Director Ram Gopal Varma has set the record straight over his reported spat with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan following their collaboration on the hit 1995 film ‘Rangeela’. In the 25 years since the release of the film, the duo have never worked together again after they had a falling out.
Varma, who recently launched his own streaming platform Spark OTT, has finally spoken about his comment at the time of the release of ‘Rangeela’, where he allegedly called Khan’s acting worse than the extra who played a waiter in the film.
“Aamir Khan is an extremely dedicated and passionate and very patient person, which I am not. I am a very impulsive guy, I want to see things happening now and Aamir wants to mull over it, which is good and works fantastic for him. But temperament wise we are very different and… it was a certain misunderstanding post Rangeela,” Varma told entertainment portal Bollywood Hungama. “I don’t have any bad blood neither does he have.”
When quizzed about his controversial comment about Khan’s acting skills, Varma clarified such was not the case. “I am clearing this for the thousandth time. Khalid Mohammed [journalist, writer and filmmaker] was interviewing me and I made a technical point. People don’t understand how a performance works. I mentioned in the context if Aamir says the line ‘Tu idhar ghuma na’ [you roamed here]. Now the expression on the waiter is what makes people laugh. It’s not the line. The line is written and Aamir said it flatly. But because so much laughter came we think it is Aamir’s performance. If I did the wrong casting of the waiter who couldn’t give a counted expression, the scene would have been flat,” Varma clarified in the interview.
Khan is regarded as one of the most versatile actors in the Bollywood film industry and he had even been nominated for a Filmfare Best Actor for his role in ‘Rangeela’, but he eventually lost out to Shah Rukh Khan for ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’. Varma was also nominated for Best Director at the time.
The filmmaker further stated that it was an issue between the writer and Khan that turned his interview into a controversy.
“… Khalid had some issue with Aamir Khan because he was refusing to attend some Filmfare function or something like that. He wrote the headline that the waiter was better than Aamir, quoting me. And at that time because there were no cell phones, I was in the South somewhere shooting a Telugu film,” Varma further stated. “Aamir tried contacting me and I was not available and he thought I was not getting in touch deliberately. It made him feel that I actually said it. So he said something else in the press.”
“I said, ‘Aamir, the whole world has seen ‘Rangeela’ and they loved it and that guy is in half a scene. Me saying that the waiter is better than you, in what way do you think it is going to make any difference….’ But Aamir being a very sensitive and very good human being… felt betrayed and that’s my fault.”