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'Age hasn’t dampened my competitive spirit; waiting to compete with my youngest one, in a nice way'

Discussion in 'Happy New Year' started by darina4srk, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. darina4srk

    darina4srk SRKManiac

    The Telegraph, Calcutta
    Friday, 31 October 2014 09:52 AM

    Kolkata: It’s 12.15am. Yes, ‘am’. Shah Rukh Khan has had a packed day. Yet another packed day promoting his box-office biggie Happy New Year. The superstar who turns 49 on Sunday (November 2) had spent Wednesday evening rocking a screaming and swooning crowd of 10,000 fans at St. Xavier’s College for Indiawaale Kolkata Mein Chha Gaye! presented by t2, before ruling an hour-long media conference, along with his HNY director Farah Khan and co-stars Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah. But when t2 met SRK at The Oberoi Grand Art lounge past midnight, The Man was still a bundle of energy, ever smiling, ever warm, ever courteous, ever ready with a quip….


    Your first thoughts on the show at St Xavier’s College this evening?

    It’s been fantastic! Actually, I never get to meet kids and you know, Calcutta… I can’t explain it to you. I was just telling Farah and everyone else while driving down in the car today… I told Abhishek (Bachchan) and Deepika (Padukone) also that ‘You guys need to come down to Calcutta more often’. This is the only city where I can stick my neck out of the car and feel so much warmth and so much love. How long has it been for the IPL… five years? Or seven years? Seven years, right? I go to various cities… I spend a lot of time there… but the kind of acceptance I have here… not just because of the cricket… it’s a feeling that’s beyond words. I don’t know whether I am right or wrong… maybe I am being presumptuous… but people love me here (smiles the SRK smile that crinkles his eyes). To be honest, my life as an actor starts in my house… I sit in the car… go to the studio and work. It is only when I am promoting those films or I travel with my cricket team that I get to meet people. To me it’s very heartening… and very beautiful.

    At Xavier’s today, it was beautiful. I just wanted to stay there, but we were time-bound (smiles). I wanted to stay there till midnight and entertain the kids. I hope to be back soon… for much longer (smiles). The one-on-one interactive touch with people always humbles me. If I can kiss them and they can kiss me back… I love that (smiles). I know I can be a nightmare for my security guys… I got scratched on my back today also (smiles)… but I know it is done out of love. I love people… I can spend an entire lifetime hugging and kissing (smiles). I would have loved to meet all those kids at Xavier’s today individually.


    There was this character in a Douglas Adams book — I can’t remember the name — whose life’s ambition was to meet everyone in the world alphabetically. My ambition is to meet everyone in the world — non-alphabetically (smiles) — and just hug them. I was in America recently and at the end of my stage show, I did this meet-and-greet with the audience… it’s not necessary to do it, but I just like doing it… and I met this young lady who came with her daughter. She told me: ‘I was 15 when I first met you and I had come for a stage show of yours and you had picked me up and taken me out of the crowd’. I found that so beautiful… that she had such a wonderful memory of me. So my mission now is to hug as many people as I can till I can (smiles).

    At the trailer launch of Happy New Year in August, you had told t2: “I want this to be the ultimate Bollywood film… a film every Indian would be proud of”. Do you think you have achieved that?

    When I say this, I talk as a producer, not as an actor. As an actor, I can be right or wrong, but as a producer I really can’t afford to. I am very proud of Happy New Year. It was a very difficult film to make… it’s a film that not very many people will take a chance with. The success of the film has encouraged me to make a lot of different films. This is a purely commercial blockbuster… this is a film that screams out: ‘I am a hit film… come and watch me everyone’ (laughs), but its success now gives me the confidence to explore newer genres as a producer.

    Team Happy New Year has really put in an enormous effort to market the film. But did you ever think it would become so huge so soon?

    (Smiles a big smile) No… no. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think it would be so big. Some people question me on my promotions… ‘Why do you do so much?’ The film is over, but I am still roaming around talking about Happy New Year. Initially I forced my co-stars to do it and now even they have started enjoying it (smiles). They get tired, but they say: ‘Shah Rukh bhai, achha lag raha hai….’ Deepika, who had done the whole promotional blitz with me for Chennai Express, told me before the Happy New Year promotions started: ‘I am coming for every promotion. It’s so much fun’. We loved the time we got to spend together… the dinners we had together. After a film, you move on… I will start Fan (a Yash Raj film) soon… Deepika is shooting today in Mehboob (Studio), Abhishek is shooting somewhere else, but the feeling of being a team remains.

    When the film released, I wasn’t well… I had a touch of fever. At 1.30 at night, I asked for the figures and I was told they would come in only by 2am. I went off to sleep and at 4.30-5 in the morning I woke up and looked at my phone and there was a message from my distribution head with the Friday figures (Rs 44.97 crore). I had to look at the message twice because I thought I was sleepy and seeing things (smiles). It was well beyond what we had expected… it was so heartening and humbling.


