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I’m not self-obsessed, but I find obsession interesting!

Discussion in 'Fan' started by roger, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. roger

    roger Well-Known Member

    I’m not self-obsessed, but I find obsession interesting!
    Apr 11, 2016

    Shah Rukh Khan talks about being a fan — both on screen and off it

    Shah Rukh Khan possibly enjoys one of the biggest fan-bases across the world. Being one of the most popular faces in the world, SRK enjoys fandom like no other, India or overseas. And in his next release Fan, Shah Rukh has lived the other side of his life — an admirer’s.

    Spotted interacting with fans, clicking pictures and signing autographs every now and then, the superstar has taken a backseat to let ‘fan’ Gaurav Chanana do all the talking. SRK talks about his film and why Fan might just be the game-changer in Indian cinema. Over a cup of coffee, sitting in his Mannat library, he settles down for a tete-a-tete. Excerpts:

    This is your eighth film with YRF. Is Fan another homecoming?

    We keep on doing films regularly. It’s been over 20 years since Darr. Fan is my eighth film with Yash Raj Films. We have done one film every two or three years. We always try to do a film where there is something good to bring to the audience. I am working on another film with YRF. It’s always very simple. Adi (Aditya Chopra) just calls me and tells me, ‘Picture karni hai toh tu aa ja’. And they are like family. So they say, ‘Tu apna time bata de, main yeh film kar raha hoon. So hum log fix kar lenge.’ And he does it. He is very organised that way actually. He tells me at least one year beforehand that we have to start a film, so that I also can plan my schedule that way.

    You said you’ve never been a fan of anyone…

    Yes, actually before I could become a fan, I became a star, so I could never really understand how it is to be a die-hard fanatic at all.

    But as Gaurav, you got the nuances correct. Did you have any inspiration?

    (Smiles) No yaar. It’s very strange, how I played Gaurav, I have no idea of how he has got played. I saw the film yesterday and for me, the difficult role was of Aryan Khanna. Because that’s what I supposedly am. A superstar. But he had to be played with a lot of dignity and style, which is completely unlike me. Not that I am undignified or that I don’t have style, but this is more in the real zone. Aryan is someone and his life is something I know for sure. Bada ghar hai, badi life hai. It was more difficult for me. For Gaurav, think of me sitting at a KKR match. How I feel when my team is playing is what makes me closer to him. Then again, I am not the fan, I am the owner of KKR. But the emotions that I go through when my team loses or the desire to see a six in the last ball or even when India is playing, are things that make us fans somewhere. I was watching the India-West Indies match where we lost or even the match with Bangladesh which we won — that time you do feel like a fan. So you just call upon some interaction or thought like that. No, I didn’t physically think or perceive of someone. It is a character which is stand-alone. If anyone has to be given credit for it, it’s Maneesh. He knew what he wanted out of it. So I don’t even understand why he wanted me to do certain things. But as an actor, I tried my best to fit into what he thought Gaurav was. And we have created a new animal, so to say. It is not based on anyone, it is not Shah Rukh playing it a certain way. It’s maximum Maneesh’s belief of how it should be. We have reached what Maneesh actually wanted and that’s the main thing. So, there has been no inspiration except for what the director has meant to tell.

    But you have admired Dilip Kumar saab and Big B. Before becoming an actor, did you ever do anything crazy for them?

    I have never done anything crazy. I was doing a play and I liked the character of Babu from Satte Pe Satta. So I had put powder on my hair because he had grey hair and I also wore my sister’s lenses. Woh role zaroor kiya tha maine. Because I thought I can act like Amitabh Bachchan, which I still think. And it’s not true even now. Dilip saab was a little before my time, so he was my parents’ favourite. Now if you are talking to me about crazy, the craziest thing I’ve done is I have made Devdas.

    It can’t be crazier than that. To have a great actor like Dilip Kumar and the audacity to say ‘Let’s do Devdas’. To say ‘Kaun kambakht bardaasht karne ke liye peeta hai’. I still remember how he said it. So, for both of them, I have done a Don and a Devdas. You can’t be a crazier fan than that. To try to give a tribute to them and I have always maintained that. Because you know, every film has their generation and time. These two films are, of course, timeless, but I felt maybe that the younger generation needed to be re-introduced to those films. So as a fan or as someone who really admires them, whether it’s a tribute or audacity, I have done that.

    Red Chillies VFX has finally managed to do something that even

    Hollywood could barely do. Completing 10 years, how proud do you feel?

