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'People still don't call me a superstar'

By Jahnavi Patel
Last updated on: December 19, 2016 18:39 IST
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'People like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth are superstars. In my eyes, I am not a superstar.'

Modest talk from Aamir Khan.

IMAGE: Photographers try to get the best shot of the superstar. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

"People still don't call me a superstar," Aamir Khan says at the launch of his next production, Secret Superstar.

So who are the superstars?

"People like Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth are superstars. We have a lot of respect and love for them. 'Superstar' is a term for someone who is loved by everybody, whose work everybody enjoys. In my eyes, I am not a superstar," he adds.

"People complain that my film comes after a gap of two-three years. Now for a change, my (next) film will release within eight months," he says.

IMAGE: Advait and Aamir are all smiles. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

Super Superstar is written and directed by his former manager Advait Chandan.

"The first time I narrated the script to him, Aamir got up and went to the toilet," Advait reveals. "I got nervous. After he came out, he asked me when I wanted to make this film."

Aamir says the real reason behind his washroom visit: "Actually I got very emotional and wanted to cry. I usually cry in front of people but I felt that I should be composed, so I washed my face and came back. I was convinced from the first narration itself that I wanted to do the film.

"I wanted to produce the film but wasn't convinced with my role because it is very different from my personality. I didn't want to disturb the film in any manner. I told Advait that I'll give a screen test. When I thought I would be able to do it, I agreed to do it," he adds.

In the teaser, we see Aamir as the mentor of a 14-year-old girl, who aspires to be a singer but doesn't find support and encouragement from her father.

Recently, we saw Shah Rukh Khan as a mentor to Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi. Ask Aamir about the inevitable comparisons and he says, "I haven't seen Dear Zindagi. From the teasers, I think it is about a modern city girl. This is about a girl from a small town, Baroda. Secret Superstar has a different backdrop."

Secret Superstar will release on August 4, 2017.

IMAGE: Aamir Khan in Secret Superstar

Advait tells us how he got the idea for the film.

"I had gone on holiday with Aamir sir and Kiran mam and got the idea there," he says. "I told the idea to Kiran and she encouraged me to do the screenplay."

Advait started working as a production intern in Aamir's directorial debut Taare Zameen Par in 2007.

"I had a dream of going to a film school. I applied at FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) many times but got rejected," Advait reveals.

IMAGE: Aamir Khan with Zaira Wasim (left) and Suhani Bhatnagar in Dangal

Aamir is looking forward to his next release Dangal, and is happy that it is tax-free in Uttar Pradesh.

He plays real life wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat.

"It is a big responsibility when you portray a real life character on screen. I have tried my best to do complete justice to the role and his story," Aamir says.

Mahavirji (and his daughters) Geeta and Babita had heard the script and liked it, so I had that satisfaction that the film has been liked by the entire family," he adds.

Is Rajinikanth dubbing the Tamil version of the film? "Yes, I did approach Rajini sir and he loved the film. After discussing with him, both of us felt that his voice is too recognisable. He is so popular that his voice won't suit my face," Aamir says.

Aamir adds he would love to work with the Superstar someday.

IMAGE: We wonder what amused Aamir Khan and the Big B so much.

Aamir's next film is Thugs Of Hindostan and he's already working on it. The shooting will start in March.

"We will decide the final look a week or two before the shoot. Now, I am just growing my hair, as it is a period film," Aamir reveals.
Aamir's co-star will be Amitabh Bachchan.

"It was my dream to work with him," Aamir beams.

IMAGE: Aamir Khan vacating with wife Kiran Rao and son Azad Rao Khan. Photograph: Aamir Khan/Twitter

Quite a few celebrations are lined up post Dangal's release on December 23.

His wedding anniversary is on December 28 and his pal Salman Khan's birthday the day before. 

"Every year, my marriage anniversary and his birthday almost coincide. It is a problem. I remember being present for his birthday only once. This is my 11th anniversary and we are going to Panchgani. We try and go there every year for our anniversary; that's where we got married."

IMAGE: Aamir Khan in 3 Idiots

There have been reports that Aamir's 3 Idiots' character has been inspired from educational reformist Sonam Wangchuk.

Quiz him and he replies, "It was based on this author's book... what is the writer's name?" 
When the media prompts Chetan Bhagat's name, Aamir replies, "Yes yes. The film was inspired by Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone."

IMAGE: Aamir Khan just couldn't leave his moustache alone. Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar

How much has demonetisation affected his life?

"It hasn't had much of an impact on my life," answers. "Demonitisation affects those who have black money. I have been paying my taxes so I don't have any."

"Most of my expenditures are through credit card or cheque. I know a lot of people have been affected by this. I feel sad but I also feel that our Prime Minister has tried something and we should support him," he said.

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Jahnavi Patel / in Mumbai