Aamir Khan says son Junaid was ‘right man’ to play Lal Singh Chadha: ‘He was brilliant’

After several delays over the past few years, Lal Singh Chadha, starring Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan and directed by Advaita Chandan, is finally set to release in theaters worldwide on August 11. Undoubtedly one of the most awaited films, this film is a remake of Tom Hanks’ Hollywood classic Forrest Gump.

Khan, who is promoting the film religiously, recently revealed that during the pre-production of Lal Singh Chadha, he wanted his son Junaid Khan to play the titular role. Interestingly, Junaid also did a test video for the role.

The Dangal actor has previously worked with Chandan in Superstar Singer, but seeing as Lal Singh Chadha found the film too difficult, he wasn’t sure if he could hand it over to him. And so he asked him to build his crew and shoot down a pilot. It was also the time when the actor’s son Junaid Khan, who attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, returned home. Khan advised the filmmaker to shoot a test video with his son. “It became such a test for both of them,” the actor said.

Khan shared that when he watched the test video with his ex-wife Kiran Rao, he was amazed by his son’s performance. “As soon as I saw the video of the test, I was blown away. I knew my chance was gone (I thought my chance was gone). Lal’s innocence that we were trying to achieve was out there while I was on it. The innocence of his face was Lal Singh and I had to work incredibly hard to get there. I don’t have that innocence anymore and he did it naturally. Junaid was just brilliant and I felt he was the right man to play the role,” said the actor, who grew his beard for the role for six months while the screen tests were taking place but since he decided to cast his son had been, so he shaved it off.

The actor added that he showed the video of the test to around 100 people, including his colleagues like Rajkummar Hirani, Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra, as well as a few family and friends. That said, you need to cast Junaid. The character as he was was absolutely perfect.

However, Atul (Kulkarni, the film’s scriptwriter) and Aditya Chopra were adamant that Aamir should do the film instead, “They wanted me to play the role. According to them, the story of Forrest Gump is so solid.” No. It’s an episodic film that needs a star. A new actor can’t pull it off. So when the talks started again, I started growing a beard again,” said the actor.

Khan, who is also producing the film, says his son’s performance in the test video was an inspiration. “I didn’t expect him to be better than me. I was inspired by Junaid and loved acting. His scenes in the test video inspired me for the film. I observed his eyes and felt the character. It took off from there. This is the journey of how I actually became Lal Singh Chadha,” said the actor.

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