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Aamir Khan's talent and constant need for perfection has made him a director's delight, and occasional despair.

Some of his directors recall their experiences working with Aamir.

Ketan Mehta

I directed Aamir not only in his latest film, The Rising, but also in his very first film as an adult star, Holi.

Aamir was very young, a college student then. Holi was about a day on a college campus. I was looking for new faces who had never acted in films before. I met Aamir through my stage contacts.

I gathered a team of people from Mumbai and Aamir was one of them. All of them were between 18 and 20 years of age. Ashutosh Gowariker was also part of the group. Both of them came across as very bright and enthusiastic, focused kids. I had to choose between Aamir and Ashutosh for the lead.

Aamir came for the audition with a shaven head, so we chose Ashutosh. Before the film, we organised a a workshop. Aamir, even at that age, was very focused, intelligent and aware of cinema. He was technically aware. He never projected himself beyond the requirement of the scene. This ability is a great quality in an actor.

He would ask questions and discuss things. This is something I expect from an actor -- to respond to the scene and the character with all his intelligence. Aamir had that quality. As an actor, he came across as restrained but very strong and intense. But he never went overboard.

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Text: Lata Khubchandani, Ronjita Kulkarni

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