There's always been this talk in Bollywood about male actors starring with female actors half their age. And the reverse has rarely ever been seen on the silver screen, mostly because audience wants to see male actors as members of the youth even when they've crossed 50 ─ something that concerned Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan as he played a 55-year-old Mahavir in Dangal.
Speaking to an Indian news agency, Aamir said he was scared of compromising his stardom and losing his fan-base before he signed up for Dangal.
"When I heard the story of Dangal, I thought I have to do this film. But then I thought that I have just done Dhoom 3 and PK," he said, referring to projects that maintained his star-image with the perfect six-pack-abs-celeb bod he had built for them.
"I thought if I do this film, then I will become old and fat. What will my fans think?" the 52-year-old star added, saying it was a risk he took so as to portray the character as realistically as possible.
Dangal was based on the story of Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who beats all odds to train his daughters Geeta and Babita Phogat to become world-class wrestlers. Aamir underwent massive physical transformation for playing a younger and older, 55-year-old, Mahavir Singh Phogat. He gained weight up to 95 kilogrammes and later reduced it to around 70 kg.
"Mahavir is a 55-year-old in the film. I am 52. So, there is less difference between us," Aamir said.
"We are too close in age but fans don't know that as they see me as 30-year-old. So I told the director that I liked the film and I will do it after 10 years when I'm old. They agreed to that too."
"But the story of the film wouldn't leave my mind. I decided that I should do it and not be afraid of anything," the actor, known for his perfectionism, said.
Dangal won several Filmfare Awards this year, including the Best Actor and Best Director trophy. The film was directed by Nitesh Tiwary.
Aamir is currently promoting Secret Superstar, directed by first-time director Advait Chandan. The film stars Aamir's Dangal co-star Zaira Wasim, who played the younger version of Geeta Phogat and is slated for release on October 19.