Art & Entertainment

'Laapataa Ladies' Director Kiran Rao Opens Up About How She Was Trolled After Marrying Aamir Khan

Kiran Rao has become immune to trolling due to the criticism she encountered following her marriage to Aamir Khan.

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Kiran Rao, Aamir Khan Photo: Instagram
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Filmmaker Kiran Rao has developed resilience towards media scrutiny and online criticism; credit goes to the harsh feedback she faced during her initial exposure to the public eye after marrying (now, ex-husband) Aamir Khan.

Rao recently made her directorial comeback with ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ a project she may not have been able to fully commit to had it been released in January as originally scheduled. Ultimately, the release was postponed to avoid clashing with Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Dunki’ and Sriram Raghavan’s ‘Merry Christmas,’ but it still found itself being released around the time of Vikas Bahl’s ‘Shaitaan’ and Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune: Part Two.’

Now, in a conversation with Sucharita Tyagi, she candidly discussed the hurdles faced by female directors when releasing a film, acknowledging the differing standards to which women are held when compared to men. Not only that, she also expressed how she has developed a thick skin over the years.

“I don’t even know what scrutiny I’m under because I don’t even read all this. And I feel like that’s a really healthy way to live your life. Because there will always be people who find you odd-looking and strange and ask, ‘Aamir Khan ne kis chashmish aurat se shaadi kar li hai (Who’s this spectacled woman that Aamir Khan has married).’ I’ve heard all kinds of things in my youth. I’m an individual and I have my own mind. Beyond a point, I just don’t care,’ the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ director said.

Khan and Rao got married in 2005 and dissolved their marriage in 2021, but have remained close ever since. Talking about the spotlight and gossip around her, she revealed that it intensified after she and Aamir announced their divorce, and then drew further attention for their amicable relationship following the separation. “Women have been consciously or unconsciously raised to be non-confrontational. Be seen but not heard, that kind of thing. So, it’s important to have these conversations,” she said, suggesting that ‘Laapataa Ladies’ could function as a spark for such conversations.

Laapataa Ladies’ has been produced by Rao, Aamir Khan, and Jyoti Deshpande. Despite the movie making a little more than Rs 16 crore at worldwide box office collections, it has received high acclaim from critics and audiences alike.

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