Aamir Khan is one busy man. As Delhi Belly, the third independent film from his production company gets ready to open in theatres this Friday, Mr Perfectionist flits between pre-release promotions and criticism, controversies over 'objectionable' content in the film.
But the visibly unfazed actor was at his candid best when Sonil Dedhia recently caught up with him. In this interview, Aamir talks about Delhi Belly, sequels and why he hates his own films.
Your item number in Delhi Belly is giving the item girls a run for their money.
Yes (smiles). I think they will have a problem (Laughs). This is not an item number, it is an item bomb. When (director) Abhinay Deo got an idea in his mind, he approached me to do the song. I consulted Kiran (Rao) and she also gave me a nod. My hairstyle in the song is inspired by Amitabh Bachchan. And I sport chest hair, just like Anil Kapoor.
The dance moves are similar to Mithun as I am a big fan of him. And my attire will be a mix of styles inspired from Govinda and Amitabh. I'm saluting the superstars of the 1980s and 1990s, including Disco Dancer Mithun Chakraborty, Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra and Govinda among others.
Was the item number added for promotional purpose?
The item number was not added in the film because of promotions. The character of Disco Fighter that I portray in the film was present even in the first draft. The only difference was that the character had no scenes in the film and would just appear on a poster.
Arup's character, which is played by Vir Das, is a big fan of Disco Fighter. When we started making the film the writer and the director thought we needed a song and that's how the song came about.
'No film can work on an item number'
With the release of the song, has the focus now shifted from Delhi Belly to Aamir Khan?
Yes, the attention will shift but it will be momentarily. At the end of the day, we want to excite the audience and no film can work on an item number.
Initially there were going to be only two songs in the film. Why did you feel the need to add more songs? Do you believe that if songs .
'I'm not very fond of remakes'
Your item number is dedicated to the actors of 1970s and the 1980s. Will we see you doing a remix of any of the old songs in your films?
I am not very fond of remakes but I am not totally against it. I worked in Ghajini, which was a remake of a Tamil film. I am not someone who would instinctively do a remake as I look to try something new. If something interesting comes up, I am open to the idea.
You have always considered playing certain roles in your productions but didn't eventually, may it be Peepli Live or Dhobi Ghat or even Delhi Belly where you wanted to play the role portrayed by Kunal Roy Kapoor.
I was dying to do Nitin's character in the movie but when we started shooting for the film, I had to lose weight for 3 Idiots. The character is supposed to be fat and sloppy. I just didn't want to put on weight as I had worked very hard to lose it. Now that I have seen the film and have watched Kunaal Roy Kapoor's performance, I can say that he has done it so well that now I can't imagine anyone else in that role. I am glad that I didn't do it.
In my production house, the film is the star and is above every one of us.
'I would never compete with Amitabh Bachchan'
Since Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap is releasing on the same day as Delhi Belly, do you think there'll be competition between the two?
I am a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan and I don't think I am even on the same platform as him. I would never compete with Amitabh Bachchan. I am not capable of competing with him.
I intend to work once again as a co-writer along with Kiran Rao, Mansoor Khan and Nuzhat. It's an idea that came to me which I shared with them. It's difficult to say if it'll turn out into a film because currently it's at a very nascent stage.
Most probably Kiran will direct the film. At this moment, I am planning to act in the film. We start writing next month but it's too early to say anything as after sometime we may even drop the idea if it doesn't work out well.
'I have worked with directors in editing the films'
We have seen you as an actor, producer, director, writer and also a singer. What next?
I love editing. I have worked with directors in editing the films. Independently, I have not worked as an editor. I would love to cut a film.
How do you look back at your own films?
I hate my own films. I don't like to watch my films (Laughs). When I see my films I always feel that I could have done a lot better. When I see them I get upset and angry. I can also watch my films until the release and till around three-four months after that.
'I have no objections to sequels'
Does the way you look at a film differ as a producer and as an actor?
I look at films from only one point of view and that is how I, as a human being, would react to it. My response as human being dictates my decision whether I want to be a part of the film or not.
You are now a part of a sequel (Dhoom 3), what is your take on them?
I have no objections to sequels. If as an audience, I have liked a film, a story or a character, then I would be interested in knowing what happens when the story continues.
If there is a possibility of an equally nice story, which is unusual and different from the first one, but using the same characters, I don't mind as an audience. It should be able to excite me again.
But that doesn't happen very often. Usually what happens is, when a film becomes a hit, the producers immediately announce a sequel. They take a bad script and shoot it. So, as an audience I feel cheated. I don't mind seeing and even doing a sequel. But it should be a unique story on its own, like the Dhoom franchise.
There are different characters and different stories in each part. First it was John, then Hrithik, and now it's me.
'Sarfarosh and Andaz Apna Apna have the potential for sequels'
Which of your movies do you think have a good chance of a sequel?
Out of the films that I have done, I think Sarfarosh and Andaz Apna Apna have the potential for sequels. But none of them are being worked out currently.
Salman Khan has called you an encyclopedia.
If I am encyclopaedia then Salman Khan is a dictionary (Laughs).