    Yes, they completed 10 years yesterday. And yesterday was the day we did the last shot for Fan. I don’t know if starting my own VFX company was a right decision or wrong. I met these three people. There was Arjun, Ketan and Harry who had a company called H20 I think and I said please start working with me. We started working on different films like Main Hoon Na and Paheli when we didn’t even have the machines. We borrowed machines from different companies to work on the VFX and slowly kept it going. Even today as we talk, it is a very expensive outfit to run. We have 300 people working but there’s a belief. I think VFX is necessary to make good cinema and it should not just be used for action sequences or just guns or for space. I think it is used to beautify the cinema and give vision to your dreams. If there’s one thing that I am extremely proud of and one thing that I feel I have done right in the industry, it is to have opened my own VFX company and working with these wonderful people. I don’t behave like a boss. The prime moving force of Red Chillies VFX is that we will only do excellence in our jobs. We will never do fly-by-night operations or clean-up jobs. Even today we run in losses sometime. I told them clearly that we will never ever say ‘India main yeh chalta hai.’ Internationally, it should work. We will always do work which gets appreciation across the globe. We did not even have the knowledge then. But then, Ra One and Krrish helped us a lot. We did small bits and pieces for Paheli and Main Hoon Na. If we get the VFX right with Aanand L Rai’s next film, I think it will be an achievement of a different order. I think even with Fan itself. I am very proud to say that it’s impossible for Adi, Maneesh or me to have done this without the VFX team.

    Do you feel India is ready for animation as well?

    Animation is very difficult in India and is very different from VFX. They are two different set-ups. Yash Raj has tried it with Roadside Romeo. I think international animation is very beautiful be it Pixar or Disney and those films can be dubbed in Hindi by big stars. We did Incredibles back then. So it is a good practice and I think animation is a very dedicated job. No, I don’t think we can get into that as we need 400-500 animation farm unit and I don’t think we have the capacity or money to spend yet.

    You have taken innumerable risks right at the beginning of your career. Darr established you as a star. Did Fan bring back fond memories?

    First part, yeah! When I did Darr and Baazigar, at the age of 24-25, I had no idea about the enormity of rightness or wrongness. A lot of people told me that you should not do this film. But mujhe malum nahi tha ki sahi hoga ya galat hoga, so I felt okay! A lot of actors left those films because they knew that it could be a wrong move. At 25, from Delhi, I thought it can’t be wrong, it sounds good. Darr was a little psychopathic and Gaurav is actually exactly that person at 24. He does not know the enormity of rightness or wrongness. Kar deta hai woh. He is not at all psychopathic. I am very clear that if I have done a role, I don’t want to try it again. So, for example, if I have done a role where I suffer from Asperger’s, why would I do it again? I mean, exactly, not in 10-15 years. Maneesh’s view was very clear. Gaurav is just a 24-year-old kid. When you talk about risks, I mean, stakes change yaar. That time, I had no worries and I guess Yash ji had. He was making a film which was completely unromantic and different from what he had made before. So he must have known the enormity of the risks back then. Now, a lot of people tell me that Shah Rukh comfort zone mein film kar raha hai which lot of people don’t like. Is walein mein bohut saare logo ne bola hai, ‘Arre, why doesn’t he have a romantic song? There should be a heroine at least. ‘Gerua ke jaisa kuch hona chahiye tha’. You can never make everyone happy which means if you can make that film, the risk is always to be a part of a film which at the face of it doesn’t make everyone happy but at the end of it may. Like a Chak De was panned completely. When it started, it was possibly the lowest opening of my career apparently. It was only about 55 per cent on day one. Arre heroine nahi hai, gaana nahi hai, yeh hockey hai but people still loved the film. That is the risk. It’s not whether yeh chalegi ya nahi chalegi. The risk, is it’s not a typical film that we make as a blockbuster like a Chennai Express or a Happy New Year or a Dilwale. Those are made to order ki yaar, yeh holiday pe aayegi, sab jayenge, gaana-dance, fight, sab ache scale pe hoga. Like a Superman vs Batman or Jurassic Park which everyone will go to watch. But to make a film which on the face of it not appealing, perhaps to everyone of a star’s highlights and then pull it off, then that’s an achievement. And I think Maneesh and Adi had the guts to take the chance with me. If they had the guts just like Yash Chopra had it back in ’93, who am I to question them? For me, it’s an actor’s job to be interested.

    Gaurav is obsessed about Aryan Khanna. Have you ever faced a male fan like him in real life?

