He's known to throw up surprises one after the other to Bollywood audiences -- and after essaying an alien onscreen, superstar Aamir Khan made no bones about voicing a real life dog in "Dil Dhadakne Do". He 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 Aamir give a voiceover to the adorable and philosophical bullmastiff Pluto in the multi-starrer film on a dysfunctional Punjabi family.
"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," Aamir told IANS in an interview on phone from Mumbai, after the release of "Dil Dhadakne Do".
A dog's role wouldn't be one that we thought a superstar like him would do. No?
"(Laughs) ... well, I loved it," he said with a chuckle.
Aamir recounted how he cruised into Zoya's directorial, the story of which is set in the backdrop of a Mediterranean cruise.
He was lucky to watch the movie on Zoya's invitation much before it hit the screens on June 5.
He said: "I got a call a few weeks ago from Zoya, and she asked me to see the film. I saw it and, of course, Pluto was also there in the film. His voice was given by Javed Akhtar saab (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.
"When I told her I loved it, 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 'okay'. 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. And I said, 'Sure, I will do it'. And two days later, I was dubbing for it. That was it."
While Aamir is not literally in the frame, his voiceover for Pluto the philosophical dog has been grabbing limelight given 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.
In real life, Aamir is, as he described, "a real animal lover".
"I had 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 with a childlike excitement.
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, who is a father of three children -- sons Junaid and Azad, and daughter Ira.