    You’ve said that you do a film not because it’s “challenging” or “exciting”, but because it makes you “happy”. On a scale of 1 to 10, how “happy” has doing Happy New Year made you?

    I think that didn’t come across in the way I meant it to. Doing something challenging doesn’t mean it’s a film that makes you unhappy (smiles). Challenge is something that excites you… makes you happy. Happiness and challenges always go together, I feel. The challenges in life make me happy… taking a free fall from a plane… the challenge of making KKR win championships back-to-back…. When people say ‘Oh, that was very challenging’, I think they take it too seriously. I have been a professional actor for 25 years… I am very serious about my craft, but I also know how to have fun in my films. Happy New Year has been a very physically demanding film… six people always in a frame and the responsibility of looking after each other because this is an ensemble film…

    And then getting that eight-pack body must have been very tough…

    (Smiles) That was not so tough. I feel very shy talking about my body, it’s very embarrassing (laughs). I don’t really like taking off my clothes on screen… I do it because my role or a scene demands it. I don’t want to sound blase about it… it definitely was very hard work… but it wasn’t as tough as it seems. Having said that, if Farah or any other filmmaker comes to me tomorrow and tells me that they need me to get a 12-pack for my next film, I will do it. And I will take off my shirt happily (smiles).

    But the challenge of being Charlie was in many other things… to be a brooding guy and yet be able to have a sense of humour. To be able to do romance, but not be an out-and-out romantic hero. I had to strike a lot of balances. You gotta be funny, you gotta fight, you gotta be romantic, you gotta be serious… you gotta be patriotic. All this in a three-hour film with so many other actors and to stand out — not as Shah Rukh Khan but as Charlie — and Abhishek to stand out and Deepika to stand out…. And because I am the senior-most in the team — at least in terms of the number of films I have done — I had to look after them too.


    If you were the highlight of the opening scene, your son AbRam has been the talking point of the end credits…

    But I have a better body than him! (Smiles)

    How did the idea of having him there come about and how was he on set? He seems such a natural…

    It’s really very touching… I feel very emotional that people are talking about my child like this… makes me so happy as a father. Actually, over the last year, I have been working so much and Farah has been also… she has three kids, I have three kids… there were days when we got back home very late, sometimes not at all. When you are a producer and a director, you have to stay back later than anyone else (smiles). There were days when I couldn’t meet my daughter (Suhana) for 12-13 days… normally, I drop her to school every morning… my eldest (Aryan) is studying in London. And this youngest one (AbRam) would wake up at 9 every morning and that was the time I would go to bed (smiles). He missed seeing me and I missed seeing him. So the days we shot in the studio, which was next door, the kids would come over and one evening when AbRam came, I was shooting one of the scenes for the end credits. I was wearing a white shirt and jeans and I asked Farah: ‘Can I quickly get him into a white shirt and jeans and dance with him?’ (Smiles) He does this lovely little dance… bobs his head rhythmically to Lungi dance… (smiles). He’s got these lovely curls and we shot that one scene where he bobs his head and he kisses me and it came out so well, so pure. And then Farah’s kids (Czar, Diva and Anya) came along and we shot a scene with them too. Honestly, at this point in our lives and careers, children and what they do matter more to us than what we do. So we decided: ‘Let’s put our kids into the film’ and I am so happy people are noticing AbRam. He’s a beautiful child, Mashallah, in every which way and it was nice to have him in the film.

    Looking back, is there anything in the film that you feel you could have done differently? Is it possible for you to view your films objectively?

    No, I can’t look at my films objectively. When I do a film, to me, it’s the most important part of my life. My heart and soul is in it and when you have your heart and soul in something, you can never be objective about it. We have people within the team whose job it is to look at the film objectively and suggest changes, but for me, my film is like my baby. If I think my daughter will be ‘X’ and she grows up to be ‘Y’, she’ll still be my daughter… she’ll always be beautiful to me. That’s the reason why I don’t watch my films… I never see a complete film of mine… I watch it in bits and parts.

    If you are asking me whether I could have done Happy New Year better, then I will say ‘No’ because I feel better is the un-doer of good. For me, the film is good and that’s what I am happy with (smiles).

    You hit 50 next year. How different will the Shah Rukh Khan of 50 be from the Shah Rukh Khan of 40?

    Should I be any different? (Smiles) I started my career at 26. I think I am one of the few actors who says ‘This is how old I am’… I think that’s all right (smiles). I am all right if a younger heroine acts with me… I am all right if a younger heroine isn’t acting with me (smiles).

    I can still love my heroine like I did when I was 26. I can still do the same action scenes… I have an eight-pack now, I didn’t have that when I was 26. I can jump off a building just like I did before… and actually even better now. I am happy doing what I am doing. Age has never been a problem for me. I am still excited about my work… you should see how excited I got while doing that karate fight atop that building in Happy New Year (smiles).

