Taare Zameen Par actor Darsheel Safary recalled the thoughtfulness that Aamir Khan showed in arranging for a teacher to be on set so that his school work wouldn’t be ignored.
Actor Darsheel Safary, who became a household name after starring as a child actor in the 2007 film Taare Zameen Par, recalled his first meeting with Aamir Khan, who made his directorial debut with the project, in addition to playing a supporting role in it. In an interview, Darsheel also revealed that Aamir, whom he still refers to as ‘uncle’, personally came to his school to seek permission for him to be away on shoot.
Appearing on the Pop Talks podcast, Darsheel said that he didn’t understand the concept of auditions when he was first asked to do some tests for the film. He said that he already knew Amol Gupte, who was originally supposed to direct, and that he was sure he’d been cast in the film when he first auditioned for it. It was during his first audition that he met Aamir.
“I sat down and they asked me to do that gibberish scene, which I enjoyed. And then, Aamir uncle came in his shorts and a cap. He comes, and he says, ‘Hey, hi, I’m Aamir’. And I was of course star struck. But I was very surprised with his vibe. I was expecting a different scenario altogether; Mangal Pandey had just come. When I got home, I told everybody that I’d started shooting the film,” Darsheel said.
But he actually hadn’t. It was only a few weeks later that his parents broke the news to him that he was contesting for the part with thousands of other children. “Around Teacher’s Day, Aamir uncle came to my school. I had no idea. But apparently, he’d come to take permission for me to be on set, because I’d miss school for a long time. My principal and he cracked a deal that she would overlook me not missing any (school work) by sending a tuition teacher on set,” Darsheel said.
He thanked Aamir for having the foresight to arrange for a teacher, because he knew that Darsheel couldn’t afford to miss out on his education because of the film. Initially, Darsheel said that he was annoyed at having to study on set, because he’d gone in expecting a party, but over time, he understood the importance of what he was being told to do. Taare Zameen Par emerged as a critical and commercial hit, and was selected as India’s official entry for the Oscars. Last month, Aamir announced a spiritual sequel, titled Sitaare Zameen Par.