Article Hindi

Aamir Khan remembers Amitabh Bachchan, Namak Halaal fondly

The Dangal (2016) said the sway Bachchan had over audiences was unique.

Photos: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

One of the bigger mysteries in Hindi cinema is why two of its great superstars have never shared screen space for over 25 years. That agonizing wait is about to end with Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan coming together for Thugs Of Hindostan which will be released in 2018.

Working with Bachchan was a dream come true for Khan, who said this while speaking to journalists during the promotions for Secret Superstar (2017). Incidentally, Bachchan celebrates his 75th birthday tomorrow (11 October). asked Khan about the impact Bachchan had on him and the youth who grew up watching films during Bachchan’s best years in the 1970s and 1980s.

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“It was an amazing experience, watching Mr Bachchan in the cinema hall," Khan said. "His aura, and his sway over audiences, his powerful performances, were magical. He had complete hold on us as an entertainer. We would hang on to every word of his, every nuance, gesture of his. It was a satisfying feeling watching his films.”

Scene from Namak Halaal (1982)

Asked about any particular memory from that era, Khan replied, “I liked Mr Natwarlal (1979), Don (1978), but I remember Namak Halaal (1982). I came out of the theatre, I called [cousin] Mansoor [Khan, who later made Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)] and said you have to watch this film, and I watched it again.”

The appreciation and respect for Bachchan didn’t stop there. Khan continued, “The sway that Mr Bachchan had was very unique.” At this point, Secret Superstar director Advait Chandan, who was present during Khan's interaction with the media, interrupted and reminded Khan that he, too, now holds sway over audiences.

Khan disagreed, saying, “I don’t know what you feel when you watch me, but it cannot be the same. Mr Bachchan had seven films running simultaneously in theatres. You look at his career, he had quite a few big films in the same year. It was like a bonanza. He used to clash with himself! That was a different era. The stardom which Mr Bachchan has seen none of us will ever get to see.”