MUMBAI, India (AP) — Aamir Khan says he’s happy he’s been able to entertain people during his quarter-century as a Bollywood star.
His debut film, “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak,” which premiered 25 years ago Monday, starred Khan opposite newcomer Juhi Chawla in a modern Romeo-and-Juliet tale that created box-office history.
“I can’t believe how I have reached here, and I feel so happy from my heart that I was able to entertain people,” he told reporters at a press conference Monday. “I have tried to make a place for myself in each and every Indian heart, I feel very happy about this.”
In the past decade, he’s become one of Bollywood’s names and has the cachet to make any project he chooses.
Khan performed as a child actor in a couple of films, but his career took off with the success of “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.” Several films made through the 1990s were box-office hits.
In 2001, Khan turned producer with “Lagaan,”or “Tax,” a film on poor farmers in British-ruled India challenging their oppressors to a cricket match. The acclaimed period drama was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language film.
After the success of “Lagaan,” Khan acted in some of the biggest hits of the decade, including “Dil Chahta Hai,” or “What the Heart Desires,” ”Rang De Basanti” or “Color Me Yellow,” and “Ghajini.”
He produced, directed and acted in “Taare Zameen Par,” or “Stars on the Ground,” about the journey of a misunderstood dyslexic child. His film “3 Idiots” examined the sorry state of India’s education system.
He’s also thrown his weight behind social causes, joining anti-dam protesters and embracing an anti-corruption activist.
Last year, Khan played host on an immensely popular television talk show which took up a slew of evils in Indian society, including the rampant abortion of female fetuses, caste discrimination and the slaying of brides in dowry disputes.
The show, which made Indians confront some of the persistent flaws of modern India, was watched avidly by more than a third of the country.
Khan says he sees his failures as being as important as his successes.
“I give importance to my wrong steps because I have (had) the opportunity to learn from them and I was able to improve myself.”
Known as a thinking person’s superstar, Khan’s latest movie was “Talaash” or “Search.”
Time magazine named him this month to its list of the world’s 100 most influential people.