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I’m not bipolar, I’m quadripolar’: Shah Rukh Khan gets up, close and personal...

Discussion in 'Shah Rukh Khan Dhamaal' started by tasifa, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. tasifa

    tasifa which means Blue Eyes in Thai.

    I’m not bipolar, I’m quadripolar’: Shah Rukh Khan gets up, close and personal...
    [​IMG] NAYANDEEP RAKSHIT | Tue, 6 Dec 2016-06:00am , Mumbai , DNA
    I’m an actor, I like to be applauded. I’m an actor, I want to be cheered. I’m an actor and I want to be accepted. And I know, as an actor who’s been there for 25 years, it’s not going to happen every time with every character...

    What people initially thought would be an extended guest appearance turned out to be a proper role. Yes, Shah Rukh Khan’s Jehangir Khan from Dear Zindagi has been loved by all and the film is doing great business at the box office, thanks to great word-of-mouth. SRK has moved on and is now finishing the patchwork for Raees. He was busy shooting for the action entertainer at Madh Island, where this interview was conducted. After just about half-an-hour of waiting, SRK came out of the van and headed back home. “We will do the interview on the way to the bungalow,” he said. And we began our conversation. From Madh to Mannat, we spoke about everything... almost. The success of his recent film to his take on his zindagi — the different episodes, the regrets, the successes, the failures and everything else... up, close and personal! Excerpts:

    Dear Zindagi was well-received. Did you anticipate such a reception when you said yes?
    I met them as a team one day at home. To be honest, Gauri Shinde, Alia Bhatt, Kausar Munir and Karan Johar were there and they read out the film to me, I really wasn’t interested in the storytelling part of it. I just believed that when women are making a film in which they believe so much, there has to be something good, that is, perhaps, beyond the comprehension of men. I’m one of those men! (Smiles) For me, it is more important to go along with them. Perhaps, this is the only business in the world where I can live by somebody else’s belief and learn something new. When I say, ‘I learn’ in my interviews, I don’t mean about acting and blah, blah, blah. It’s about the feelings I had. When I was on the sets, there were these simple, nice things like playing kabaddi with the waves or saying wonderful lines like ‘Jab hum zindagi bhar khulke ro nahi sake toh khulke hasna kaise sikhenge’. And these are real truths of life, which we all know. But I think women feel it more, so there’s a lot more conviction when they make you do it. When you talk about appreciation, I would say.. (pauses) See I’m an actor, I like to be applauded. I’m an actor, I want to be cheered. I’m an actor and I want to be accepted. And I know, as an actor who’s been there for 25 years, it’s not going to happen every time with every character. But this is beyond a character. Even for Alia, if I may so. It’s just a very raw expression of feelings which is captured in a beautiful world — real or unreal — it doesn’t make a difference. Will you ever find a Jehangir Khan? Will your life get okay like Kaira’s or not? That’s a question that still remains and that’s how the film ends also. It’s a journey, it will continue. I am just very happy that people have liked what I’ve done in the film and it has nothing to do with me which is why it’s more likeable for me. I had no part to play in this. I believe, as an actor, if you can do something in which you don’t have a part to play and somebody else has completely guided you — whether it’s Gauri, Alia or the other ladies on sets — it’s the most beautiful feeling.

    Dear Zindagi teaches one that the minutest problems can actually cause havoc in one’s life. Do small problems bother you more personally as well?
    Yeah, absolutely! Actually, if you see, a simple problem soon becomes a big problem. If you keep thinking about it and make it more complex than what it is! There are only two ways to look at life. Either it is... or it is not! There’s no third route, absolutely nothing in between. So if you are in a relationship, acceptance is the first thing for everything. And truth has this amazing quality that if you accept it, somehow it becomes so inconsequential that it becomes a part of your life. So, are you in a relationship? Either it is or it is not. If you are enjoying it, enjoy and feel happy about it. Don’t keep thinking about, ‘Oh what if it wasn’t’ or ‘Will it remain like this?’ Don’t keep hoping that it doesn’t break-up. Enjoy that time. Live in that moment. Because at the end of it all, either it will remain or it will not. I think big problems always get resolved on their own. If you try to take them on, no human being is big enough to change it. And I don’t jump to solving problems. I am not a solution-seeker. I never have been, I let things be. A lot of people tell me that I’m just too laidback and am not the right person when it comes to solving things. They say, ‘You don’t solve issues, you don’t take the bull by the horns.’ Ya, I don’t. And the bull will stop on its own if it has to. Either it will, or it won’t! (Laughs) One of the two will happen.

