‘Bohot ho gayi pehalwani… ab dangal hoga!’

A still from 'Dangal'


Another sports biopic in Bollywoodwill it be just another add-on to the list of films in that league? As his fans wait and wonder, Aamir spoke about the focus of Nitesh Tiwari’s film Dangal and decoded its X-factor in an interview with thestatesman.com. The film sketches the life of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who taught wrestling to his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari. Geeta went on to be the first-ever gold-winning wrestler for India in the Commonwealth Games 2010. Babita won silver.

Glamourising their achievements, Dangal will put the spotlight on how they shed blood and sweat to achieve their dreams. Will Aamir’s name and fame overshadow their accomplishments? Shaking his head in disapproval, Aamir said, “I don’t think it has ever happened. People would know more about them through this film and learn about their challenges. And by making a film on them, we are promoting them in the greatest way possible.”

Not just the real sports stars, Aamir lauded the reel sports stars too. Remembering his days with the four newcomers, he said, “They were more passionate than I was. Being modern-day city girls, it was very difficult for them to get into the skin of Haryanvi-speaking rural girls but they did that with utmost finesse. They even continued shooting with fractured arms and ribs and we only got to know about it after the shoot was over.”  Speaking about Sakshi Tanwar, who plays the role of his wife in Dangal, Aamir said, “It was a dream to work with Sakshi. She is such a flawless actor. She did all her scenes in one take; we never had to re-do a scene because of her. I would really like to work with her again and it was wonderful having her with us.

Salman Khan’s Sultan, which was based on the life of wrestler Sultan Ali Khan, collected Rs 300 crore on the box office. Fans are eager to see if Dangal crosses the record set by Sultan. Disclosing the inside story of the box office, the 3 Idiots actor said, “One cannot trust the media for film collections. But, a person from the industry knows the exact figures of every film. In reality, there is a huge difference between the actual figure earned and the actual figure disclosed. So, these are absolutely baseless.”

“I always disclose the actual figure that my movie has earned,” he said. “After Talaash released, the figure stopped at Rs 95 crore. I could have easily made it Rs 100 crore and told you people but I don’t believe in doing all these things.” Treating his fans on Christmas, the actor will be back on the big screen after a gap of two years, after his record-breaking movie PK in 2014.

The nation has been affected by the demonetization move, and films are also a part of it. Rock On 2 was the worst hit as most of the people didn’t opt to go to the movie theatres during the cash crunch. When asked to comment on the current demonetisation move of the government that has sent the nation into a tizzy and how it has affected his life, Aamir said, “Demonetisation has not affected me because we mostly do credit transaction. It is a problem for those who rely on cash too much or for those who don’t have a bank account or a credit card. All my money goes to the bank so everything that we buy, we buy them using cards.”

Aamir’s politically-balanced answer reflected the pangs of his past experience when he was caught up in a huge fiasco for commenting on intolerance in 2015. Also, when asked about the Karan Johar-MNS controversy, he remained tongue-tied and said, “I am looking for an answer that wouldn’t get me into trouble.”

With Dangal release in the offing, Aamir sure doesn’t want a controversy to spring up.

Even after reigning the industry for over 25 years, the actor fears a little each time before his movie releases. “I always fear. I fear every time I start making a film because my movies are so out-of-the-box and new for the audience,” he  said.

Revealing the secret that keeps him on his toes, Aamir recited a dialogue from his film. “There is a scene in the movie where I say, ‘Maa, ye beda uthake maine kauno galti toh nahi kar di hai?‘ I remember this line after making every movie. The uniqueness scares me and also excites me. Fear keeps us alert and it is always good to fear a little,” he confessed.

Shining in the spotlight for the magic he mints in movies, Aamir is lovingly called the “perfectionist”. But, the 51-year-old is at odds with that tag and has now asked people to call him Mr Passionate, not Mr Perfectionist.