Aamir Khan worked with Yash Raj Films on the critical and commercial dud Thugs of Hindostan and his son Junaid will make his acting debut in the YRF film Maharaja; but many years ago, the actor had a falling out with filmmaker Yash Chopra, who accused him of wanting to know how many punches he’d throw at Sunny Deol in the film Darr. Aamir was supposed to play the role that eventually went to Shah Rukh Khan.
In a 1997 interview with Rediff, Aamir retorted to the accusations and said that those who do not understand his ‘approach’ resort to telling ‘lies’. He said that ‘it hurts tremendously when they do this’.
Aamir said, “Regarding Yash Chopra’s accusation I’d like to put things in perspective. In the first narration he told me that Sunny (Deol) and I would fight but it would be Juhi (the woman whom I was obsessed with and harassing) who would kill me. That was poetic justice. Then I came to know that he had narrated a different climax to Sunny in which Sunny would kill me. So I asked for a joint narration.”
But, Aamir continued, it was the filmmaker who assured him that he’d the climax would have ‘an equal fight’. When Aamir asked him what he meant by this, he said that Yash Chopra told him, in the presence of cameraman Manmohan Singh and scriptwriter Honey Irani, that both actors ‘would have an equal number of punches’ in the fight.
Aamir added, “I was concerned about my screen image. I was certainly not going to be beaten up by a regular hero in a regular commercial film. See, I didn’t mind being beaten up by Deepak Tijori in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar because that was a different kind of film. But if you have a casting coup like Sunny and me then I certainly don’t want to be beaten up by him or even Arnold Schwarzenegger for that matter. Is there anything wrong with that?”
He denied accusations that he had ‘second thoughts’ about playing a negative role, and said that he’d have played the mentally ill character accordingly and would have avoided glamorising him. Darr was controversial nonetheless, despite Aamir’s involvement. Sunny Deol was said to be upset about Shah Rukh walked away with the bulk of appreciation and screen time. They didn’t speak for 16 years after working on the film.