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Throwback Thursday: Watch Aamir Khan explain his 'risky business' and India's global dominance

In a throwback interview, Khan describes his choice of films, risks and ideas of filmmaking that explains his penchant for risky scripts, and a prediction about Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone's global presence. 

Shriram Iyengar

Aamir Khan's vision of filmmaking has been praised to heaven and high skies since the release of Dangal. The film has already earned more than Rs100 crore within the span of a week, establishing Khan as one of the more pioneering visionaries of the industry. 

This tact of picking different scripts and pathbreaking cinema is not new to Khan either. Starting with Lagaan (2001) with Ashutosh Gowariker, the actor has constantly sought to reinvent himself with new roles and projects. In 2001, during the promotions of Lagaan during its Oscar run, and the beginning of a certain film known as Dil Chahta Hai (2001), the actor landed up on an interview with comedian Russell Peters for BBC. 

Speaking about his first time producing Lagaan, Khan says, "We (Everyone who worked on the film) believed we had done alright... We felt we had managed to execute what was written (in the script). That's what we were happy about." 

Lagaan went on to make the shortlist for the Best Foreign Film at the 2002 Oscars. Khan says, "We were really thrilled with the kind of response we received because we had tried something which was rather unusual for mainstream Indian cinema." 

An important point raised by Peters is the question of risk. To Peters' question of industry insiders staying away from the film, which Khan chose to invest his own money in, Khan retorts, "People have been calling me crazy for the last 10 years, I am used to that." 

It is here that Peters points out an interesting trait — Khan's penchant for risks. Right after the complicated plot of Lagaan, Khan chose to work with a then 26 year old director named Farhan Akhtar for Dil Chahta Hai. Khan replies, "Actually, that's how I have been working all along. I like to follow my instinct, my heart. When I read a script, if it moves me, if it makes me laugh and cry, I wanna do it." 

If you thought that is the extent of his vision, Khan has a few surprises. Remember, this is 2001, far from 2016 when Priyanka Chopra is the highest paid TV star in Hollywood today, and Deepika Padukone readying for a debut with Vin Diesel. Khan says, "I think it is definitely time that talent from India goes worldwide." The rise of Indian stars overseas began in 2008, with the release of Slumdog Millionaire. Anil Kapoor and Irrfan Khan soon made their mark in films alongside major stars, before being overtaken by Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone recently. 

With Padukone and Chopra making their mark overseas, and Aamir Khan himself setting new standards in acting with his performance in Dangal, this prediction seems to be coming true. Albeit a decade later!