Friday Flashback:"My performance will be my publicity": How the Qayamat Khan - Aamir - foresaw his future in this 1988 interview
Aamir’s Dangal has become one of the highest-grossing films of all times. With the third week collection of about INR 43.38 crore (up till now), the biopic has earned a total of INR 356.90 crore and needless to say is still going strong.
And while we can continue raving over his acting prowess, this throwback interview of a 22-year-old Aamir is a proof that being a shining star was indeed his destiny.
Aamir was only a film old when he had signed his first feature film Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak as a leading actor in 1988. When asked if the movie was made to launch him, Mr. Perfectionist had the most befitting reply and said, “Nobody would spend so much money just because you happened to be related. I had to go throw the routine of a screen test and audition. Well, I was given preference but that’s because they saw the potential in me. There has to be that something in you which cuts you apart from the rest and in my case, it was noticed.”
It might come as a surprise to some that even though Aamir’s first step in the industry was a child actor in Yaadon Ki Baaraat, the actor in his early days had no plans about foraying into Bollywood.
Reminiscing about it, he recalled, “As a child, I was shy, high-strung, goofy and awkward, acting was far remote from my thoughts, my ‘filmi’ connections disillusioned me further. My dad (Tahir Hussain) being a producer, paid the directors and artistes; yet he had to regularly chase them, as they would play musical chairs with him before completing his films. Seeing these unfavourable conditions, I vowed that I would never become a producer or have anything to do with films.”
Tracing how his acting career finally shaped up, Aamir narrated, “Acting was merely by accident when I was in XII std, Aditya Bhattacharya approached me for his short film, which he desired to send for the festival and I said ‘Yes’ just for the fun of it. I enjoyed the experience and it gradually grew on me making me confident of the fact that I could act, I then made up my mind to take acting as a profession.”
Aamir comes from a filmi background for his father Nasir Hussain was a renowned producer back then. His first film Holi with Ketan Mehta was when he was just 18-year-old. And though he always got his family’s back, they initially didn’t think that acting was a favourable career option.
The PK star in the interview says, “There were no problems at home when I decided to become an actor, but I did get the message from them that perhaps ‘acting’ wasn’t so sensible a decision. Anyway, soon after high school, I joined uncle Nasir Hussain as an assistant director. Simultaneously, I also did a few documentaries for the Pune institute students, and that was when Ketan Mehta saw me and chased me, to be cast in Holi.”
Just like any debutant Aamir aiming to make it big admitted to being nervous on the first day of shoot on the sets of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and iterated, “My whole life is about to change after this film, in spite of it being a home production, I was very nervous on the first day of shooting and in fact was sweating like a pig.”
Aamir as we know is undoubtedly one of the most sought after actors in B-town and back then revealed that he has no inhibitions in going out and grabbing roles and told, “I have no hang-ups in going and asking for a role, provided I’m confident of the director, producer and of course the role.”
The 51-year-old is not only a brilliant artist; he is also probably the most versatile actor around. Having played a myriad of characters, the actor even as a young boy knew what it takes to be an icon.
Talking about the type of roles he would like to play, Aamir clarified, “Getting typecast can make you claustrophobic; I’ll take my time rather than get swept up in some kind of image. I want to do roles which suit me. I’m aware of the fact that unless you’ve ‘hits’ behind you nobody takes you seriously. If Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak is a hit, I can be choosy; otherwise, I’ll take whatever comes my way.”
For the man of integrity he still is, Aamir even three decades back mirrored that same sense of up righty. Pronouncing “My performance will be my publicity” the Dangal star maintained that he will not seek for any cheap gimmick in the name of publicity.
Echoing the same passion and ambition Aamir possesses even now, the young star signed off by saying, “My future plans are not yet set in my mind. I’d rather not talk about them now. I’m looking forward to the best of times. I want to do well and be appreciated, naturally, but I don’t know what destiny has in store for me. If I’m not a successful actor then I’ll turn to direction. I’m very ambitious and it has been my ambition that has kept me going so far."