'I'm the best in the world' S RK interview 2002

Discussion in 'Oldies But Goldies **HOT**' started by Bridget, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Multiple advance searches by unusual keywords in this interview on planetsrk don't find this interview has been posted before


    'I'm the best in the world'
    The Hindu
    Friday, Jul 26, 2002

    ``I've been having fun while acting well. Now that phase is over. I want to move on. For some months now I've been thinking I need to work towards serious hits." — Shah Rukh Khan, as he opens out to SUBHASH K. JHA.

    [​IMG]

    WHAT CAN you say about a star who never flinches from the whiplashes of life? The dimples on Shah Rukh Khan's cheek are permanent fixtures. Smiling through his pain even with a neck-collar restricting his movement at an awards function, Shah Rukh presented a picture of stoic optimism. Quite opposite to what Shah Rukh plays in his new film, the eagerly awaited ``Devdas'' where his performance is being talked about in hushed tones.


    There's a lot of speculation about your health, particularly your back.

    Yes. I'm fine, though I'm quite a disaster zone. My knee has broken twice. On both occasions surgery was performed. My shoulder also gives me problems.


    Why do you look so sad these days?

    I don't think so. Actually, I'm relaxed.

    What do you think of yourself in ``Devdas''?

    I think I'm okay. How do you expect me to judge myself in any other way after seeing Dilip saab in the original ``Devdas''? To me that version, with due respect to K. L Saigal, will always remain the original Devdas. Saigal saab as Devdas seems to belong to a different world. I was told he sang all the songs live, accompanied by an orchestra. I can understand how difficult that must have been. Even now with all our technological advancement it would be hard to achieve what Saigal saab did. But as far his performance and the quality of the film are concerned that version of Devdas was too far behind for us to appreciate. The style is completely alien to us. It's like watching ``Pulp Fiction'' for the first time.

    And what did you think of Bimal Roy's ``Devdas''?

    I think it's a man's movie whereas Sanjay Bhansali's is a ladies' picture. Our ``Devdas'' is from the point of view of Aishwarya and Madhuri, just as ``Sholay'' was from that of Dharamji and Amitji's. After seeing Bimal Roy's ``Devdas'' all the men wanted to be like Devdas. Now after seeing this film every woman would want her lover to be like Devdas. People say Bhansali has tampered with the original story. I don't think he has changed anything. He has just made the story more concise. I think the focus has changed. And of course ``Devdas'' is grander than almost anything we've seen. It's as grand as ``Mughal-e-Azam.''

    Do you feel confident about the film getting back its 50-crore investment?

    Thank God I didn't produce it (laughs). But honestly, I've never in my career ever thought about my films getting back their money. As a matter of fact when producers begin to discuss a film's monetary prospects I steer the conversation away. If you ask me if ``Devdas'' is a good film, I'd say it's a fantastic film. If you ask me whether it's a commercial film I'd say it's got great songs and dances, great star value and production values. And it's a commercial film because for the first time this year, people are rushing to see a Hindi film in such large numbers. Just like ``Spiderman,'' that everyone wanted to see at least once and then again.

    Interestingly you had a release with Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai some months ago.

    Yes, ``Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam.'' I liked myself in that film. It was a different experience. Most of the time I play characters who get rejected by women. This time I was the one pushing the woman away. Salman and Madhuri talked me into doing that film. And I'm glad I did. I wanted to play the over-possessive husband as a funny character. Gradually I discovered that 99 per cent of the men are like that. There's a lot of Devdas as well in most men. They're a little mean, a little nasty, sometimes uncaring and insensitive and over-possessive. But they always swear they'd die for the woman they love. Devdas actually carries off the threat. I hope I'm not being disrespectful to the character. My view of Devdas is completely my own.

    And what's that?

    Well, he contracts a disease and knows he's going to die anyway. So he decides he might as well die in front of his beloved's home. I can understand Devdas wanting to die for love. The rest of the character was fairly alien to me. I'm not too fond of drinking in real life. But I got really drunk before performing all of Devdas's sozzled scenes. I used to rehearse for a couple of hours. When I got the lines right I took a few swigs.


    And still you were in control of your craft?

    That's for you to tell me. When I did the drunk scene in ``Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam'' I faked it completely. I didn't want Devdas to be that kind of a character. A sham drunkard throughout the film would've looked very irritating. I could afford to fake it in ``Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam'' but not in ``Devdas.'' I wanted my drunk scenes to be subtle and authentic. I knew it was impossible to give a performance as rounded and complete as Dilip saab's. It's one the greatest performances of all times.

