Is Jab Harry Met Sejal underestimated



Superna R. Motwane

There's a line that goes, "Shooting stars never stop even when they reach the top." It couldn't be more accurate than in the case of Shah Rukh Khan.

What do you ask the King who refuses to acknowledge his status? The Badshah who enjoys his wealth with slight amusement and nothing more? The family man who feels blind devotion to his loved ones? When I step into Shah Rukh Khan's living room, I feel like stepping onto a movie set - pure white couches, clean lines, two gorgeous children and a poster boy father.
Laughter and uninhibited chatter filled the room. "Gauri is gone," he explained as I sat down. And I was thrilled to see the affection and love for his children in his eyes. I had to remind myself that this wasn't a movie set. That was real. This is what strikes me most about Shah Rukh - his 'authenticity'. He walks on clouds while being rock solidly grounded, if something like that is possible. He has dreams that reach for the stars but accepts the humility of the realities of life with such ease that it is inspiring.
And even if you can get lost in your words and your world, it is impossible, even for a moment, to forget the generosity of your presence. I came in to meet Shah Rukh Khan the star and left an hour and a half later after discovering the human. Meetings like this one that revive the belief that God does what is best for good people. And that those who are successful deserve it. Whoever called him King underestimated him.

L’Officiel: Let's talk about the L’Officiel cover shoot… We know you don't usually shoot with models and this was a little different for you I think. Well how was the experience?
Shah Rukh Khan: I feel very strange about photos - with or without models - I just don't like photo shoots. So I don't do them. The fact is, even the pictures for Om Shanti Om are from the sets. As a rule, we don't do photo shoots for my own production.
I like the unnaturalness of the lighting. I'll be completely honest - I find all these fashion covers and even filming very unreal. I think we are 'overwhelming'. You do nothing for me. They have no sex appeal. My opinion might be influenced by the fact that I'm not good at it, but I just don't like these shoots and these pictures. The only time I can really pose for a picture is when I know I am playing a role. As in Chak De !, we were allowed to take two photos while the film was being shot and these became the posters. The same goes for Om Shanti Om, I think we took more pictures of the girl - as she was interested and girls like to do shootings (smiles). However, most of my images will be from the sets. While I'm shooting something, for example a song, I'll quickly pose there in the same light in which the song is being shot. Every now and then I'll do a photo shoot with Karan. He will get 30 prints; I'll do it and then if any magazine does an interview with me I'll tell them, please, take Karan's photos. He keeps them in his office. I understand that these people need pictures.
They want me to take pictures with Deepika (Padukone) and I took hundreds of pictures with her during the filming but I am not going to pose for it. You see, she's a model, she's ready for it. It took her hours to get dressed. It took me two minutes to put on my make-up. I'll stand and waste everyone's time. I don't like to waste anyone's time.

How about your personal style?
I am very elementary. I like good shoes. I used to like Cesare Paciotti a lot, but recently I haven't really liked her designs. I recently liked Hogan's shoes. I love sneakers. I love the Luis Vuitton shoes I wore when shooting yesterday ... I have 300 pairs of jeans that look the same. My clothes must all look the same. I am like Richie Rich! I want my entire wardrobe to look the same. My style is white during the day and black in the evening. I have a hundred black suits from all brands in the world. I used to wear shirts with my jeans, but now I wear t-shirts because my kids don't like shirts anymore. They mean they don't look good on me. I think it's important to be comfortable. I also prefer girls in wide trousers to tight-fitting jeans. When I see society girls in tight jeans and skimpy tops and stilettos, it doesn't appeal to me. I like girls in loose clothes. I find tight clothes uncomfortable even just looking at them.

So do you have a lot to do with the way Gauri dresses?
No, although I am very honest. I'll tell her what I think.

Does she take your opinion into account?
Well it should. I have fantastic tastes in women! Sometimes she does and sometimes she'll just wear something and say, “You like that, right?” And I'll say, “Yes, I like it.” But like I said, I only have one look that I like and me guess she can't wear the same every day. I also like girls in white salwar kameez or churidaars. I even think - and it is wrong to say - the girl in grief at a funeral would look most beautiful - in white clothes and sunglasses.

Are you involved in the fashion aspects of your films?
Not at all. If something fits me, or even if it's an inch loose, I can live with it. During a shoot, my shoes were too tight and my jeans too wide, but I don't mind. I have so much experience of seeing things that I believe clothes don't matter. I'm sorry to say that to a fashion magazine, but I'm the easiest to dress up. If you are comfortable in it, everything will look fine. I never question a T-shirt or a pair of jeans or a pair of shoes with my designer, be it Karan - and anyway I never discuss with Karan - or you guys. I wouldn't.

Let's say you're on the set and your film partner is wearing something that you don't really like. Would you have a problem with that?
No, I've never had a problem. I have never looked at anyone's clothes and said they were wrong. But if someone asks my opinion, I would give them up. In all honesty, I can't even look at girls when they're getting dressed, which is why I never go to fashion shows. When girls dress up and come to me, I can't look at them. I'm shy. For the same reason, I don't even go to judge Miss India and other such competitions.

