Is Shah Rukh Khan bald
January 29, 2017
What did you love about Raees?
In all fairness, when a role like Fan is very specific, that consideration is secondary; it was the idea that a realistic filmmaker like Rahul Dholakia wanted me to be in a film that he wanted to give wider coverage. Raees was a well-researched story by two journalists, but Rahul wanted to give it a spin to make it more than just a niche film. I usually play more urban characters. It was interesting for me to enter this area to play a character that falls into my repertoire but is a little different nonetheless. I've never played that kind of small-town and down-to-earth character. I found it very fascinating how smugglers circumvented the restrictions in the 80s and 90s. We've studied a lot of cases for this movie, and it's very much in the Narcos and Breaking Bad realm.
Do you enjoy gangster movies?
I like some gangster films, but I'm not crazy about them. I like narcos. I liked The Godfather as I was growing up. I've basically never made a gangster film. But it was interesting because it has an air of reality to it. Some of them were real case studies.
Does your recent choice of movies like Fan, Dear Zindagi, and Now Raees indicate a change?
No. It's just a coincidence that those three films came out last year. I've never moved from where I am. I've always made films like this. Now people look at the period and say, "Oh, that's what it does". We are very quick to judge and analyze. I've been here for so long that people have forgotten my previous 15 years doing Baazigar, Darr, Ashoka, Paheli, Swades and My Name Is Khan. I always tried to mix it up when possible. If that doesn't work, then you have to do what you have to do. It's a job. Not to forget, I've made semi-commercial or moderate films like Chalte Chalte and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. Very often I have failed trying to do something else. Then I try to make a more popular film by making an event film like Dilwale, Happy New Year, Ra.One or Chennai Express.
I had finished Happy New Year and we were about to start filming Raees. But I was injured and we had to postpone the film. Fan was supposed to be out before Dilwale, but we realized the VFX was going to take 11 months and it was postponed. Dear Zindagi was a promise I made to Gauri Shinde three years ago because I liked the story. I usually try to make one popular film and a second that can bring new things to my mindset as an actor. It was just a coincidence that these three films came out within a year.
One blog recently said you sent a "bold message" by starring Muslim characters in three consecutive films. And before that, I played 55 Hindu characters.
Although Fan’s premise was great, do you think he suffered from the curse of the second half?
We didn't sit down and analyze the second half. It was an expensive film and we were trying to appeal to a wider audience. We'd wanted to make this film for seven or eight years and waited until we had figured out the VFX. What maybe went wrong in the film is where Gaurav starts asking, 'Ek baar sorry keh de.' I could be completely wrong, but at this point you don't know who should go - you may think that the star is should have given in. Suppose he really apologized, would Gaurav start watching his movies and loving him back? We should have kept the fact that this fan is very angry about the star's rejection. I make all my films with a lot of love and care. That was a pretty schizophrenic movie, but Fan was very close to my heart. For Maneesh (Sharma, director) and Adi (Chopra, producer), it was a brave film. I am always disappointed when I let people down. So many people wanted to be entertained by the film. It will take me some time to get over this.
Has the music now faded into the background in your films?
It depends on the genre and the filmmaker. You can't have one in a movie like Fan. If I have to put songs like Gerua into every film, there is a different group of fans who will believe that he always puts the same kind of music into his films. Happy New Year had a pretty exaggerated score, and Jabra Fan was an interesting title too. You can't incorporate a lot of singing and dancing in Raees, though.
How big is the conflict for you to stick to popular parameters while making a ‘realistic’ film like Raees?
It's not easy at all. Rahul wanted to do Raees in a way that didn't violate either genre (realistic and commercial cinema). If I have a popular movie to make, I'll go all out and do a Happy New Year. I believe that every film has its own space. You can't popularize Dear Zindagi by putting two songs in with me. That's stupid and uneducated. In Happy New Year you can put in as many songs as you want and flaunt six packs. We weren't trying to commercialize Fan, but trying to have cat and mouse chase scenes to give the audience an adrenaline rush. Of course, it creates neither room for critical praise nor popular cinema.
Lately, you've been wearing your graying beard in style.
Even in my upcoming film, directed by Imtiaz Ali, where I play a character from the Punjab, I wear a beard because Imtiaz wanted it to be. If my next movie required me to be clean-shaven or bald, I would go for this look.
So you mean that these are no longer attempts to look your age?
You can put that as a headline: I'll shamelessly keep playing a 25-year-old. Are you trying to find out if I'm adjusting to my age now? No, I'm completely inconsistent there. Growing a beard doesn't make me older. It makes me more erotic. I only do it for a movie. I shoot 400 days a year. Hence, I always wear the hairstyle and look that the role requires. The look won't be a reflection of my frame of mind either.
AbRam has been walking through the Mehboob Studio all day. How often does he go with you?
Since the Mehboob Studio is near my house, he'll come by when I'm here. Besides, Gauri had to meet someone outside of Mumbai today. There are so many lovely girls here from the marketing and advertising teams. He knows and likes her. There are some chickens walking around the studio area and he likes to play with them. Since he's not yet going to school, he can come with me.
After Meryl Streep's disturbing speech at the Golden Globes, there has been a lot of talk that Indian celebrities, especially those from the movies, don't speak out.
Asking me after Meryl Streep's speech why Indian actors don't do the same thing is strange. It's like suddenly asking me why I don't play golf like Tiger Woods. I appreciate what she said and think that it was very brave of her to say so at an event hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Our actors talk. As do our actresses, filmmakers, producers and journalists.
But the bottom line is that you need to talk to people who understand what you are saying. More than the platform Streep used to speak, she had the platform where people understood what she was saying ... As I said, journalists are not used to fame - theirs and celebrities alike. Suddenly everyone looks better, puts on better makeup and the host is the star of every show. The editor is the star of every snippet. Everyone writes an article with a picture. Everyone is trying to lose weight to look good. When I was famous for seven years, that's how I used to behave.
I am waiting for the media people to get over their wonderful, recently acquired fame. I'm friends with most of them and I really want to ask them: why would you want to join the bandwagon of faceless people on social media who just want to say one thing and get famous? You don't have to do that. You used to present people's point of view so that I could take your opinion, other people's opinion, and decide what happens in the world. They are the first source of knowledge about what is going on ...
Why would you say I want Indian actors like you (Streep) to speak? Can I say I wish Indian journalists would present me like that too? Is that fair Give me a platform where you can present my point of view, not as part of the agenda you have on your storyline. I would speak - I always did, I always will.
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