Two years after the 2014 blockbuster PK, Aamir Khan is back with his new film, Dangal. Talking about his journey from fat to fit, Aamir also reveals why he is thankful to Salman for the film.
The Dangal poster shows you as an old man with graying hair surrounded by four daughters. Didn’t you want the younger Aamir to be seen on the poster?
In all our films, we try to portray the story, sachhai se. We had a young look also, and we could have used that instead of this fat and elderly one. But, that isn’t the truth of the film and the story. The main thought of the film is that a man has four daughters and he is very happy and proud of them. He says, ‘Maari chhoriyaan chhoro se kam hai ke?’ This one image tells you the heart of the story.
Is the shooting of the film complete?
Thank God, the shoot is complete. I started the film with a very heavy weight and then I cut down my weight to look young as the film starts with me as a young man.
It must have been a challenge to work on your body.
Weight gaining is really easy. I was free to have everything tasty those 6-8 months. I have never felt so free in life. From January 10, I started my weight loss. I trained under Rakesh, who is Salman’s trainer, and when he had to leave to train Salman for Sultan, I was trained under Rohit. Later, Rakesh joined again.
Which of your myriad looks do you like the most?
Mera koi look raha nahin. Kiran (Rao, his wife) jokes with me and says, ‘The man I have been married to for 10 years has changed so many looks that I can’t recollect his original look.’ Even I have forgotten. But right now I like this elderly, fat and grey-haired look very much. It’s a great look and I think it really goes with the film and the character.
How was it working with the four girls who play your daughters?
Outstanding. When people watch the film they will be shocked - they are unbelievable. They are doing their first film and I have done some 40 films yet I was shocked at how they give their shots so effortlessly. They had to learn wrestling which is a very tough sport. One of the girls, Saniya (Malhotra), is my favorite; my heart goes out to her, yaar. She is someone I connect to emotionally.
Why was the Dangal poster launched just days before Sultan’s release?
Because Sultan is a super-duper hit and I wanted the millions of people who come to see Sultan to see this poster outside the theatre -- bhai hamari film bhi aa rahi hai. (laughs) We are using the huge potential that Sultan has to propel our film.
Are you implying that Salman is a biggest star than you?
He has always been a bigger star than me. I have always considered Salman, Shah Rukh and Amitji bigger stars, and there are host of stars who I feel are very-very huge in India like Hrithik Roshan, Ajay Devgan, Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh and many more who are hugely popular. It is very difficult to compare who is ahead. I don’t go into comparisons. But I do feel that when Salman walks into the room, aisa lagta hai ki star aaya hai.
How did the title Dangal come about?
In North India, dangal means kushti; a challenging bout is a dangal. I need to thank Salman for the title. When we got to know that the rights for the name Dangal are with Punit Issar, I called up Salman (who is very close to Punit) and said ‘Yaar, I want Dangal as the title, can you make a request?’ Salman called Punit who is very sweet and agreed. Salman did this despite the fact that he is making Sultan and people are saying we are fighting with each other over the same wrestling film. Salman actually helped us. Dangal ka title milne mein Salman ka bada haath hai.