In an interview to Mumbai Mirror, Aamir Khan talks about his rivalry with Shahrukh Khan, on him being number one at the box-office and his upcoming films. Read the interview and post your comments below
• What do you think about the recent Filmfare poll, according to which you are now the most powerful man in the industry?
I am happy that they have liked and acknowledged my work but honestly speaking, I am not really interested in power. I think it’s important to know what one can really do with the power. According to me, power is how one uses it. I can be very powerful but if I can’t use it for any good or can’t contribute to the industry then I am actually powerless. I would like to use my power by working with new directors, giving new actors to the industry and making experimental films.
• Don’t you think the success of Taare Zameen Par, Ghajini and the opening collections of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, which interestingly you didn’t even star in, has made you even more powerful?
Could be. Ghajini has gone on to become the biggest success of Indian cinema. The collection has already crossed Rs 270 crore. The three films that I have produced (Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par and Jaane Tu Ya JaaneNa) have all been super hits. Even as an actor, my strike rate has been quite good. Since 2000, all my films have worked except Mangal Pandey. Being a creative person, I want my work to be done and want people to love me for my work. To attain that, I don’t want to do anything that’s underhand. Neither do I want to influence or manipulate the media. After genuinely doing good work consistently, it is for people to decide if they like you or not. Once you strike a relationship with the audience through your work, numbers become unimportant. No one can change that.
• You were called the marketing king when ushers sported the Ghajini look during the screening of Shah Rukh Khan’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
It was a good marketing gimmick. I think promoting a film with another films is the best way as you really get to know your target audience. Usually, people promote their film in a multiplex through promos or posters but when people walked into multiplexes and saw 50 Ghajinis around them especially with the film just two weeks away from release, it created a buzz. That it was done during Rab Ne… helped.
• But it also created a war of words between you and SRK.
I have been working in the industry for over two decades and I have never made any comments about anybody. However, over the years I noticed that Shah Rukh has been repeatedly talking about me publicly. In all fairness, I too decided not to remain quiet and respond to him publicly.
• In his recent interviews, Shah Rukh sounds bitter about you. For instance, he has said that his kids will never be your fans or that his dog refuses to be called Aamir.
Let me say one thing clearly, no matter what Shah Rukh tells his children, I will tell my kids to always love and respect him. What he teaches his children is entirely up to him. I can understand that he is bitter as his films have not done well. I have only have warm regards for him and wish him all the very best. I do understand that Shah Rukh works very hard and gives a number of interviews, which I think is a wonderful quality. I think he is upset as his films have not done as well as he expected them to but I wish him all the success he deserves.
• Now that you have dethroned him in the power list, will there be another war of words between the two of you?
I am least interested in dethroning him. He can be very happy with all the thrones and all the crowns. I am not interested in any of them. He has never hesitated in making fun of me. Even in his films he has made fun of Manoj Kumar and Dev Anand. It shows that he has a great sense of humour but where does it all go when I say humorous things about him?
I remember him saying in one of his interviews that he was joking about calling himself No.1. I find it very funny as I have never seen anyone proclaiming, ‘I am No.1’. Neither did Sachin Tendulkar ever say that he is No 1 nor did Lata Mangeshkar. Take any field for that matter, Vishwanathan Anand never says that he is the best and I don’t think Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor ever said that. I am saying all this in a lighter vein so he too should take my comments lightly. I think that his sense of humour suddenly disappears when it comes to me.
• Ever since the fight between Shah Rukh and Salman happened, everyone wants to know whose friend you are?
I find this very funny. I am quite friendly with Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerjee, Shah Rukh and Salman. Akshay (Kumar) and Saif (Ali Khan) too are my friends. I have so many friends. I meet all of them once in a while and there is nothing more to it than that.
• You and Salman seem to be bonding more these days.
Not really. It has always been like this and it all depends on who is free and when. We have impromptu meetings. There is no ulterior motive when we meet and there is no point for anybody to get paranoid. Come what may, I would not want anyone’s film to flop. I am this industry’s child. My father has been a producer and my uncle has been a director. There are so many people involved in the making of a film and how it fares affects everyone be it the director, unit members, exhibitors and even ushers in the theatres. I want everyone’s film to do well, and our meetings are not about discussing anyone’s failure or success.
• There are also reports that you meet Akshay quite often to discuss the number one game.
I am not interested in this number game. I don’t even discuss this with anyone as it does not concern me. As far as I am concerned, my favourite star is Amitabh Bachchan and for me he is the number one. It ends at that. Akshay is my friend and so is Twinkle and yes, we do meet but it has got nothing to do with the number game.
• Coming to your work, you are producing three films simultaneously.
As an actor I am only doing two films- 3 Idiots and Kiran’s Dhobi Ghat where I play an artiste. As a producer, I have completed the shooting of Dhobi Ghat, Delhi Belly and one more film directed by Anusha Rizvi. These three films are extremely unusual and challenge the limits of mainstream cinema.
Note:- This is an external article.