Aamir Sana Shaikh

Fatima Sana Shaikh in Thugs of Hindostan

Kiran Rao said that the decision to cast Fatima Sana Shaikh in Aamir Khan’s Thugs of Hindostan was not that of her husband alone. Director Vijay Krishna Acharya announced two weeks back that Fatima, who featured in Dangal, will star in Thugs of Hindostan – after which certain sections of the press emphatically reported that the actress had been cast in the film owing to Aamir’s recommendation.

Produced by Yash Raj Films, Thugs of Hindostan also casts Amitabh Bachchan in a special role. Aamir and Big B will be working together for the first time.

“We don’t deal with it (casting). It’s a Yash Raj Films movie so Adi (Aditya Chopra), Victor (Vijay Krishna Acharya) and Aamir have decided on it. As it is a big film for them, they would have given it (casting Fatima) a good thought. There has to be merit in it,” Kiran said outside a Mumbai restaurant when asked about reports of Aamir recommending Fatima’s name for Thugs of Hindostan.

Fatima, who has worked as a child artiste in the films Chachi 420 and One 2 Ka 4, played Geeta Phogat in Dangal. In the Nitesh Tiwari-directed film, Aamir was cast as Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, who defied odds and the profound notions of a patriarchal society to train his daughters – Geeta and Babita, into wrestlers.

Kiran said that she is excited to see Aamir and Mr Bachchan working for the first time together.

“There is excitement to see Aamir and Amitji together for the first time. It is going to be fun. It will be a treat for the audience to watch them,” Kiran said.

Thugs of Hindostan will begin filming in June and is scheduled for Diwali 2018.