‘Aamir’ not copy of Hollywood film: Rajiv Khandelwal

June 6th, 2008 - 9:00 am ICT by IANS  

By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, June 6 (IANS) TV star Rajiv Khandelwal has rubbished rumours that his debut movie “Aamir”, released Friday, is a copy of the Hollywood film “Cellular”. In “Aamir”, Rajiv is often seen talking on the phone.

“The minute I heard the script I loved the sound of it. The idea of my character roaming anxiously in the crowded areas of Mumbai, taking instructions on the phone from mysterious people, really caught my attention,” Rajiv told IANS.

“But it’s not a copy of the Hollywood film ‘Cellular’. People jumped to the conclusion when they saw me running helter-skelter with a cell phone,” added the actor.

In real life Rajiv loses his phone more frequently than his temper.

“I lost my phone last month. Then again last week I dropped it on the beach and lost the phone and all my numbers at a time when I needed to invite all my friends and associates for my premiere.”

While shooting the film the actor had an interesting encounter with a woman fan. It happened in the crowded Dongri area where Rajiv was shooting “Aamir” with hidden cameras, hoping he wouldn’t be recognised.

Unfortunately, a woman fan jumped out of the crowd and accosted Rajiv, recognising him as Sujal, the character from Ekta Kapoor’s soap “Kahiin To Hoga” that brought him fame.

“We were shooting on the road in Dongri where I had to run across the street. And there couldn’t be a re-take for obvious reasons. Suddenly this woman spotted me from a taxi. She stopped her vehicle mid-street, got out and started screaming my name.”

“The camera was rolling. I told her I needed to cross the street before the lights changed from red to green. She wouldn’t listen. So I gently pushed her hands away and crossed as per the script. That shot of the woman stopping me is in the film.”

Shooting “Aamir” was a great challenge, says the actor.

“We shot for 28 days on the streets of Mumbai. Except a shot in an airport washroom, everything has been shot outdoors in some of the most congested areas of Mumbai.

“We first tried shooting with normal cameras. But that didn’t work. Coming from television when people in Dharavi and Dongri saw cameras pointing at me, they immediately recognised me.”

So far his movie debut has been smooth.

“My most cherished moment was when Hema Maliniji after seeing ‘Aamir’ said, ‘Welcome to the film fraternity.’

“I don’t think of the hurdles. Yes, ‘Sarkar Raj’ also came out with my film. So what? The minute you stop focusing on the finishing line and start looking around, you are finished.”

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