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    Mar 2008

    Exclamation I emotionally blackmailed Mansoor: Aamir Khan

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    I emotionally blackmailed Mansoor: Aamir Khan
    People sat up to take notice when they discovered an Aamir Khan they never knew the director of Taare Zameen Par who could pick up the directorial gauntlet to make a film on the delicate and little-known problem of dyslexia among children.

    Some felt he might go back to where he began acting in very few, carefully chosen films, one at a time, in characters as different from Mangal Pandey in The Rising to the determined Bhuvan in Lagaan to the cynical lover-boy in Dil Chahta Hai.

    Sorry, wrong number. He has gone back to acting of course, but he is now armed with the confidence of producing a film without either directing or acting in it, and all for the family namely, to launch nephew Imran Khan as hero.

    TWF correspondent Shoma A. Chatterji pins down the elusive actor for a few questions about his new project Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na co-produced with Mansoor Khan.

    Has life changed after Taare Zameen Par?
    Yes. Taking over as director of Taare Zamin Par has changed my life in many ways. One of the immediate ramifications was that I was no longer available to Jaane Tu as sole producer.

    Jaane Tu is important to me for more reasons than one. The obvious reason is Imran. But the more delicate one is that this would be the first film from Aamir Khan Productions I would not be acting in.

    As a production house, we intend to produce many films where I will not be a part of the acting cast. These films are as important to me as my work as an actor.

    You are too much of a perfectionist, we are told. Does this create problems in your varied functions as an involved film person?
    Basically, I am extremely particular about anything that has my name on it. That is why I took over as director of TZP.

    I had no choice but to delay Jaane Tu indefinitely unless I found someone who could take over, someone whose creative instincts I could trust as much as I could trust my own. This was not an easy task for a person like myself.

    So what happened?
    The one person I trust more than myself in the business of filmmaking is Mansoor.

    I thought it would be difficult to convince him to take over as he was ensconced in Coonoor busy with projects like Global Warming and Peak Oil and similar things.

    He was not an easy nut to crack. He had taken an indefinite break from films. All my attempts to get him back to making films after that wonderful Jo Jeeta Wo Sikandar experience. I tried the only way left open to me emotional blackmail.

    I am very persuasive when I want to be. Once I smell blood, I don't let go, no matter how impossible the chase.

    Are you happy that you were finally able to win him over?
    I am and you can say that again. Mansoor was a godsend for us.

    I only pray that having worked with film -afflicted people like us may have infected him enough to make a more permanent comeback into filmmaking, known to be highly contagious.

    He is co-producing the film while youngster Abbas Tyrewalla has directed Jaane Tu. I extend my heartfelt thanks to Abbas and his young team of actors and technicians for giving Aamir Khan Productions a film I have absolutely no hesitation in putting my name to.

    What is the film about?
    Abbas has written this 'young love' story. It is the story of youth as Abbas remembers it. It is the age when we get to know the secrets of the heart.

    Abbas has woven in the loves, friendships, jealousies that seem so earth-shaking, so life-altering at the time and years later, so laughably gentle and innocent.

    he film goes off on its own journey of music, song and dance, characters like a portrait that talks, a corrupt cop, a couple of Rajput cowboys mounted on their horses, with a climax at an airport.

    Abbas says it will remind each one of us what it felt like when we first fell in love. It took three years in the making but now we are ready to go.

    There is an entire team of newcomers in the film.
    There is indeed beginning with Imran on who I have a lot of faith and confidence.

    Almost all of them a fresh Genelia who plays the romantic lead opposite Imran, Manjari, Ayaz Khan, Karan Makhija, Sugandha Garg, Nirav Mehta, Alishka Varde, etc.

    Among the veterans, the audience will get to see Ratna Pathak Shah and two actors who are also making a kind of comeback Anooradha Patel and Jayant Kripalani.



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