I'm not married: Aamir Khan


Amir KhanUnarguably one of the finest actors of his generation, Aamir Khan has now also earned a reputation for being one of the most controversial personalities of the times. After almost three years of reticence, the reclusive actor breaks his silence and discusses the turbulent and tantalising events in his life.
It's been three years after Lagaan . And The Rising will be released only in June next year, right?

That's correct. Dil Chahta Hai was my last release in August 2001. While we have finished the principal shooting of The Rising, post-production will take us till June 2005.

Was this gap of four years planned?

No, it wasn't. Things just turned out this way. After Dil Chahta Hai's release, I was busy in promoting Lagaan all over the world right upto the Oscars. Then, I also went through some personal problems. So, I was not in the frame of mind to work.

Somehow, you never capitalised on the success of Lagaan ...

Lagaan wasn't my first success that I needed to capitalise on it. I don't sign films in order to capitalise on my earlier work. I do a film when I'm excited about a project.

You've been doing a Greta Garbo on the media. You haven't spoken to the Press in ages. I don't buy the "actors must talk only to promote their films" spiel...

(Laughs) I agree that I've usually done interviews before a release, as it helps the film. But look, I'm speaking to you a good eight months before the release of The Rising !

But you've been inaccessible for so long...

(Laughs) Not inaccessible. I have been replying to every SMS of yours. No, seriously, I have just been very busy. And I like to keep gaps between my interviews, as I may not have anything new to say

You have an MBA approach towards work – methodical and studied. Perhaps you need to be more like a bull in a China shop.

On the contrary, if I had been methodical and studied, then I would have seen to it that I had at least one release a year! I'm more instinctive and emotional about my films. Perhaps, I am the only actor who does not calculate his film moves and releases.

Are you stubborn to the point of being rigid?

No, I'm not.

Are you a control freak?

No.

Don't you insist in your film contracts on creative control of the films you do?

No I don't. Instead, I'm extremely careful about the directors I work with.

Did you see Farhan Akhtar's next film after Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya ?

Yes

Did you like it?

It didn't work for me...

As a viewer or as an actor?

As a viewer.

What got you interested in The Rising ?

What attracted me was the script. It is about the concept of freedom and the right of every individual to hold his head as high as the next man. Also, what amazes me is that the East India Company came as traders and ended up becoming rulers of India.

Through the script I learnt a lot of new things, which were not taught to us in our history books. For example, the fact that one of the most important products that the East India Company dealt in was opium or the fact that the company ran its own brothels for its white soldiers. I found that fascinating.

So is The Rising historically accurate?

The history of that time was documented by the British, who were in power, and like any political party in power, they probably recorded what was convenient to them. As Indians we have a very oral tradition of passing down history – through stories, folk songs and our performing arts.

What you'll see in Mangal Pandey is a combination of what is recorded, what we have heard as Indians and a bit of Farrukh's (Dhondy) imagination.

Have you deified Mangal Pandey in the film?

I think not. What Ketan (Mehta) and Farrukh have done is that they have used Mangal Pandey to represent the awakening conscience of the people of India. He represents the masses of that time that had begun to question and thereafter oppose the rule of the East India Company.

But is Mangal Pandey sexy enough? Why don't you sing Pehla nasha and woo the heroine? One is, dare I say it, waiting to see you in more attractive roles.

(Laughs) I think Mangal Pandey is an attractive character.

Some members who claimed to be descendants of Mangal Pandey have protested against the film.

I haven't heard about this. But, if I'm not mistaken, it will be a little difficult to ascertain if there are any authentic descendants of Mangal Pandey still surviving. I'm sure that there might be numerous people claiming to be his descendants.

But don't you need the permission of the descendants to make a film on a historical character?

Not that I know of. And I don't see why anybody should object because we are making a film about the first war of Independence. And we are showing Mangal Pandey as the first recorded revolutionary of India who sacrificed his life to plant the seed of freedom and Independence, which we achieved 90 years later.

Is The Rising anti-British?

No it's not. I think that's taking a very narrow view. The film is anti-colonisation. In The Rising , it's just that the oppressor happens to be British. It could have been anyone. Look at America's role when they invaded countries like Vietnam or Iraq. Like all societies, the British had good and bad aspects to their history.

Ok, now, give it to me straight – are you married?

I don't speak about my personal life. But let me clarify this aspect – NO, I'm not married.

So are you seeing Kiran Rao?

As I said earlier, I would not like to speak about my personal life.

Why?

Because I don't think my personal life is anyone else's business.

Is it true that you often dropped in to see Ashutosh on the sets of Swades to meet Kiran?

(Smiles) I was shooting in the same vicinity, so I dropped in to meet Ashu.

Okay, did you have an affair with a TV news journalist?

No comments.

You both were supposed to be more than just good friends.

No comments

Okay, now before you toss me out, I must ask you – it's alleged that you have fathered a child who is now in London...

No comments.

Aamir, the thing is that rumours gain credence when you choose to keep mum about them.

I'm happy with the way I'm leading my life and I don't owe an explanation to anyone.