    You said in an interview that you can gauge whether a film will click at the BO or not by looking at it. Did you always feel DZ would work?
    I thought it would do very well. But this ‘very well’ too has a limit. It is very important for an actor or a film to have an audience cheering for it. So the release has been very tight. It’s perhaps the smallest film of my career in the recent past. I mean, what it has collected in four days is my first-day collection, normally! (Smiles) Still, it’s beautiful because that’s how it is meant to be. It is meant for a niche audience, it’s a very niche film and we didn’t promote it differently. The film belongs to Alia and Gauri, it’s not a Shah Rukh Khan film. I’m not patronising the sense of importance but I’m just an actor in the film. It should be celebrated as a Gauri-Alia film. Now this also doesn’t mean that they cannot make a Rs 200 crore film. They will, whenever they wish to, I’m sure. But this was meant to be that much from the heart. And yes, it’s done really well. Actually, I think it’s done even a little better than I had assumed or the office had assumed. We have experts who kind of know it. I normally don’t call my directors or producers till Monday-Tuesday. But then I tell them that normally stars drive the film through Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday onwards, it’s a director’s film. I think I called Gauri yesterday and told her that now the film is yours, the stardom part is over. And it’s very nice to see that the director’s film is doing nearly as well, if not better than the star part of the film.

    We’ve never seen an A-list hero in a film where the central character is essayed by a woman. Do you think DZ will bring about a change?
    I have mostly done films where the woman has a great role. I have never done films that are totally about me. It might not be completely female-oriented. But if you see DDLJ, Darr, Anjaam, Baazigar, Dil To Pagal Hai, Chak De India, My Name Is Khan and even Chennai Express, the ladies do play the hero. Very few heroes will get their car toppled down and shot at point-blank like in Dilwale. (Smiles) However strange and outlandish it may be. I’m okay and really comfortable if women take the lead in every aspect of life. Whether it’s business, management, creativity or in love, I think women should take the lead. I have no awkwardness saying the film belongs to XYZ because I know my own bone and I know how to gnaw at it, I know how to bury it and then take it and gnaw at it again. I know my bone! Who I am, whether I’m the best or not, whether I’m good enough or not, I am who I am! And that you can’t take away from me. We take a whole lifetime to understand ourselves and even then, that learning won’t be complete. Just be yourself. It’s better to be unique than perfect, even if uniqueness is marred. I’m extremely marred in every which way, I’m quite damaged like that but it’s me and it’s damaged. Whether it makes me happy or sad is my call. I don’t need to repair it according to somebody else’s standing.

    You have produced a small film like DZ and you also have a Chennai Express or Raees on the other. Is it more difficult to make a Dear Zindagi?
    I have to give a lot of credit to Dharma and Gauri for DZ. If it wasn’t for them, we could not have made the film on a certain budget which is very low and they stuck to it, which is why we were in profit by Sunday. It encourages you to invest more in these films. Big ones get you big bucks, but then you have to make a bigger film. But if you are making good money with films like this, it’s way more encouraging. I was telling Karan last night, ‘Let’s make another one, yaar’. If you can keep the budgets low, I will come in for the marketing part. It’s not that I am a genius but every film requires its own marketing ideologies. Like the Raees thing happened on the spot. “Kab se keh raha hoon aa raha hoon aa raha hoon, ab toh aa hi raha hoon!’ (Smiles) It’s not a very well planned or thought-of thing. You know what your film’s ideology is, what’s happening around! Which is why DZ had to be marketed in a manner so that it came across as a film for the audience it is meant for. Plus it needed to come across as Gauri and Alia’s film with me just lending support. Not blatantly saying that I was just a guest appearance. It wasn’t a cameo. There are no small roles, there are only small actors. I have the best role that way. But people think I came in the second half. They forget, that in Deewana, I came in the second half. So it’s no big deal.