    I am happy that I have female fans only. (Laughs) Guys would be too hairy and all, who will come to hug me (jokes). But I have boys who will emulate me and want to be like me. I think more than fans, I like the admiration that people have. Like yesterday, we were doing a show with a guy called Nilesh Sable and he said he admires the way I have lived my life and he looks up to me. I know a lot of boys like that. I don’t know if girls are like that too who want to be like Shah Rukh. Without sounding self-obsessed, for me that obsession of a person is very interesting. But I don’t know anyone who will do something really crazy like Gaurav. I go out on my birthdays and there are guys who will take off their shirts, have my name tattoed and jump. Unfortunately, I don’t know them personally. Women I have met are more aggressive than normal fans (laughs). And I can say they are like me a lot. But not many male fans have been like that.

    Reports suggest there are seven cuts in Fan…

    There are six audio changes and one cut. There’s a scene in the jail so there’s a little more blood in that so there is about a one-and-a-half second cut. It was like ki chaar baar mat maro, teen baar mar do. There are no big cuts. There are six cuts, audio-wise because some of the things we say in Delhi may not be understood or at times be misunderstood here. For example, a word like thulla which means a cop. But it may sound a little vulgar, though it’s not. It’s okay because it didn’t make a difference to the film. So I went and re-dubbed it. There was one more word like this. I think somewhere I said kameena. We just changed that. It’s not like a big thing but if somebody felt that it might be a little wrong, then it’s fine. The film is really a harmless film, so to say. So there were these little changes.

    Do you think the Censor Board has become stricter with their certification process?

    I will be the wrong person to answer that because I have never been part of films where the film is too intense for me to go have a dialogue with the Censor Board. I mean I may have at times with stuff, like Lovely Ho Gayi mein thoda exposure zyada hai or ghanta mat bolo. So babaji ka thulla kar diya, ghanta hatake. But it’s never been harmful and neither have I been part of films like that. It is quite subjective, depending on the Censor Board. If they feel otherwise, you can always appeal against it and there’s a process to it.

    But they also tend to give action films an ‘A’ certificate these days…

    About action, normally when we do an intense action even like a fighting scene from Dilwale, we know that we have to lighten the scene a bit so that kids can watch it too. Else we get get a U/A. So we keep it a little loose only, to be really honest (Smiles).

    What’s the best gift that you have received from your fans?

    Yes, I think two people have gifted me pieces of the moon. I have a certificate too. You can buy land on the moon through an agency in America. I have two plots there (smiles). Two Australian ladies have gifted them to me on my birthday and even named it after me. A crater is named Shah Rukh. Also, I think the sweetest gifts are the ones where people write to me. I collect them all. The lower racks here (pointing towards the racks in his library) are full of things my fans sent to me. There are books of me with years of cuttings, which is very touching. When I see them, it’s really nostalgic. I get reminded ki arre tab kiya tha. I don’t have the time to go and see old times mein kya ho raha tha because I am moving ahead all the time. Some little girls have given me half-broken hearts and the other halves are with them. So we have had it for years. My safe doesn’t have expensive things at all. It is full of these small, but priceless gifts that my fans have given me. So there are these little trinklets which I give my daughter sometimes. There are a lot of people who give me a lot of teddy bears. And nowadays, the most touching things is that people all around the world give me gifts for my kids now. So there’s a good T-shirt for Aryan, a nice dress for Suhana and clothes for AbRam. If they just did it for AbRam, I would still understand, but they do it for all three kids. And you can sense it. They have figured out the measurements, got the right sizes and guessed their tastes. So that’s incredible.

    You had a knee injury while you were shooting for the film. Did that make things more difficult on the sets?

    I am actually very energetic whenever I am doing something. I am very pious in the way I live. Yes, of course, I have got bad habits but the energy stems from the fact that I really enjoy what I do. I have never been lethargic. If I can go and play football with my kids right now, I will play it like the World Cup. I won’t be just kicking the ball around. It was difficult because my injury was at its peak. When I say Fan was hard to make, it was not because of the character only. There are two difficult scenes in the film. One is the chase scene in Croatia. I had to take two injections, I was in the hospital post shooting every day, we strapped up completely and then we had to do the run twice — once as Gaurav and once as Aryan Khanna. Jabra Fan was also at a time when my knee had swelled up. I had to take out water every day and get an injection every morning. So yeah, it was painful because of the injury. But I enjoyed the song so much that I really wish I wasn’t injured yaar. The whole brief that the team gave me was this is a song for people who don’t know how to dance and who just express themselves by being mad. Except that one step which we have done because you need it. We had done away with dancers, it was just about Gaurav expressing. So they would put the song on and ask me to just dance madly. Then we have taken bits and pieces and made it.

    rollercoast, Angel_SRK, Dea and 2 others thanked this.
  2. KKhan

    KKhan Well-Known Member

    always a pleasure to read
    roger says thanks.
  3. Dea

    Dea ♥SRK-Gauri♥

    ah man this was so lovely to read :heart:
    roger says thanks.

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