It was a decade ago that Darsheel Safary won people's hearts with his endearing performance in Taare Zameen Par and the actor says he considers Aamir Khan his "guru" and looks up to him for career advice.
The film, which was the directorial debut of Aamir who also acted in it, explored the life and imagination of Ishaan, an 8-year-old dyslexic child. The 2007 film, penned by Amole Gupte, went on to bag a National Award.
When asked if he is still in touch with both Gupte and Aamir, Darsheel told PTI, "I recently met Amole Gupte ji on a TV show and was so happy to see him. As usual he was surprised at the fact I've grown up. It was a happy reunion.
"My dad is in touch with Aamir uncle. There's always an occasional text here and there. Also that we've taken advice from him regarding the projects I choose, as I consider him to be my guru."
Darsheel, whose performance as a struggling dyslexic child was praised by film critics, says when he looks back at his work, he feels it was not easy to do it.
"Looking back now, it would be one of the toughest roles ever, but probably because I was young and there were a lot of similarities between Ishaan and Darsheel, it was easier... The fact that I had Aamir uncle and Amole uncle around helped me even more," the 20-year-old actor says.
Recalling the first shot he gave for the film, he says, "My first scene was the one where I'm walking through the hallway of my school. It really didn't feel like Aamir uncle was directing for the first time. I remember it because I've never had more fun walking around the hallway so many times!"
But wasn't there nervousness, especially for a nine-year-old child to be working in a Bollywood film?
"The thing is that he's such a calm person that he never let me feel the pressure or stress. The first time I met him was in his office when he came in shorts and a cap. I realised that it's going to be a lot of fun shooting for the movie with him!"
Taare Zameen Par was initially said to be directed by Amol Gupte but reportedly Aamir took over and re-shot the film.
When asked if he remembers having issues adjusting to a new director and his voice, Darsheel said, "Wow, this has become stuff of legend. Yes, that did happen and honestly speaking I was nine then, and I didn't know what was really going on.
"So I decided to focus on my rubik cube and have fun.
I can tell you one thing for sure that there was superb teamwork between Aamir uncle and Amole Gupte as he had written the film and Aamir wanted to figure if he was working according to it."PTI