Aamir Khan will soon be seen in Laal Singh Chaddha. The film, which is an official remake of Forrest Gump, is directed by Advait Chandan and also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan. It will hit screens on August 11. The Free Press Journal caught up with Aamir during a promotional event. Excerpts:
What were your challenges to reprise the role of Tom Hanks from the original film, Forrest Gump?
For the physical transformation, I had to grow my beard to play Laal. Secondly, to understand the psychology of the character since I am 57 today and was in the mid 50s when I started shooting for the film. Laal’s journey starts from the 20s and goes till the late 40s and to portray the innocence in all the stages was very difficult for me.
What was that one thing which you imbibed from Tom Hanks’ character?
I actually loved the strength of the innocence in his character throughout the film. We see a lot of physical strength and moral strength in the characters of our Hindi films but in his case, his strength is his innocence but he doesn’t use it as his strength which is more interesting. Hence I wanted our Indian audiences to experience that through Laal Singh Chaddha.
Weren’t you worried about the comparisons people will make when you decided to remake Forrest Gump?
Comparisons are bound to happen especially when you are remaking a cult like Forrest Gump and I feel it’s absolutely fine. I hope people will love the effort we have put in remaking the film in an Indian way.
People are making similarities in Laal with your character in PK. Your thoughts?
I would love it if people watch the whole film and then decide on the same. They won’t be able to spot a difference merely by seeing the three-minute trailer. The only commonality between these two roles is that they both have innocence. It is a very strong quality which both of them possess.
Your film is coming after a gap of four long years. Are you stressed about the changing mindsets of the audience after the invasion of OTT?
Yes, I am concerned since every film of mine comes after every four years (laughs). I believe the trend changes every four years. Unfortunately, I have to go through this every time. I strongly feel that due to the invasion of OTT, the taste of audiences have definitely improved. They have become finer and appreciate finer work, but they are less forgiving.
Are you bothered about the box office collections especially when the Hindi film industry is going through a lull?
I prefer to make or be a part of the films that have largely universal appeal. When I make a film like Dhobi Ghat, I come out in public and honestly say that it is a niche film and not a mainstream film. When I say this, I am aware it is going to affect my business but I don’t want to fool my audience ever. I am hoping that Laal Singh Chaddha will appeal to the wider audience. Sadly, in a theatrical release, box office collections are the only yardstick to gauge. But again, if South films are working currently, where is the problem?