Actor Imran Khan remembers growing up in Bangalore, reveals where his comic timing comes from and tells us what traits he shares with uncle Aamir Khan
Everyone sees a little bit of Aamir Khan in him. He has played young Aamir in his films. While Imran Khan is remembered for his deadpan sense of humour in Delhi Belly, he has also played the Casanova in I Hate Luv Storys. He partners with the same producer-director team of Karan Johar and Punit Malhotra in Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, playing a south Indian. In Bangalore recently for the promos, he talks of how he enjoyed time in a city he’s familiar with. Excerpts.
Where does your sense of comic timing come from?
I actually grew up watching old British comedy. My dad is a huge fan of it…so I grew up watching Monty Python kind of things. My taste is a result of that. I used to read, and still read, a lot of P.G. Wodehouse so all of this moved my sensibilities and tastes towards slightly dry deadpan British humour.
How often do you get to use it in films you do?
Infrequently. Something more broad-stroke and louder, generally, is what is expected. Because that is generally our cinematic language. It’s a bit of an adaptation…
How similar are you to your mamu Aamir Khan?
I wonder, truth be old. I think there are a lot of similarities. I think we both are very stubborn people. Both of us are extremely particular about doing things in a certain way. I think I’m more easy going than he is in a lot of ways.
And what’s with the dramatic punk haircut?
I was bored last night. I had nothing to do. I don’t have any shooting commitments right now. My hairstylist who’s a very close friend of mine, was over for dinner. I was like ‘Listen let’s do something fun’. She was like ‘How fun?’ I said ‘Go wild’. Yeah so I have a mohawk now …
You play a south Indian in Gori… and you’ve covered most stereotypes…the veshti-mundu, wearing vibhuti, …what else? Eating noodles with curd too?
No, we haven’t done that. Sriram (his character in Gori…), although he’s technically south Indian, he doesn’t really fit in. He’s grown up abroad. He’s considered the black sheep of his family because he has a kind of aversion to his own culture.
Did you do any “research” for this film?
Actually none. I grew up in Bangalore. It was a nicer time then. Bangalore was where I had my first girlfriend and my first breakup. I did my schooling here, a part of it, at the Valley School between 1998 to 2000. It’s actually sweet. We started filming in Bangalore and we finish the last day of film promotions in Bangalore. We’ve come full circle.
Where did you shoot in Bangalore? Did you get time to revisit old favourites?
While shooting, I took the cast to my favourite joints. I used to hang out in Nagarjuna on Brigade Road… When we landed here, that was my first priority. I wanted to take them all there. First day we went there, everyone lost their mind, and thereafter we were there at least twice a week. They have two levels in the restaurant, and upper level was unofficially reserved for Dharma Productions. We shot outside Bangalore, at Tamarind Tree, then we shot our club song ‘Dhat teriki’ in Skyye Lounge Bar in U.B.City, Hardrock Café, a bowling alley called Blu-O in Orion Mall, and lot of stuff on the streets. Then I took them to Corner House. Death by Chocolate gets a lot of press, it has a great PR agency, but their Cake Fudge is actually better.
Are the kind of roles coming your way what you really want to do?
I’m getting to do very interesting stuff. Perhaps not the kind of stuff exactly suited to me but stuff you would not really see me in. Films like Matru Ki Bijleee Ka Mandola and Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! — these are roles that you would not think of casting me in.
Your next project?
Next, I’m doing Bhavesh Joshi directed by Vikramaditya Motwane…and that’s it for the year. I like to work at a more leisurely pace. . It takes a bit of time for me to get into and get out of a film. This year I’ve gone from Matru…, to Once Upon…, into Gori… and turned into a cake fudge. I’m actually on a strict diet. I’m doing a body transformation programme. I have a very cruel trainer…. You should see it under here (he motions towards his jacket with a straight face). It’s all sexiness.