aamir Khan and his ex-wife, filmmaker Kiran Rao are currently busy promoting her upcoming directorial Laapataa Ladies. The comedy-drama, which will hit the theatres on March 1, has been jointly produced by Aamir and Kiran. Ahead of her film's release, Kiran got candid about how “Bollywood's Mr Perfectionist” was tempted to act in the film. The filmmaker, in conversation with Bollywood Bubble, revealed that Aamir Khan wanted to essay the role of Ravi Kishan's character of Inspector Manohar. Kiran said, “He (Aamir Khan) wanted to play Inspector, Ravi Kishan's character. And you know he would have been great. Honestly, it would have made a huge difference in the box office and all the rest of it. So in many ways, I keep being asked, ‘Arey aapne Aamir Khan ko nahi liya? [You didn't cast Aamir Khan]?' So it is true.”

Kiran Rao also shared the reason behind her not picking Aamir Khan for the role. She said, “It was a bit of a dilemma honestly, because you know he is a great actor. He is a superstar, so he would put bums on seats, as they call it. I just felt like you know his being a big superstar would have changed your perception or the expectation from the rule. Actually, the beauty of the character is his unpredictability, you don't know what he is going to do next. And with Aamir somewhere subconsciously, being the kind of star he is, there would have been I felt some pressure on the character. Also, Ravi Kishan is just such an organic fit. He is so good with his puns. He knows those people. He is very very real in that space.”

When asked if she and Aamir Khan have taken the onus of bringing out stories that no one else would like to tell, Kiran Rao said, “I think it is important for Aamir because he is the one who finally decides what AKP (Aamir Khan Production) makes. I think the story chooses him rather than he chooses the story. I think Aamir organically understands stories, and human beings quite well. And can tell when a story has that kernel of like you know magic that will make it in the cinema. I suppose playing certain characters just excites him. Everybody told him during Dangal, ‘You are going to be an overweight uncle. You know what you are doing?' But it was such a great character for him that he couldn't resist him. And I think stories are like that they become irresistible. Even so, Taare Zameen Par would not have been made by many people. But the story was irresistible.”

Talking about how she uses Aamir Khan's star power to promote her films, Kiran Rao confessed, “I fully use him. I vasoolo his star power, wherever I can. I am like ‘You are here please stand and give us three pictures'. Yeah, we have a small film. I really need to do everything I can to tell people ‘Bhaiya pehli March ko arahi hai. Dekhiye Aamir Khan ne banayi hai. Inki film hai. Aayiye dekhiye. [This film is made by Aamir Khan. It is hitting the theatres on March 1. It is his film. Please come and watch it].' So you know, I use him shamelessly.”

Speaking about Aamir Khan's input as a producer, Kiran Rao candidly said, “He is very hands-off when he gives you a project. He tries to let you do your thing because genuinely he kind of casts the director to the project in many ways. He has to be very sure that this director gets the story and makes the kind of honest film that he would like to. It is his name at the end of the day, he would like to produce. So once he does that he doesn't interfere at all very much. When he comes in at the scripting stage he kind of likes to make sure that the script is what he thinks is a good one and then he comes in at the time when we are editing. And he often comes in when the casting is happening because the casting is such a big part of your film. That's the face of your film. So he does come in at these three points but Aamir—the director—would only come in at the editing stage and suggest that we can do that maybe. But otherwise, no interference.”

Kiran Rao concluded by saying that she would love to cast Aamir Khan in a sequel of their 2010 film Dhobi Ghat. She said, “I would love to make a sequel of Dhobi Ghat, like Dhobi Ghat 2 because he was so wonderful in Dhobi Ghat. I feel like he emotes so much with his eyes and he does so much without doing very much that I feel it was really undervalued in some way in my film. I would love to do that again. I don't think he gets enough of those roles. I found that very romantic.”