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You enter Aamir Khan’s lavish house on Carter road and see the sea right through his living room and there he is on the chair sipping on his diet coke and in a very cheerful mood all set to talk about Dhoom. Pratishtha Malhotra in a conversation with Mr. Perfectionist
PRATISHTHA MALHOTRA | Issue Dated: January 5, 2014, New Delhi
Tags : Dhoom 3 |Aamir khan |Kuch Kuch Hota Hai | Ghajini |

What attracted you to be a part of the Dhoom franchise?

I loved the script and I also believe that this is the most challenging role that I have done till today. 

You were on medication when you had to be at a height, how difficult was it to be a gymnast doing trapeze stunts in the film?

There is no overcoming that. The song Malang Malang, that’s the song in which there is a lot of circus work. So we had special people who came down to train us and in the training itself I realised that I want getting eerie. When you’re on the strap and you’re spinning and when you’re on the loop and you’re spinning, the loop is even more dangerous because you can fall very easily and when you get dizzy you can just lose your balance especially when you’re hanging upside down, that is what we were doing. We were about 40 feet high and there is nothing underneath, but we trained for that. I used to ask the trainers, how do you guys manage? They used to tell me that they feel dizzy as well but now they have gotten used to it as they do it everyday. We had to train properly with the circus artists because they are very particular, they wont send you up if you’re not properly trained. 


You had to work vigorously on your body for Dhoom 3. How difficult was it? 

It was very difficult. I had to train myself for Ghajini as well but in Ghajini I had to be like a tank. When he hits someone once, he’s gone and doesn’t get up again. So the body was very big. Size and strength was important so we worked towards that. In Dhoom 3, I play a gymnast so I need to have a lot of flexibility in my body. I had to work towards a body of a gymnast which is very lean, very low in terms of fat content. I came down to 9% body fat while we were shooting. It required a very strict diet and an extremely strict work out and that went on for 2 years.8 hours of sleep was a part of my schedule. I trained for 1 year before we started shooting and the film has taken 1 year to make. So while the film was going on I was training continuously. 

Have you been a fan of the Dhoom franchise?

I haven’t seen Dhoom 2 yet, but I really liked Dhoom 1. I could not watch it on the theatres when it released but I saw it on the television. I was at home with Kiran and I saw the entire film till the end. It thought it was very exciting and a lot of fun. When the Dhoom background used to come I used to start jumping on the bed. Kiran used to ask me, why I was jumping on the bed ( laughs). 

The Dhoom franchise has worked on its super villains who have been the heroes of the film. Have you approached your character as an antagonist or something else?

I don’t approach it on my own. My approach gets decided by the script. The character of Sahir in Dhoom 3 is the negative role that is not how we understand the negative. He’s not a Amrish Puri kind of negative. He is not going around and killing people. Like in Fanna, I was a terrorist and was killing people. Sahir is a guy who’s got a past, an emotional trauma. He’s doing certain things in the film because of his emotions. The script is such that your emotions as an audience are with him. 

You have been the pioneer to the 100 crore club which has now developed into a 300 crore starting from Ghajini to 3 idiots. So do you think stars have a lot of influence over these big numbers at the box office?

To a certain degree. I think all stars have the potential to influence the first 3 days of the number of people coming in, beyond that we don’t. A lot of people attribute the success of 3 Idiots to me, it’s not my film, it’s Raju’s film. Abhijat and Raju wrote the film, Raju is the director of the film. No film will work just because of the strength of the star, none of my films will. Let me put it this way because Salman manages everything (Smiles). According to me he is the real number 1. I don’t have that capability. I have nothing but warmth in my heart for Salman. I personally feel he’s a bigger star than me because he has the ability to take a film on his shoulders. I don’t think I have that ability. I see that in him. I don’t have any hesitation in saying that because that is the truth. I am very fond of him, I love him. I like to see people’s good work, like when I see Ranbir’s work in Barfi and the first thing I asked Kiran was what is it that he is doing that I am not? How is he approaching his roles that I feel I need to learn from him. I love that. I am a person that wants to do well for himself but doesn’t feel bad if someone else is. I love seeing good work because I am also an audience. Good work gives me joy and it doesn’t matter that it is not mine. I really liked Shah Rukh in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayengay and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. I haven’t seen Chak De India yet but I really want to see it because I have heard a lot of praises about the film as well as Shah Rukh’s work in it.Its on my list of not watched films that I want to watch. Shah Rukh is extremely charming, I love to watch him on screen, he always brings a smile on your face.

You’re seen doing Tap in the film. How did you go about it?

I have always wanted to learn Tap. It has been a very attractive form of dance for me. I also love percussions a lot. For me tap dancing is almost like a percussive instrument because the rhythm and pattern you’re creating with your feet. For the start credits in the film Adi and Victor was first thinking for a dance sequence with me and at one point they thought they would bring a top star from world music to perform.So when Adi and Victor got to know that tap is what I always wanted to do they finally said, why don’t you do tap? It takes atleast 2 years to get to a basic level. Tap is really tough. I told them that I would give it a shot but didn’t know if I would be able to pull it off. So we got Tap Dogs which is the number 1 for Tap. They came down to India, for 10 days I trained in India and that’s when I realised that it is very tough. I told Adi that I cant do this while staying in Mumbai, I’ll have to go to Sydney and cut off my life to learn this. So I used to train for my body and do 4-5 hours of Tap everyday for a month. It was a great experience though. Azaad started learning Tap. When he used to see me, he used to do it. I have got videos of him where he is imitating him. It was really wonderful to see Azaad tapping.


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017