After portraying an alien in last year's blockbuster PK, superstar Aamir Khan made no bones about lending his voice to a dog in Dil Dhadakne Do, which opened in theatres on June 4. The 50-year-old actor says he so thoroughly enjoyed the movie that even playing a dog in it was a "pleasure".
Director Zoya Akhtar came up with the idea to make Khan the voice of the philosophical bullmastiff Pluto in her comedy about a dysfunctional Punjabi family that goes on a cruise in Europe.
"It was a joy for me to watch it [Dil Dhadakne Do], and a pleasure to be a part of it even if in a small way. I was happy to do it," said Khan.
But a dog’s role isn’t one that a superstar would be expected to do.
“[Laughs] ...Well, I loved it,” he said with a chuckle, adding that he watched the movie well before it was released.
He said: “I got a call from Zoya, and she asked me to see the film. I saw it and, of course, Pluto was also there in the film, with the voice of Javed Akhtar [who has penned Pluto’s lines] at that time.
“When the film got over, Zoya asked me what I thought of it. I told her that I loved it, and it was really amazing, and that I laughed and cried through it. I loved every character, it was well-written and every actor has performed well.
“Then Zoya said, ‘Listen, I want you to play Pluto’. I was a bit surprised ... because I thought Javed sir had done a great job. But I said ‘OK’. I had loved the film so much that I was just happy to be a part of it ... I think it is a great film to be part of.
“So, I didn’t even think twice. I said, ‘Sure, I will do it’. And two days later, I was dubbing for it. That was it.”
Pluto has been in the limelight, despite the importance of the character in the narrative of the film, which otherwise has actors like Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Farhan Akhtar and Rahul Bose.
Khan is, in his own words, “a real animal lover”.
“I used to have two dogs, and now I have cats and a dog. Earlier, I had a Boxer named Chhoti and another was a pariah dog named Peanuts. Now I have a Yorkshire Terrier, and she is called Imli,” he said.
But Pluto, he says, is “quite different from the dogs I have had”.
“My dogs have been quite crazy. Pluto is a very philosophical dog. He is really into observing human nature and has a take on everything. But yes, since I am an animal lover... [I know that] pets very much become a part of family,” said the 50-year-old actor, who has three children, sons Junaid and Azad, and daughter Ira.
• Dil Dhadakne Do is out in cinemas now