Aamir Khan is a 5 on charm while I am an 8: Imran Khan
5 Apr, 2009
Imran Khan tells Indu Mirani why he finds it weird to be called cool and how he and Aamir are staid, solid guys who rate 10 on
The beginning of your career is usually a fun time when you take up nonconsequential films for the heck of it but you seem awfully serious from the word go.
You know how some people become actors because all their lives they wanted to be actors and they spent their childhood looking at the mirror and reciting Amitabh Bachchans dialogues or they practice expressions in the mirror That was never me. Abbas (Tyrewala) came to me, I liked him, and I liked the film. As far as films go, I just enjoy the process, the acting. I enjoy being on set, I enjoy working with a director. The rest is frills and its really kind of unimportant to me. I am not good at doing the starry stuff like turning up somewhere and throwing my weight around and demanding service or demanding to be upgraded to the first class. I can never do that. I tend to be a little embarrassed about being famous.
So you dont like the trappings that come with being a star
No its not that I dont like them, everyone enjoys them, its that they dont matter so much to me and very often I am uncomfortable with them. A lot of times when I go to the theatre, and I get free tickets and free popcorn, I feel uncomfortable because I am taking up seats, Im taking popcorn, I am taking away money from the revenue of that film, the revenue from those three or four tickets will not go to the distributor or the producer, so for me thats bad. But what I will take advantage of is that, I can call up the manager and say hold seats for me and hell hold good seats for me. That makes my life easier and more convenient.
The industry demands that every actor act in a certain way, do you find yourself acting off screen too
No, Im very bad at that. Its an interesting phenomenon that when I as an actor meet another actor I dont know at all, we still talk to each other. I find that very awkward. I make it a point to say Hi how are you but beyond that I dont know what to do because honestly, I dont know the person. I mean I know him, Ive seen him, Ive seen 15 films of his, Ive liked him in most of them, but I dont actually know him as a person. What if he doesnt want me to talk to him Its a weird space, and I cant do any acting besides that, Im not good at it.
Are you comfortable with being called cool
No and I think it ties into the fact that when I was in school I wasnt really a cool guy. You know there are always those guys who have really great clothes, their parents are very very rich, and they date the most beautiful girls That wasnt me. It has happened that I would attend parties or be at a friends place or something and nobody would be talking to me except two or three friends of mine who have been friends for years. Nobody would give a damn that I was there. Now when I go to a party suddenly every one comes up to me and talks. Im like Now why do you want to talk to me For 15 years you never had anything to say to me. So its weird.
Youve been saying no to a lot of filmmakers . Is it that the quality of scripts is very bad or are you being extra choosy
Its a number of things. The most obvious reason is that a lot of scripts are just not good. Then there are a lot of scripts which are not the kind I am looking to do. Say someone will come to me with a film to play a character that is very close to the character I played in Kidnap. For me its not that exciting because Ive been there.
Also Im particular about not leaving people hanging. For better or worse, it is better to be completely upfront and honest. If I dont want to do a film I will tell the person at the earliest.
But contrary to stories, I have not said no to Sanjay Gadhvis film, and it is not a thriller. He has told me the story which Ive liked and I am waiting for a final screenplay . The same goes for Danish Aslams film which I am also still reading. In both cases, Ive heard and liked the story and seen the graph of the characters and am waiting for a final script.
So its not that you are being particularly choosy
No not at all. The thing is that I accept a script from any one. Ive got stacks and stacks of scripts. As far as possible I try to take scripts from any one who tries to contact me. Some people send me a handwritten script written with a ball point pen. I take those and I read through those, which a lot of other actors dont . And so because I take more scripts than others I am accused of turning more people down.
Where does the idea of you and Ranbir producing films come from
We understand that a major flaw in the business models of films today is how much money people are taking upfront. It makes sense for an actor to take a minimal amount upfront and share the profits. If the cost is kept down the film has much more of a chance of being a hit, something which benefits everyone. Guys like Shah Rukh and Aamir have been doing this for years. So what we do is, we take producer credits and we do the film for less money which is not to say we are actually producers. Shah Rukh is doing the same thing with My Name Is Khan. I want that any film that I am associated with, to be successful and every one should earn a lot of money from it.
This way Shah Rukh can do a film like Chak De, and Aamir Khan can do a film like Taare Zameen Par and theres a market for it.
You never thought of asking your uncle Mansoor Khan to make a film with you
I would never ask any one to make a film with me.
Dont you want him to come back and make a film
I think every body in the industry wants him to come back and make a film. The fact is that he just doesnt have a film in him. Honestly I know he doesnt want to. Theres absolutely no interest in him to direct a film.