Shah Rukh Khan has been ruling Bollywood for over two decades now, and every time he speaks, he makes you realise why he is still the star people love. In an interview where he insists that he doesn’t want to “sound pompous”, SRK shares a lot about himself.
Shah Rukh, who calls himself ‘half-Hyderabadi’ is glad to be back in the city to attend a sangeet. “I used to visit Hyderabad during my summer vacations. When my mother’s father became the Chief Engineer in Karnataka, the family shifted there but the main family stayed here. Every time we used to go to Bengaluru, we spent 20 days there and on the way back, we would come to Hyderabad. I still have family here, they stay in Tolichowki,” he says. While he was supposed to stay in Hyderabad for two days, an urgent shoot required him to get back to Mumbai. “But I am glad to have bumped into some of my old friends, including Chinu (Namrata Shirodkar, Mahesh Babu’s wife). Ram (Charan) is also a friend but there was a lot of crowd at the Sangeet so I had to come back,” he adds.
On ruling Bollywood
With so much competition around, how does he retain his stardom and fame? “By believing that you are not ruling it. I’m very clear that the highs and lows of my life are not tied to the fate of my films. I can’t be discouraged if a certain type of cinema doesn’t work. I attempted to make different movies, and I wish that they worked, because I thought they would be game-changers. The trick is not to believe that a ruler should do only so much. If I think ‘Since I am a ruler, I should do what worked for me in the past’ then I am not a ruler but a follower.”
Not a regular guy
Shah Rukh says that it’s been so long since he did something regular — like taking a walk with his family, or going out for dinner without being mobbed. “It’s been so long since I stopped leading the regular life. My regular life is also very regular — wake up in the morning, go to a studio, finish your shooting, come back and spend time with family. On days when you go for a public function, you do what people expect you to do. I am so used to doing this for 25 years, I don’t know what regular people do,” he says.
“I am 51, I have been working in films for 26 years, which is half of my life time. And what else is left of it? Another 25 or 30 years. I am sure I will continue to do something. I have never wanted to be in a position where I think this is it — I just want to make films. I walk out of my house, there are thousands of people waiting to greet me. I am very happy that people love me so much. But they love me because I make films,” says SRK.
“I can’t complain about being judged. When you are a public figure, you are assuming a certain amount of publicity. Mine has gone beyond my understanding. Sometimes I get irritated but if I complain, it will give fodder to more talks. Rumours affect me and my family, but you have to learn to live with it. It’s an occupational hazard,” says SRK.
Shooting with Salman
SRK, who is doing a cameo in Salman Khan’s Tubelight, says, “Salman and I are very easy-going. We keep meeting for Bigg Boss. Kabir is an old friend too and was my wife’s classmate. The set was like a family,” he smiles.
On Raees doing well
He says, “I felt a little more responsible with Raees because it’s not a commercial film. But now that people like the movie, I am happy. AbRam watched the movie twice. He has got two reactions — he dances at Laila Mai Laila and when I am fighting he says Go Papa Go. We were in Dubai and he met Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and said ‘Papa, he is not liking you papa. He doesn’t like you?’
3 am friends
“Nobody talks to me at 3 am. I do get some calls, but it’s strange. Last night, an actor called me at 3.30 am, I asked him what happened and he said ‘Nothing, you must be the only one awake’. Whoever I am working with or have worked with are all friends. Karan is like family, Adi is a friend and there are some like Juhi. I haven’t worked with Juhi since a long time, and I haven’t met her so I am waiting for IPL to start to spend more time, have dinners and chats. Salman could be my 3 am friend. We both are definitely awake till 3,” he adds.