With Lagaan completing 20 years on Tuesday, 15 June, Aamir Khan goes down memory lane and speaks about the one thing from the shooting days that still remains with him. The actor also elaborates on how the film changed his career.
One Thing From 'Lagaan' That Stays With Aamir
"The one thing that stays with me after all these years is the way Reena handled the film" Aamir Khan says.
Aamir explains how Reena, who had no understanding of cinema, took up the challenge and nailed it. "Reena, my ex-wife, was the producer and she is somebody who had no understanding of cinema. Though she was married to me for many years she wasn't interested in films. When I requested her to come on board for Lagaan, which I was producing, Reena was hesitant as she didn't know much about filmmaking. To which I replied, 'You can try and learn and you are someone I trust completely'. She was sporting enough to take up the challenge. Since I asked her to learn on her own, Reena met producers to understand the basics of filmmaking. She cracked it and produced the movie as if she is a veteran. That is something I will remember all my life - how a person from a completely different field shoulders something with one's determination and commitment".
Aamir On Why He Never Wanted to Be a Producer
Aamir Khan opens up on why he never wanted to become a producer.
"I come from a film family, so I have seen my uncle and father make movies. My father was a very enthusiastic and good producer, but he didn't know how to do business and so never ended up making money. He was in big debt and I saw him go through a lot of financial crises. He was almost bankrupt".
Aamir adds that there was a time when people would only call to ask for money. "I remember people only calling to ask for money. My mother told me that she woke up one night and saw my dad searching for something. When she asked what he was doing in the middle of the night, her husband said he was looking for his graduation certificate because he was about to go bankrupt. 'I need to look for a job, I have to earn money so that's why I am looking for my graduation certificate', Aamir's father said. A man in his 40s telling his wife he was looking for my graduation certificate. This was our situation".
The actor continues that Lagaan made him change his resolve.
""After seeing my father, I had decided I'll never become a producer. But destiny had other plans for me. When Ashutosh came to me with the script of 'Lagaan', I loved it. But then I couldn't think of a producer who would invest so much in a movie. I was also a little skeptical about Ashutosh because despite being a good director he hadn't made any successful movies till then. Other producers weren't willing to put in the amount that was needed to pull 'Lagaan' off. We couldn't afford British actors from the UK, so we were asked to get British travellers who were visiting India as actors. But things couldn't work that way. Then I realised that if this film has to be made, I will have to produce it. I became a producer by accident"." - Aamir Khan, Actor
Aamir adds, "I also thought Lagaan was the first and last time I would produce anything. But when I produced 'Lagaan' it made me realise that I could do things the way I want. When you love a story make it and don't think of the box office. And it's been a great journey, a learning experience".
How 'Lagaan' Changed Aamir's Career
Aamir also speaks about how Lagaan changed his career.
"When I decided to make Lagaan, I knew I had taken up a huge challenge as it was an unusual film. Before leaving for shoot, I met Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra at a party. Karan and Aditya are good friends and they were concerned about me. They kept saying ‘Aamir, you are making such a big film and it's your first production. We don’t know much about the movie but have heard it's a single schedule'. They advised me not to go in for a single schedule as I won't get a chance to rectify my mistakes. They also advised against sync sounds".
However, Aamir says, he was determined to go ahead with the plan. "I wanted to do this five years before Lagaan. However, my producers wouldn’t listen to me, so when I became a producer I went ahead. The experiment was so successful that ever since Lagaan all my films have sync sounds and single schedules. It made me realise that what I had been thinking all along was right".
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