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"I will never ever do a film with Aamir Khan" - Ram Gopal Varma

Thursday, August 7, 2008 • Hindi Comments
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For years, one has heard about the cold war between Ram Gopal Varma and Aamir Khan. However, after ages of silence, Ramu opens up and talks about what lead to the misunderstanding between him and Aamir and why he would never do a film with him again. Over to Ramu:

Somewhere half way through shooting RANGEELA, Aamir started having doubts on the script and definitely with a lot of valid reasons. He said if Munna is an extrovert, sells tickets in black and has such a flamboyant personality why would he delay telling Mili that he loves her. He felt that just for the convenience of the screenplay I was delaying that aspect. Put that way he was absolutely right, but I thought nobody felt it when I was narrating the story including Aamir which means the emotional dram must be carrying it forward whereas now since Aamir had the time to think he sees it as a problem.

He also felt if Mili is a nice girl, Munna is a nice guy and Jackie is also a nice guy there was absolutely no drama anymore and the whole film is resting on just that one line of Munna not telling Mili till the end.

He told me that as no two people can have the same vision and since I am the Director he would go along with my vision in spite of his disagreement with me. Contrary to popular perception, Aamir is absolutely non-interfering compared to any actor I worked with or I have heard of. He is a very intelligent man with a tremendous sincerity and a superb reasoning power. But since most people don’t have his sincerity including myself the guilt in us would make us say that he interferes even though I never said that.

When the film released and was declared a big hit Aamir hugged me and said that he was glad I proved to be right. But that is not necessarily true. Maybe the film would have been a much bigger hit if I incorporated all his suggestions. Also in my heart I know that if the film didn’t work it would have been precisely for the same reasons Aamir feared.

Anyway the famous controversy between me and Aamir happened 6 to 7 months after Rangeela released. Khalid Mohammed was doing an interview with me in which I was giving an explanation that the audience can rarely understand the difference between a character and an actor. I cited the scene in Rangeela when Aamir takes Urmila to restaurant. Now the waiter being a Five Star Hotel steward is higher in social status than Munna but being a waiter he has no choice but to serve him. But on a human being level he can barely hide his disgust hearing Munna’s lines. So I told Khalid that the lines are being delivered by Aamir but the look on the waiter’s face is what is making the audience laugh. So it calls for more complex acting on the waiter’s part compared to Aamir in that particular scene. Khalid who apparently had a personal axe to grind with Aamir went ahead and printed this article which read like as if I said “The waiter was better than Aamir”.

By the time the article came out I was off on a Telugu film shoot in interior Andhra Pradesh. Aamir tried to contact me and those days there were no cell phones. The fact that I was not getting in touch with him and him not knowing where I was, he thought I was avoiding him and as the media was hounding him to react he went ahead and reacted and the media blew up the thing into a full scale war. The moment I realized what happened I met Aamir and explained it to him. He wanted me to give a statement in print against Khalid that I was misquoted to which I said I can’t because all those things I did say, it’s just that it’s too technical for a layman at that time to understand and I should not have spoken to a man like Khalid about that and that was a mistake.

Some cold vibes still remained with good reason till years later we met at a party and had a long chat and since then we are cordial. So whatever happened between me and Aamir was completely 100% my fault and I am saying this now here because I was not trusting any journalist to put it across in the correct perspective.

And before some minds out there jump to this conclusion that this is an effort on my part to patch up with him in order to do a film with him I want to categorically state here that I will never ever do a film with him and the reasons for that are:
(a). I am not as sincere or as committed as him.
(b). I don’t have his patience.
(c). Above all I truly think he is a far better filmmaker than me.

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