He’s going through a rough patch personally. An interview scheduled at Mehboob Studio is cancelled. He’s worried about his friend’s ailing wife. And his pet dog isn’t doing well. I’m informed that he may not be doing any more interviews for a few days.
So I’m surprised when the very next afternoon, all is okay and I’m at the handkerchief lawn fronting Galaxy Apartments, asking:
Do you get nervous before your movie’s release?
No, you have to let it go. I don’t even understand why we need to publicise movies to this extent. It’s terrible when you club publicity with a cause for underprivileged children. I don’t like such things.
Yet, you seem to have become media friendly..
(Cuts in) NO, I’m not! My producers tell me, “Bolo film ke baare mein, bolo film ke baare mein”.. to main bol raha hoon. Simple. See, I have four friends in this world, and one of them died a few days ago. So I’m doing all this only because I have to.
Oh, I’m sorry. Do you really have to talk even if you don’t want to?
I don’t know. When there was no media earlier, films would run for five-six years. See, you can con people and say it’s a mind-blowing film but no matter how much you publicise it, if they don’t like the first promo, the film won’t work.
How would you rather have it?
Dekh pehle star ki yeh quality hoti thi.. there was an enigma.. everyone wanted to know kya khata hai, kya peeta hai, kya karta hai. Think of Dilip Kumar saab. But now it’s a circus.. dham, dham, dham and splash, you’re everywhere. Now it’s all about kiski kiske saath fight hui hai and kisko insecurities hain.
Only your film speaks yaar. Aadmi kitna bolega ek hi film par? (Pauses, and then smiles) Now, you would want to know about my kirdaar in Yuvvraaj right?
Yes.. did you connect with the film since it’s a story of three brothers?
Yeah. Initially, it had two brothers, but then Subhashji added one more for the emotional connect. I play Deven Yuvvraaj, he’s messed up because his parents didn’t love him. (Tells me the story in depth). There is no drama-shaama, no stupidgiri.
You had a big row in a toilet room with Mr Subhash Ghai once.. how did he convince you to do the movie?
(Immediately) That problem is ancient history, it was sorted out the next day. My father said that he is your senior, you cannot disrespect him, whether he is right or wrong, you apologise, and if he asks you to jump off a building, jump off. I agreed. So, I apologised.
Would you say that there are no permanent friends or enemies in the industry?
Depends yaar.. depends upon who messes with you how many times. Once, twice, three times.. you say haan, jaane de, he’s my friend, it’s fine. Then it continues, and I feel foolish.. to have believed that people can change. Nobody changes, boss.. you are born that way.
Please go on.
There’s a story about two friends.. a fish and a scorpion. There’s nothing to eat. So the scorpion asks the fish to carry it on its back to another island, so it can feed both. The fish trusts the scorpion who doesn’t know how to swim.
But when they reach the other shore safely, the scorpion stings the fish! Bang! The fish asks why and the scorpion says, “I can’t help it. It’s my fitrat.. I’m like that only.”
Your friends swear by you and vice versa. Do you think you can really hold a grudge against Shah Rukh Khan?
Did I say I hold a grudge? Life is too short.. actually it’s too long to hold grudges. I just don’t want anything to do with people who mess with me and mess with my family. If someone doesn’t mess with me, I won’t mess back (goes silent).
Okay, so did you recommend Katrina Kaif for Yuvvraaj?
(Unfazed) I wasn’t even aware that Subhash Ghai had signed Katrina for the film. See, Subhashji makes his women look really gorgeous and makes his men look like men.
Katrina recently said that you’re very unromantic in real life.
Yeah, she is right about that. I’m very unromantic.
You speak about your relationships openly but Katrina..
(Cuts in again) I have never spoken about any of my relationships openly at all. Where have you heard me speaking about them?
I’ve read your interviews.
(Slowly.. saying each word distinctly) I have never spoken about any of my relationships, dude. You’ve got the wrong Khan.
Okay, rumours are that Veer is stalled because of the recession.
Are you mad? It’s only been postponed by a few days because of Yuvvraaj’s promotion. I begin shooting for the film again from December 1 in Film City. Veer will be one of the biggest films the country has ever produced.. that is guaranteed.
Why are you holding up Boney Kapoor’s Wanted: Dead or Alive?
The film is complete. We have shot for 150-160 days out of which 90 days were only for action scenes. Two songs are left which could easily be shot here but Mr Boney Kapoor wants to shoot them in Greece. He may not be in the best of positions as a producer, but he still believes in grandeur.
Has the recession affected your price? Reportedly T-Series wants you to reconsider their Rs 50-crore deal with you.
(With a straight face) I have asked T-Series to increase my price by another Rs 10 crore. If they are not okay with it, they can take someone else.
The stills of Veer have made news because of your chiselled body.
I worked out for four days for the body you saw. Now I’m working for a whole month, so it will be in a different league altogether.
Is it inspired from Suryavanshi?
No chance. Both films have the same producer.. Vijay Gilani.. bas.
Are you aware that Sanjay Dutt may dub for your role in the animated version of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai?
I’m not aware of that, but that’s good. It’s their film, let them do what they want to do with it. My sister (Alvira) had asked me to do the film, so I had done it. Khallas. Sanjay Leela Bhansali hasn’t approached me for his next movie. Big deal.
Aren’t camps being formed in the film industry?
(Upset) This is such a small and silly thing. My family goes to people’s houses yaar. How small is that, yaar, if that is a reason for ‘camps’. I don’t know what to say.. the press makes stupid s*** out of all this.
You can write whatever you want, boss, but when my fans see me one-on-one or on screen, the battle is won. I don’t believe in award-shawards.
You should treat me the way I treat you. If I’m disrespectful to you, if I’m using a journalist, you shouldn’t take it. But if I’m not, you have no right to disrespect me.
7 months ago