    Are you scared of the comparisons?

    Not at all. Because I know Dilip saab's performance is incomparable. It's like me jogging in the same park where Carl Lewis had once jogged. I complete my run, come home and tell my wife that I ran on the same track as Carl Lewis. He has got nothing to do with me. And yet there's a sense of pride in treading the same track. Playing Devdas gave me the same sense of pride. It's like sitting in the same chair as Subhas Chandra Bose or Nehruji. I feel a great sense of achievement in having played a role that Dilip saab did. I'm nowhere in the same league. My Devdas is just a tribute to Dilip saab's performance. I hope that a lot of youngsters would watch me and then go back to watch Dilip saab as Devdas.

    So how would you describe Sanjay 's version of Devdas?

    It's like the original story dressed up in beautiful clothes. Sanjay has given the theme a 2002 look, so audiences would begin to understand how much Indian cinema owes to legends like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and all. If today we can take our cinema to Cannes and the Oscars it's because of filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Bimal Roy. If these directors hadn't made ``Pather Panchali'' and ``Devdas'' I wouldn't be here sitting in my bungalow talking to you. ``Devdas'' is my heartfelt thanks to the wonderful lineage of actors and directors who came before me.

    <part one>
     
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  3. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    <cont.>
    And how would you rate the performances of Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit?

    I wouldn't like to compare them with anyone. But in all fairness, I think this is Aishwarya's best performance to date. She's absolutely outstanding. As for Madhuri I share a very close relationship with her. She's the soul of the film, just like Meera in the Radha-Krishna love story. Though the performance I like best is that by Jackie Shroff, if ``Devdas'' is a big success it would be because of the two girls, and of course Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I'm in no way responsible, that's for sure.

    Interestingly even your last release, the outdated ``Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam'' was a hit in many areas including Bihar. Did that surprise you?

    It's one of the biggest hits overseas as well. I guess Bihar and overseas have the same kind of audience. But why should I be surprised? I'll be honest with you. I believe whichever film I do is the best in the world. Because I'm the best in the world. And I'm not being pompous. It's something I really believe. I'm never surprised when my films do well. I'm surprised when other people's films do well (laughs). The success of my films is a foregone conclusion. I've been around for 11 years. And every time I make sure my film works. I choose my directors very carefully. There's something that I believe about the audience: you can fool their eyes and minds. But you can never fool their hearts. And my films and performances are always from the heart. There's a certain amount of goodwill that some actors accumulate over the years as an actor and human being. I'm luckily one of them. The audience no longer responds to my performances per se. As an actor I rate myself as three or four on a scale of 1-10. But they rate me as eight because they react to me as a person.

    You're one of Lataji's favourite actors.

    (Face lights up) She loves me. She always complains I don't say hello to her. But I'm shy. I get that way when I see talent far greater than mine. I feel the same way about Dilip saab. I'm scared about how he would react when he sees me in Devdas. Sairaji thinks I'm the only actor after her husband who could play Devdas. I hope Dilip saab feels the same way.

    And now there's a retrospective of your films at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

    Compliments embarrass me and criticism embarrasses me too. When I heard about the retrospective, I just said, ``You want to see my films?" I chose 10 films including ``Kabhi Han Kabhi Na'', ``Baazigar'', ``Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge'', ``Asoka'', ``Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham'', ``Dil Se'' and ``Devdas''. I never realised I had done such wonderful films. I still don't believe I've done really special films. I start every film thinking it's very special. But when it ends I know I could've made it more special. With due respects to my producers and directors, my films in the past are done. Even ``Devdas'' is over. Even if it does amazingly well, as I think it would, I'd remember it for only six months when people call out, `Devdas' on the streets just as they did after ``Darr'', ``Baazigar'', ``Dilwale Dulhaniya... '' and ``Kuch Kuch Hota Hai''. But now I'm already thinking about the next thing that I have to do. When I look back at those films I feel it's time I started acting well.

    What do you mean?

    I've been having fun while acting well. Now that phase is over. I want to move on. For some months now I've been thinking I need to work towards serious hits.

    Aren't ``Dilwale Dulhaniya... '' and ``Kuch Kuch Hota Hai'' serious hits?

