At 51, Shah Rukh Khan continues to dominate showbiz in India, and how. Bollywood’s favourite romantic hero, King Khan, who’s been in the industry for over 25 years, can still be seen wooing actresses. The actor, who’s currently gearing up for the release of Raees, opposite Mahira Khan, on January 25, sits down for a fun chat.
Aryan is a grown up boy now. How does he react to you romancing actresses onscreen?
I don’t know how he reacts to me romancing actresses, just like he doesn’t know how I react to him romancing girls (smiles). Aryan and his friends have a different take on life. They are kind to think that I’m cool enough to hang out with them.But I have never really asked Aryan what his likes and dislikes regarding my roles, because it doesn’t matter on-screen.
Does Aryan watch all your films? Does he provide inputs or suggestions, and do you take his suggestions seriously?
Aryan is learning to be a filmmaker. This one time, I made him watch Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, but he didn’t find it as funny as we did. The humour has changed with time, and it’s nice to know the youth’s perspective. He makes films now — mostly short films. Sometimes I have to be unbiased and tell him that I didn’t like a particular film. As far as suggestions from my children go, I don’t take any of their suggestions and incorporate it in my films, simply because they’re my children.
What prompted you to choose a film like Raees?
I opted for this role since it’s a well-written script, that gives the character a sense of dignity despite his flaws. The character chooses to do the wrong thing, but takes responsibility for all his actions even though he could ignore doing so.
You are a more commercially viable actor, but Rahul Dholakia is known to make intense, realistic films. What went in your mind when you were offered such a serious role in Raees?
A film selects its own actor. Yes, I’m more of a commercial performance-based actor. Some of my serious films such as Swades, Chak De! India, and Paheli may not have worked because I’m not thought of as a serious actor. But I am an extremely serious actor with a dimple. My dimple actually screwed up my serious performances. Without my dimple, you’d think I’m Nawazuddin (Siddiqui).
One is constantly judged as a public figure. You’ve faced it all the more since you’re a superstar. How do you deal with it?
You’re going to be nullified, and glorified. You’re going to be held responsible for the things you say and things you don’t say — it’s all a part of an actor’s life. The important thing is how you lead your life and what you believe in. My job doesn’t end with visiting the sets, shooting a few scenes and coming back home. I’m a public figure, whether I like it or not, because that’s the path I chose. I like the adulation, so I have to take everything that comes along with it.
Do you think it has become difficult for actors to speak on issues and that they have to pay a heavy price for what they say?
If you have something in mind, I think you need to say it on a platform that is relevant. One needs to be careful about the platforms they choose to speak on. Voicing opinions on social media seems like a good idea, till everybody picks on it and blows it out of proportion. Today, nobody is proactive; everybody is reactive.
AbRam hangs out on sets
Mehboob studios has a new visitor these days — AbRam Khan. Shah Rukh Khan has been striking a fine balance between playing daddy and actor by having his son AbRam over during his shoots. The toddler apparently has been keeping his dad company in his vanity van at Mehboob studio which happens to be very close to their residence Mannat in Bandra. Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too?