Aamir Khan’s much anticipated Laal Singh Chaddha is up for release on August 11. An adaptation of Forrest Gump, the film also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan and is directed by Secret Superstar director Advait Chandan. Ahead of the film’s release, Aamir, in a chat with selected media, revealed that there was a point during the pre-production of the film that he wanted his son Junaid Khan to play the titular role
When a journalist asked the ‘perfectionist’ if he watched Tom Hanks’ performance to get a hang of the character, he replied in the negative and said it never occurred to him to watch the film. “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.
Aamir Khan then went on to narrate that while Advait had done a great job with Superstar Singer, given Laal Singh Chaddha was 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 Advait shot the test video with him. “It became a test for both of them that way,” the Dangal actor added with a smile.
Aamir shared that when he saw the test video with former wife Kiran Rao, he was blown away. 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 shared, 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.
If you are wondering how Junaid Khan reacted 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.