Son Junaid, Not Tom Hanks Influenced Aamir Khan For ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’
New Delhi: There was a point during the pre-production of the ‘Forrest Gump’ inspired film ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ that Aamir Khan wanted his son Junaid Khan to play the titular role.
Asked if he watched Tom Hanks’ performance to get a hang of the character, the Dangal actor replied it never occurred to him. “I have seen Forrest Gump long back but when the script came to me, that became my project. We never sat and watched the original. During the shoot, we did see a few scenes for reference but never the whole film. However, a strange thing did happen when we were trying to make the film,” he shared, The Indian Express (TNIE) reported.
Aamir Khan then went on to narrate that while Advait Chandan had done a great job with ‘Superstar Singer’, given Laal Singh Chaddhawas a very tough film, he wasn’t sure if he could hand it over to him. And thus he asked him to build his own crew and shoot a few selected scenes. This was also the time that Junaid had returned from LA after his training, and Aamir suggested that Advait shot the test video with him. “It became a test for both of them that way,” the ‘3Idiots’ was quoted as saying by TNIE.
Aamir was blown away when he saw the test video with his former wife Kiran Rao. Calling Junaid’s performance outstanding, the proud father said that he saw Laal in his son. “I knew mera chance gaya (My chance was gone). That innocence of Laal was out there while I would have to act it out. I showed the film to close to 100 people including my family, friends and colleagues from Raju Hirani, Karan Johar to Aditya Chopra, and 98 felt that I should take him.”
However, actor Atul Kulkarni, the scriptwriter of the film and Aditya Chopra were adamant that Aamir should do the film instead. “They argued that the film was not plot-driven but rather episodic and thus a newcomer shouldn’t do it. After long arguments, I finally bought their reasoning,” Aamir was quoted as saying, adding that thus instead of Tom Hanks, he was influenced by Junaid’s performance for Laal Singh Chaddha. He added that his son picked up the right sur (mood) for the character and he picked the same for his performance.
On Junaid Khan’s reaction to this development, Aamir Khan shared that his son is quite a practical person and was against doing the film in the first place as he felt it was a very high-budgeted project for a newcomer. Aamir, however, said that the episode may have been disappointing for the young actor but it must have given him an important lesson.
“Sometimes you may be really good but the time is not right,” said Aamir Khan. He also accepted that as a father, the situation was quite sad for him but they had to do it for the film.
The much anticipated Laal Singh Chaddha is up for release on August 11. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor.