“You know, 3 Idiots – my biggest challenge was this and I was supposed to play a 20-year-old. In fact, I’d even told Raju Hirani that I can’t do this because the film will get destroyed because I am acting in it.
I’m 44 years old and I’m supposed to play a 20 something. How will the audience accept it and how will I play it first of all? So, I told him that we’re making a big mistake. But Raju’s point was that what Rancho is saying is the way you’ve lived your life, you have never followed success, you followed what you believed in, and then you became successful eventually. You’ve lived your life that way.
So, he said I want you to be saying that….because people will believe it when you’re saying it.
The one reason why I actually got convinced to do the role was because of Raju is a great director. I thought there’s something he’s seeing which I’m not seeing and I don’t agree with him, but because I respect him and his work as director, I am going to go with his instinct and not with mine…and so I said yes to him.
Having said yes to him, I was now working on how to crack the character. I didn’t know how to handle age? There were two or three things that really helped me. One was that…the first thing I realised is that if you look at your old album, twenty years back, you were thinner! First thing need to lose weight to look younger. So, strict diet and all of that – and this was soon after Ghajini for which I had gained a lot of weight. I was huge…I had to lose all of that that.
Second thing I did…is that I tried to look as small as possible, so, I wore jeans that were four sizes bigger for me and T-shirts that were loose so I looked small, I look boyish. Also my hair was messy and you know poky…so all this did make me look a little younger. The mannerisms are easier because – ahhh… you can pick up mannerisms much more easily and imitate a…you know…person. What is tough is to feel young. Because only if you feel young will the mannerisms look a part of you, otherwise they look stuck on you.
I also told Raju that one of the biggest problems for me playing Rancho is that he is…correct all the time. It’s a pain in the ass; it gets on your nerves yaar. This bugger is good in everything, he comes first all the time, and he has answers for all kind of weird questions. He’s dedh shaana. Bahut dedh-shaana lagta hai…I found all this bugging.
And the way Raju had actually written the script, Rancho’s role was written slightly heroic…actually more that slightly heroic, he was written heroic. So I told Raju I can’t play it that way, you’ve written it in a very heroic manner. I cannot play it heroic. If I do that, by the fifth scene people will start getting irritated with me. So I said that I want to play it non-heroic which means…when he’s being bullied I want Rancho to be scared and not be hero who can handle the situation. I want him to be screwed and think what do I do, what do I do? It is his fear that makes him do what he does.
The character is very curious actually. Because if you love science you have to have curious mind, he is constantly soaking it in. He’s not trying to be over-smart at any point. But people around him find it funny. So, I played it non-heroic, I played it curious. So his head has always gotta be like always tilted….so he is looking at you- but mind is going whrrr inside him…like he has very fast moving…molecules inside him. He is constantly moving. So even when he is standing, he is very rarely standing still – he has energy inside him…”
Aamir Khan, with his penchant for perfection & professionalism, is one of the few methods actor in bollywood, who has taken acting as whole to the new level, an actor, director, producer, playback singer, state tennis champion, and mentor of his nephew, he is all that and more….!!!