The film Junaid Khan almost did!

Junaid Khan is a trained actor who is a self-made man. Photo: Instagram / Junaid Khan

Speaking informally to me when we met up at an event, a brief chat with Aamir Khan veered to his son, Junaid Khan, who has always been the kind of young man who wants to be self-made and still travels by public transport, including the train, rather than take a flight or have his own car!

Having done theater now for seven years and been an assistant on PK, the young man has learnt acting abroad and done multiple auditions. One such audition was conducted by his father for him after he had planned Laal Singh Chaddha, in which Aamir was to be the lead.

“I just wanted to see how good he was, so I told Advait, my film’s director, to make him do a few scenes. To my utter astonishment, he was fantastic!” exclaimed the proud father. “He became Laal Singh Chaddha, and Kiran Rao and Mansoor Khan (Aamir’s cousin and director of films like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander) both told me that he must do the role! Where he has the advantage over me is that he has also learnt the craft of acting when he studied at a drama school in Los Angeles!”

However, just as Aamir had mentally accepted his son as the new Laal Singh Chaddha, he also showed the audition to Aditya Chopra, who had also watched the original Forrest Gump on which the film was based. And it was Aditya who told Aamir not to cast him, because the film was character-driven and the timeframe did not suit Junaid’s age. “The lead role must be done by a star!” he advised. And as Advait himself was also not in favor (being the co-writer as well), Aamir finally dropped the idea, accepting the fact that the various incidents in the film needed an actor who was as well-known as Tom Hanks, the original protagonist!

For those who came in late, Junaid, born in 1993, made his debut in 2017 with Quasar Thakore Padamsee’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children and has now been signed as the leading man in Yash Raj Films’ Maharaj produced by Aditya himself. Coming up also is a film, on the details of which Aamir is tight-lipped for the moment. Online reports reveal that the film is named Pritam Pyaare and is obviously a love story that stars multiple award-winning South actress, Sai Pallavi, as the leading lady.







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