'Dad has no input, unless I ask for it'
As Ira Khan gets ready to debut as a director with her first play, she tells us why her father hasn't influenced her consciously, and how she literally doesn't know any of the other star kids
She's 21, but looks 16. But other than that, Aamir Khan's daughter, Ira Khan, comes across as knowing her mind well. Though she says she is super shy, she is confident about her skill set, which is right now being put to use to direct a play. Her debut production, the Greek tragedy Medea, written by Euripides, starring Hazel Keech, will premiere in December. The story of a scorned woman who kills her husband's second wife and her own kids to spite him could seem dark to a youngster, but Khan feels she needed to do it, because the innate fight between doing what we want, and doing what is right, is a dilemma everyone grapples with every day. We sat with her over coffee and chatted about the play, her talented father, and her love for a good story.
It's a dark play. Why did it connect with you?
I think there is a lesson there that Euripides is trying to give us, but I won't tell you what it is! You have to watch the play for that. I also think that Medea deals with a very real concern we all have - to do what is right, and what we want to do. It's also relevant — especially since it's a monologue about the responsibility we have towards our kids; we don't even know if they will turn out all right! I don't want to have kids after reading that. I just love a good story. Growing up, I used to spend time with adults, because I wanted to listen to the stories they told me, especially my grandfather.
How did you make sure everyone took you seriously as you directed them?
I didn't have to try too hard; my actors were very good to me. They listened as much as I needed them to. I do have this habit of talking in a baby voice — sometimes it's intentional, sometimes it just happens. So I told myself, "Don't do that!"
What has your father taught you about the movies?
I don't think I have learnt anything from him consciously. Unconsciously, of course. Both my parents have left us to do what we want - when we need any input, we ask for it. So if I ask dad something, he will tell me what he feels.
You're unlike the typical star kid...
I literally don't know any of them. So I have no clue how they are. I know Alizeh Agnihotri, who is Salman's [Khan] niece. I have also hung out with Sarah Tendulkar twice, and though we had a good time, we haven't stayed in touch. I don't think she remembers me. I have played chess with Arjun Tendulkar, and I know he doesn't remember that!
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