    Not as much as I'd like them to be. Now after a decade I want to start afresh, as though I'm a newcomer and I've no hits or memorable films behind me. This isn't to belittle my past films. Now after ``Devdas'' I want to make a new start, work really hard on my acting and make super-hit films. I'm not going to sign a new film until I'm convinced I want to do it. My last release this year would be ``Shakti''. I may sign another film after two months. I'm like Aamir Khan now (laughs). I'll only do a film when I want to. Until then I'm sitting at home learning about life from my children. I sincerely believe if you want to start afresh you've to go back to your roots. My children are my best teachers. I want to do ``Spiderman'' in Hindi because my son wants me to. You'll be shocked. There'll be long queues to watch me as ``Spiderman''. That's what I mean by entering a new phase in my career.

    You're kidding !

    No. Absolutely not. If you can hold a four-year-old's attention for three hours then that's serious cinema for you.

    What are you doing in Boney Kapoor's ``Shakti''?

    Nothing. I just have to look like a star. Sridevi is a dear friend. This is her first production. And I couldn't say no to her. It's just a guest appearance. I'm there in ``Saathiya'' also. That's because it's Yash Chopra's production and also because the film's director Shaad Ali called me up. I know him from the time he assisted Mani Ratnam during ``Dil Se''. It was just two days' work.

    You've lately been avoiding social contact?

    That's because I want to stay in touch with myself. I want to avoid flatterers and nasty people.

    What're you looking for now?

    After happiness, unhappiness. There's beauty in even that. Besides that my production company is working on two films to be directed by Farha Khan and Aziz Mirza. I don't think they'd like me to reveal too much. They're the Farha and Aziz kind of films (laughs).

    One of your best films, ``Asoka,'' got plenty of appreciation when it was shown on television recently?

    Does that mean my production company is only good for television? I think people were happy seeing our film for free. In all seriousness, ``Asoka'' is the most wonderful experience of my life. The little boy stole the show from all of you. Actually it was the big-little boy Santosh Sivan's show all the way.

    There's no actor who speaks like you.

    That's because no one feels like I do.


    http://www.hinduonnet.com/fr/2002/07/26/stories/2002072600160100.htm
     
  4. shublee

    shublee ~ShahRukhaholic

    i havent read this interview or seen that pic before

    thanks for sharing Bridget :thumb:
     
  5. hanaa

    hanaa Well-Known Member

    thanks Bridget for sharing this interview
    i haven't read it before
    nice one
     
  6. MaryAnnK

    MaryAnnK Well-Known Member

    Same here! Hadn't read it before and it was quite a nice piece. Like how he mentions the Spiderman film for his kids. So Ra.One is it! No Spiderman but His own creation!!!
     
  7. Kalee

    Kalee I love you Shah Rukh. Staff Member

    I don't agree about the acting part :p, but it feels really really good when he shows that he feels our love for him as a human being...you love someone so much without actually "knowing" him...knowing he'll never know you...and you can't help but wonder if he knows how much we all love him, just what he means to us...when he shows that he feels our love, that he's aware of it and accepts it, that he returns it back to us wholeheartedly...it's really beautiful...:eek::heart:

    Thanks a lot Bridget.:)
     
    Sadusah says thanks.
  8. Shabana_SRK

    Shabana_SRK Dr D&G

    thanks for posting this..it was a nice read!
     
  9. f khan

    f khan Farah Khan

    Bravo... clap clap...
    wonderful.. i like his stright forwardness... awesome..
     
  10. Anjali72

    Anjali72 Thanx Shah Rukh!!!

    This man sure knows what he wants...I love how straight he is!:heart:
    Thanks for sharing Bridget!:thumb:
     
  11. starstar

    starstar People are not perfect (except when they smile)

    It's always a pleasure to read Shahrukh's old interviews.

    "Devdas" is a movie I will always cherish because it allowed me to really get to know
    about Shahrukh, even if I had seen movies of him earlier, when I was a child.

    Through "Devdas, became Shahrukh's admiror and I also fell in love with the
    beauty of Hindi cinema. For these reasons, "Devdas" will remain clsoe to my heart.

    It will always amaze me that, no matter how big he is as an actor,
    Shahrukh keeps being so humble and down-to earth.

    He believes he is the best in what he does, and he's totally right to believe so.

    But he still believes his portrayal of "Devdas" can not be compared with Dilip saab's performance as Devdas. The humilty he is showing here is heart-touching.

    To be honest, I'd love to watch Dilip saab's portrayal as Devdas.
    But even if I get the opportunity to see it, Devdas will always be personified by Shahrukh to my eyes.
     

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