    Last time we spoke, you had told me that today, you are in the same mind space as the first few years of your career and just left it at that. Can you elaborate?
    When I came in, I didn’t know much about cinema. I just did whatever the performer, actor in me said. I was like ‘Okay, I got this role, I’ll do this!’ I was just one of the other guys in Dil Aashna Hai, but I liked Hema Malini, so I worked with her. Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman was a big star vehicle. There was Amrita, Juhi Chawla and Nana Patekar. But it was sweet for me. I wasn’t even supposed to be in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na. I was writing it with Kundan Shah, sitting for readings, but I got cast in it. Even now, as a producer, I have never produced a film for Shah Rukh Khan. God forbid a day comes when I’ve to produce a film for myself. God forbid I have to find a vehicle for me to drive in. I should be the driver of every vehicle I have! That’s how life should be. I’m sorry I’m being pompous but to me, it’s demeaning that somebody has designed a vehicle for me. You give me the vehicle, I will drive it. So as a producer, I have never produced myself and I hope I never have to. It’s like producing a film for your star son. And I’m not a star son. I’m just an actor who did bit roles like. I was so excited to do Fan or a Dear Zindagi. I was thrilled when I landed in Goa... ki yaar, kya kar raha hoon main bolo. And then, people would turn back and say, ‘You don’t do different roles?’ No, I don’t do different roles. But then nobody has done as many different roles as I have. (Smiles) So till anyone can do that, I don’t think they should discuss it. Some people are like, ‘Oh this film is making only Rs 80-90 crore, it’s not Rs 200 crore’. I mean really, man? People don’t even realise that to be in a commercial space I am in, where I garner so many eyeballs, so much money, so much at stake, so much business, so much name and fame and still within all that, to be able to do what you feel like in the morning, it does take a little bit of gentleness in you, if not bigness. It’s like, ‘Look, I just want to act. And I’ve always wanted just that much’. You can ask Gauri or Alia, too. Did I ask what my role is? Did I ever say the scene is not right? The climax scene in the film had me which they removed. I didn’t feel bad. Instead, I felt they did the right thing because it was getting too long anyway. I have never questioned any film. I just want to participate, be an actor and just be happy about it.

    Are you spoiled by stardom?
    It will sound really arrogant on print! But I don’t find it surprising that I am successful or great. I am, I was always meant to be. To me, it was a natural course of things. I worked very hard then, I work very hard now. And I am really going to be good at this. So it might sound arrogant, but it’s an innocent belief of a child. So if you put it across like that, that could be the reason. But this was meant to happen. God had ordained it for me and I expected it in the nicest, humblest of ways. The second way to look at it is: I am detached from material things and am very emotional about people. But it’s simultaneous, that’s why I coined the term. I am not attached to anything and am very emotional about my success, my work and getting it right. And the third part to it is that I still don’t think I have achieved the kind of success I need to. I still feel I’m struggling and I’m still doing the same thing I was doing 25 years ago. I sit in a car, Mohan drives me, I go to shooting, I wear make-up. I’m as excited today because the teaser has released as I’m on any other day. If there’s a scene that goes wrong, I have to get it right. Then the Friday comes and the movie is out. I take a bath for two hours. And then, if the film is a big hit, I get back working harder. So that I can make a bigger hit. If it’s a big flop, I get back working harder so that I can make a hit again. At the end of it all, I just end up taking that bath on Friday and getting back to my job. So, I don’t know what else to feel proud of or look upto. I have not been able to count the number of T-shirts that I bought in my last outing from New York. I don’t have the time. I don’t even have time to stand and stare and I’m okay being like that. I don’t want that. I can’t look back upon something and say, ‘Oh, I have achieved it’.

    Please continue.
    The day before yesterday, Pooja (his manager) was filing a form and counting my awards for a function I have to attend where they will have to talk about them. I was reading it and yaar, I have lots of them. I don’t even know where they are also now. And it’s not that I think less of them. I like to win awards every year. I still have the same penchant and desire for awards, rewards and applause. But if it’s not there, it’s alright because I wake up in the morning and after that bath, I’m back to work. So I don’t know if stardom has spoiled me or I have spoiled the name of stardom forever. Whichever the case may be, nobody knows and I’m not letting anyone feel that either because I can lie about feelings and move on. Am I grounded? I must be! Is it a good thing? Maybe, maybe not! Sometimes, I meet some people who tell me, ‘You are too soft, yaar. Come on, you gotta show or talk.’ No! Actors don’t carry visiting cards. If I have to carry one, I’m not a big enough star. So it’s a simple logic there. I don’t need to show off. By God’s grace, I have a great house which is not a motive for my stardom. God has been kind to me and I am not being disrespectful or ungrateful but I don’t really sit back and think about what I’ve done, what I am going to do or what I have not done. I am just going to do it.

