A Minute With: Aamir Khan and his Midas touch

Wed Sep 8, 2010 9:34am EDT
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By Shilpa Jamkhandikar

MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - One of India's most popular actors, Aamir Khan, is considered Bollywood's man with the Midas touch.

The 45-year-old actor was last seen in the 2009 comedy "3 Idiots," India's biggest blockbuster to date, with 4 billion rupees ($85.6 million) in box-office takings.

For his latest project, Khan turned producer for a low-budget film on the growing urban-rural divide in India.

"Peepli (Live)" released in August to rave reviews, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting a special screening. The film opens in the UK on Sept 24.

Khan spoke to Reuters about the importance of international audiences, the star system in Bollywood and why he isn't interested in crossing over to the West.

Q: Your film "Peepli (Live)" is being released in the UK. As an Indian producer, how important are international audiences for you?

A: "It depends on the material. With 'Peepli (Live)', I felt that here is a film that has the potential to not only engage audiences who normally watch Indian films but also audiences who may never have watched one. I had in mind right from the beginning that if it turned out well, I would pursue that and it did turn out well. As a producer I am trying my level best to see how far I can push the envelope."

Q: When you say potential to engage an international audience, what elements in a film are you talking about?   Continued...

<p>Bollywood actor Aamir Khan smiles during a news conference in New Delhi July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>