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MUMBAI — As one of Bollywood’s most recognized faces, superstar Aamir Khan is not accustomed to drawing blank looks at the mention of his name.
A tour guide in southern India’s temple town of Mahabalipuram took Khan by surprise when he admitted to never even having heard of the actor.
“I asked him if he had heard of Shah Rukh Khan, he said no. I asked him if he knew Aamir Khan, but he just shook his head.
“That is when I realized that I had gone through the trouble of wearing a wig, and false teeth for someone who wouldn’t have recognized me anyway,” Khan said.
The 44-year-old actor recently undertook a whirlwind trip round the country to promote his latest film “3 Idiots.” Khan was in disguise most of the time as part of a contest that was part of the promotions.
“I asked him if he watched Hindi movies, but he said he didn’t. He said the only Hindi movie he had watched was one with Dharmendra, and therefore the only Hindi film hero he knew was Dharmendra. He had absolutely no idea of any Hindi films,” Khan told reporters.
The actor invited the guide to Mumbai for the film’s premiere, saying it made him realize that his status as a Bollywood film star didn’t always guarantee him instant recognition.
Khan toured Benaras, Punjab, Kolkata and Gujarat in two weeks, almost always in a different disguise, and challenged fans to guess where he would be going next.
“3 Idiots,” which stars Khan along with Sharman Joshi, R. Madhavan and Kareena Kapoor releases on Dec. 24.
Khan plays an engineering student in the film, which was directed by Raj Kumar Hirani.
“I am not sure what kind of effect this kind of promotion will have on the prospects of the film.
In fact I am not even sure it will affect the prospects of the film at all. But I do know that it has been a personal journey for me,” the actor said.
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