    I see people who are my age and they look very different from how I look. I don’t take any care of the way I look… I have the most unhealthy lifestyle, so to say (smiles). I am sure there must be changes within me, but it’s so gradual that I don’t notice it. I just met a lady who told me that she had met me on the sets of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and she said: ‘You look exactly the same’. And that was 20 years ago (smiles). Age hasn’t dampened my competitive spirit… I compete with my kids and now that I have a younger one, I am waiting to compete with him too, in a nice way (smiles).

    Emotionally, maybe my life’s experiences and the films I have done… the emotions of being a father… will be different a few years later. But right now, 49… 45… 42… I feel the same thing on my birthdays. There will be thousands in front of my house, all the radio stations will play my songs, there will be the wonderful media guys who will come and make me cut 100 cakes and make me eat all those 100 cakes (smiles).

    And in terms of the choices you make now?

    Lately, I have noticed that I am questioned a lot on the choices I make (smiles). I had some guy asking whether I will ever do a good film! (Shakes his head) I do what I feel like doing… I have been 25 years in this business. Very few people realise that with all the bonuses I have for being Shah Rukh Khan, I have given this job a lot of myself. I will keep giving as long as I can. Yes, it’s all there… the money, the big cars, the private planes, the big houses… but I don’t get to use them mostly (smiles wryly). At least I think I deserve to do what I feel like doing. If you like it ‘thank you’; if you don’t like it ‘stuff it’ (smiles). And I am not being arrogant when I say this.

    When you work 25 years, when you work your way up from scratch… doing good stuff and awful stuff, maybe (smiles)… you try and just keep doing what you can. There will always be issues about the choices I make. When I wake up and go to work every morning, I try and do better than what I did yesterday. I get it right sometimes and I get it wrong more often… if you don’t like my acting, tell me, but don’t ask me the question, ‘Are we going to see Shah Rukh Khan do something better ever again?’ I think I have done good. And I have amazing take-backs for it… I am rich, I am famous… but give me the one right I deserve… to do what I feel like doing.

    After I was halfway through Happy New Year, I was sick of the film… the larger-than-life aura, the swagger, picking up Deepika in my arms, kung fu fighting and all that stuff…. And I said, ‘I want to be alone in a room and I want to just act’. And now I am doing Fan and I know there will be people, especially girls and my own girlfriends… my co-stars… who will tell me: ‘Now please do a romantic role, na’ (smiles). And then there will be people who will say: ‘We want to see Shah Rukh do a bad film… why is he doing a good film?’ My choices depend on which side of the bed I wake up every morning and if it is irreverent, then let it be so… I think I deserve it (smiles the SRK smile).

    -Priyanka Roy
    Pictures: Rashbehari Das and Pabitra Das

    Krisi_love_SRK, Dea, nika and 5 others thanked this.
  2. rollercoast

    rollercoast Zindagi

    aaawwww... that's a nice interview. :) It very much sounds from the heart. :love:
    rubyroo, Mara and darina4srk thank this.
  3. darina4srk

    darina4srk SRKManiac

    Usually long interviews tend to sound more sincere :p
    rubyroo and Mara thank this.
  4. rubyroo

    rubyroo Art student. Inspired by him.

    This makes me think of a rather unpleasant article I read about HNY called something like "The only way Shah Rukh Khan can redeem himself now" It was comparing him with Tom Cruise and criticizing Shah Rukh for only making huge commercial films of supposedly low quality while Tom Cruise is supposedly taking chances and doing more challenging and artistic work without bothering to try to make huge blockbuster movies all the time. This interview is a fine rebuttal of that article.

    I read that article and thought, but wait he is getting ready to do Fan and Raees which will both be completely different movies from HNY. I sure hope the author of the article will write another one about how Shah Rukh has "redeemed" himself by doing them. On second thought I couldn't care less. Shah Rukh does what he wants to do and that's good enough for me!
    darina4srk and tasifa thank this.
  5. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    Please try to upload the images as thumbnails specially when they are this large. Thank you :)
    darina4srk says thanks.
  6. nika

    nika Well-Known Member

    I like how he's always so honest, yet polite and positive all the time. LOVE HIM.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
    rubyroo says thanks.
  7. darina4srk

    darina4srk SRKManiac

    Ok Wafa ji. Should I edit it? :)
  8. Baree

    Baree Shah Rukh Khan forever

    loved this Interview....so heartfelt, especially when he talks about AbRam and his children
  9. Krisi_love_SRK

    Krisi_love_SRK Well-Known Member

    great interview love it ......:hug:
    "Should I be any different? (Smiles) I started my career at 26. I think I am one of the few actors who says ‘This is how old I am’… I think that’s all right (smiles). I am all right if a younger heroine acts with me… I am all right if a younger heroine isn’t acting with me (smiles)."
    :love::lol: Really why has to be different expecally when is about him?For him age is just number :rockon:
  10. anesya

    anesya Guest

    sigh... you really cant please anyone. he has been acting since so many years he has done so many genre movies yet people still pick on him. maybe cause chennai express was also a not so offbeat movie i dont know, but at this time-

    either you like his acting, or you dont. bas. there is not much more to add.
    darina4srk says thanks.

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