    You said you don’t get hurt often. Does a film’s failure affect you then?
    It kills me! I get distraught, extremely disturbed, very sad and very lonely. And that’s the offshoot of being a star. That you can’t share it with anyone, you can’t explain it to anyone else. At the end of it all, it’s just a film for everyone else. For me, it’s a part of my life which has got smashed away to completely been disregarded by the people who love me the most and who have made the star I am. So it destroys you completely so you shack up somewhere within yourself. But you do come out in a tuxedo, attend a party and still smile. And then when you go back, you are still shacked up and you’ve got to deal with it with a varied number of emotions. I never analyse it, I feel there can be no reason for anything going wrong. It was wrong, which is why it went wrong. Exactly like that, there are no reasons for a hit, too. You just enjoy it. Balls to anyone who says whatever they want to. And likewise, when it goes wrong, balls to whatever you say to yourself. That acceptance, that distress, the sadness is very personal. And even though I am saying it in an interview, I can’t explain it, I can’t tell you the extent or be explicit about it because it only happens when you are distraught. That’s one of the most personal feelings as an actor that I have learnt to own and live with it only with myself.

    Does it get difficult to play out those dual expressions within yourself then?
    No! That I explained. I am an actor. I don’t have any problems living multiple emotions. Even inside, yaar! It’s not just the exterior that I’m acting out. Sometimes, I feel happy and sad at the same time. In life, emotions can never be isolated. We might be suffering from deep depressions and I know this sounds dichotomous or schizophrenic and to a lot of people, very strange, but actors have trained emotions. We are able to make emotions our pets. They live within us together and both are breathing at the same time sometimes. So I’m extremely happy somewhere expressing that to some people while I’m deeply sad at the same time. Maybe, it happens because of actors or maybe, it’s just me. I don’t have to play anything. It’s very strange that both of them live together. It’s difficult to sometimes be there because you also don’t know what state you are in and you see through the day. Sometimes, you might be standing in the lift and I’m extremely depressed. The lift door opens and I’m extremely happy. But I am feeling it. It’s very schizophrenic. It’s more like being bipolar. I am not even bipolar, I think I am quadripolar. It’s all happening at the same time. And people who are close to me think so too. But yes, it’s not been like I’m acting happy but andar se, sad hoon. I’m feeling happy and sad at the same time. It’s sometimes soul-wrenching.

    Are there any regrets?
    There are no regrets at all. You can’t be regretful. Of course, sometimes little remains of incomplete things reside within you. I am not regretful about it, but it’s part of me now. If something I wished could be, but I didn’t go there in my personal life, it’s part of me. I’m not looking back and saying , “F**k, aisa kyun nahi hua?’ It’s a part of my soul, my heart and it will sometimes be seen in my eyes in a scene. It will always be there. And there are lots of things which are incomplete. Personally or professionally, they are living with me. But I am never like, ‘Oh God, I wish that had happen or Oh God, why did I miss out on that one?’ It’s a miss-out! I am very claustric like that. I don’t go out and give vent to it even to the extent to saying something like that. I don’t let it be easy on myself. It remains harsh and hard but within me only. The should have been and the could have beens are all there but I am not vehemently in disagreement to those feelings as well.

    If you look back at all the different episodes in your life — from your first theatre group to losing your parents, getting married to your love, then becoming a superstar and the birth of your children — how have they changed SRK, the person?
    I am gentler, that’s all. With AbRam, especially. But no, it hasn’t changed me too much. I think I am the same. Like a famous person once said, Only the pictures have got bigger. I am the same and I have not changed at all. Just that my persona looks bigger. That actually also answers the question you had asked about the groundedness that keeps me going. Of course, there are a few other changes. My clothing style is different, my hairstyle is different, I wear more expensive perfumes because I can afford to. I travel in expensive cars. So all those material things are there. But that hasn’t really changed me as a person. It doesn’t make or break a person. You remain who you are! I have become more namby-pamby (Laughs). Even when I see my 5’11” son, it’s the same feeling. I feel my hands are softer, the hands of my soul are softer because of my children.

    Alenka, Dea, rollercoast and 1 other person say thanks.
  2. Rishima62

    Rishima62 Defying Gravity

    Wonderful words.

    Great interview - thank you @tasifa
    Dea says thanks.

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