Actors · Short Takes

Why Aamir Khan was scared to play his age in Dangal


Tanne chaaro khaane chit kar degi
Tere purje fit kar degi
Dat kar degi tere daanv se badh ke
Pench palat kar degi
Chit kar degi, chit kar degi
Aisi dhaakad hai dhaakad hai
Aisi dhaakad hai
Aisi dhaakad hai dhaakad hai
Aisi dhaakad hai

Once in a supermoon, does a big budget Hindi movie cause a flutter in the life of a movie buff.
When you watch a mainstream superstar looking grey and heavy, playing a father to 20+ year-old women.
When music director Pritam and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya team up to create one cracker of an album with not one but four unique sounding songs.
When you can smell its goodness from the trailers. When it is based on an inspiring true story and also looks entertaining. When you know it is a blockbuster before you watch it.
Dangal is that movie.
Divya Rao, a Disney creative team member, came up with the idea in 2012 after reading an article on Mahavir Singh Phogat, a wrestler from Bhiwani district in Haryana who had famously trained this daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to become world-level wrestling champions. She shared it with the Disney executive team who saw potential and brought in writer-director Nitesh Tiwari to develop the idea.
Taking centre stage are four new girls – Fatima Sana Shaikh, Zaira Wasim, Sanya Malhotra and Suhani Bhatnagar – who will play younger and older versions of Geeta and Babita. Aamir Khan will reprise the role of their father and wrestler Mahavir.
When Nitesh first narrated the script to Aamir in 2013, he loved it.
“This story made me laugh, cry as the script was very exciting and inspirational,” he said in an IANS interview.
“I wanted to do it but I was fickle minded that I have just done Dhoom 3 and PK and for this film, Nitesh wanted to show me as a 55-year-old man which is closer to my reality (laughs) so, honestly I had that fear.
“I had this thing in my mind that I will do this film after five-six years when I will be 60. I was scared that if I play an old man’s role now, then tactically it won’t be right.
“Then I called Nitesh again and said I want to hear the story again. After that, I decided to leave the logic behind and do the film.”
And that’s the story of how a superstar listened to his instinct and made this movie a viable reality.
Dangal shuru, December 23, 2016.

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