Shah Rukh Khan has been ruling Bollywood with his flawless acting and irresistible charm from the past 25 years. His latest release, Raees, is getting critical acclaim and is well on its way to become a super-hit.
But, what sets Shah Rukh Khan apart from everyone else is that he truly embraces the love and attention that comes his way. He understands that he is a much loved public figure, and he knows that the love is not limited just to his acting skills. People want to know more about SRK as a father and SRK as a person, who has his strengths and insecurities and is not afraid of sharing his innermost thoughts.
We met up with him recently to discuss the phenomenal response Raees has received and the actor was at his candid best. With the goofy little AbRam playing in the background, SRK spoke about how he is affected by success and failure, his kids as his pillars of strength and completing 25 years in the industry.
Here are a few excerpts –
How he feels when a film gets good response
When somebody has been working from a long time, then you endear yourself to the audience. So, if you look at the past record, my films always get a great opening, and that becomes a challenge in two ways. Firstly, I want to live up to the expectations of majority of the audience. Secondly, if I repeat the same thing again and again, as an actor, I don’t feel a sense of fulfilment. But then there are also situations when you try and do something new, and it still doesn’t work, say for example Fan, then that is heart-breaking.
But, when you do something new, and it does well, then happiness increases by leaps and bounds. And it’s not just about the first couple of days. It’s day 3 today, and because I have been in this business from a long time, I have a knack for understanding the response; and now I can gauge that that majority of the audience are happy with Raees. So, now I am relieved from that sense of responsibility. I am genuinely happy that I have been able to make so many people happy.
How he feels before the release of a film
My family will vouch for it, that before the release of any film, I just sit on a black sofa in my home, and do nothing. I just meet my kids, and they know what zone I am in. It’s like I have taught Maths to my son, and he has given his exam. And now I just sit there waiting for the results with the feeling, ‘that I taught him, so he should do well.’ Even if he makes a mistake, the responsibility is mine. That is the kind of feeling I have before the release of any film.
On marking release date even before the film starts
I am anti marking a release date. It’s nice to have a plan. I mean Yashji always used to have a Diwali release; it was not said, but you always knew that a Yash Chopra film will come out on Diwali and he used to work towards that.
Having said that, I don’t think you should mark your dates before you have started your film. I don’t do it, and maybe I suffer because of it. My logic is; I prepare the film. Of course we have an end date of shooting and post production. And things can go wrong, like they did in case of Raees when I hurt my leg. But, I don’t jump the gun and fix the next best date.
I didn’t have the date for even Imtiaz’s film, and somebody mentioned that no one is coming on 15th August. So I asked my team if we will be ready for release by then. So I released the date when we had done most of the shooting. I have exactly 4 days of shooting left for that film; though it still doesn’t have a title.
Looking back at his 25 year journey in Bollywood
I think it’s been a great life. Whenever I pray for someone, my children or people I feel close to; I hope they all get my life. Professionally, it has been fantastic. You obviously have ups and downs, even though I feel I haven’t had too many downs, so I have been fortunate that way. Personally, life has been very nice.
But, strangely, my life will be remembered for the work I do. Everything else will take a second seat to it, and I appreciate the fact that my family understands it.
Support of family
I appreciate the fact that my family understands that I am a public figure, and I have to do what I have to do. Even though I don’t take my professional problems home, my family has to bear them.
My daughter calls me once or twice a week, my son calls me once in two weeks. But in the last four days, they have called me four times a day. Even though I miss their calls, I know what they want to say; at the back of their minds, there is this feeling that papa’s film is coming and we have to be with him.
Hopefully, I think I have enough strength, mentally and physically, to go on doing some interesting stuff. I am in that mind-set and there are some really good filmmakers coming forward. It seldom happens that after working for so many years, the new breed of directors is still as excited to work with you. Like Gauri Shinde was excited like I was a newcomer, Rahul was a serious filmmaker, but he was excited by the prospect of making a film with me. So, it’s a good space to be in; to know that I can be in cinema of their language and bring something new with my own experiences.
Image Credits – GQ, Avinash Gowariker and Red Chillies Ent