Something completely different, something that has been heard very often lately that you seem to be a representative of India instead of just a representative of your industry. And as you travel around the world, you will increasingly find that Shah Rukh Khan is a big global name today. You represent your country in many ways. What do you have to say about it and how seriously do you take this responsibility?
I think we are all representatives of our country. I just happen to find myself in a position today where it's more noticed. But even before that, when I was unknown, it was by no means that I would let anyone look at me and say, “Oh, an Indian!” That means, if I used to spit on the street, for example, I will don't do that. I follow the rules. I want to make sure that when anyone comes into contact with me, they should first personally recognize that I am educated, well mannered, polite, and know what I'm doing - even if I don't know my way around. Actually, I'm not very good at traveling - I don't know how to check into hotels, etc., but I have no doubt that if someone should talk to me about my country, that is the impression they should get "Oh? Indians are like that? That's good! ”There should be a sense of humor, education should be noted. Well, because I'm an actor and I'm asked to a lot of events - many of which I don't go to - I'm trying harder as I've started to see that I'm being given a special kind of love by the audience. A love that says, “We like you and you represent our country, at least in entertainment.” So in such cases I want to use the global platform to explain to people that India is not just about rope tricks and elephants . India is not just about dirt and grime. Even when asked what my favorite city is, I will say, "Bombay, with all its filth." I really love the city. I love London, I love Mauritius, I love New York. But for me the greatest place to live - and I say it with a lot of feeling - is Mumbai. Ultimately, I feel most at home in Mumbai or Delhi. Wherever you feel comfortable, you are at home. I already realize that I should be able to show the face of my country, at least in my area, and in more areas, if people are willing to listen and take me seriously.
I have an extraordinary connection to our country because my father was a freedom fighter. So I believe this is the world he created and I have to be very respectful of it. My parents are no longer alive so of course I'm more attached to them, but I believe the gift my father gave me was a free country. I really feel that he was directly responsible for it. Of course I am biased towards my father - I am sure there are a lot of people who have done much more than my father for the freedom of this country. I believe that I knew someone who was directly responsible for giving me a free India and that I rule the free India in my own area. You know, without being overly pompous, I've been able to do a lot and I will be able to do a lot for my children because my country is free.

There is a lot of speculation that you might get into politics?
That's nonsense. I never would. It would be like becoming an astronaut! It's not my job ... I want to be a professional footballer for Manchester United, but I can't. If I had political leanings, I should have the knowledge, and I don't think I'm that selfless either. I believe most of the leaders of the nation, in whatever capacity, are selfless. We took some bad eggs and said they were all corrupt, but it's not true. Most of them have to be very selfless. You work for your state, for your country, for your place - I don't. And I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. I'm more of the personal gain type. And when I say this, I don't mean I'm selfish, but I want to be in control of things around me. I think if each of us did our part right, the world will be a better place.

Is there anything that you think you have done to enrich the lives of others?
I make people smile. I make her cry. I entertain her a couple of times a year. At KBC, I made some people laugh. I don't think that I can please everyone all the time. I think that through my work I should have entertained a lot of people over the past 15 years. When I say entertaining, I mean entertainment in all its forms. Well I think this is my only post, and since I get paid for this post, it's not even really a post! It's a job. In conclusion, I believe that I haven't really done anything selflessly to change and touch people's lives ...

I assume that at this stage in your life, considering that you are truly the 'King' and have made it, many of your dreams have come true ... What are the open dreams that have yet to be fulfilled, if any?
See, I always believed that you had no goal. Nike made this ad many years ago where they said 'there is no finish line'. When you have a finish line, it's easy to be satisfied. We have been taught this since we were young: Have a goal. Work towards it. Be ambitious. Do it right. Reach the finish line. Be the first. My logic is different. My parents always said to me, "Well, after you were first, what then?"; "After you have achieved the goal, what then?"; "After you are successful, what's next?" Therefore, my logic is that I didn't stick to any parameters or one-way street to success. I've always believed that the journey is more important and that you never end it. I am not satisfied. I don't think I'm 'King', I don't think I've been successful, I don't think I've achieved any of what I wanted. I never wanted to achieve some of that. In some ways I am certainly detached from all of this. And I really enjoy it. Maybe I like it more because I'm detached. I love the biggest house in the country. I like the biggest car in the country. I am attached to material things and I am very proud of it. I'm not into any philosophy that preaches sacrifice or renunciation. I like to live in this world and enjoy all the advantages of this world.
But they are not everything. They are all the peripherals of what I do. They are the extras. I really don't know what my ultimate goal is, my ultimate dream. If I set one final goal for myself, I may have already achieved it and should step back now. But I don't plan to resign. I like to work. I am addicted to work.

What motivates you more, the money and the success or the passion of the job?
Getting that one phrase right. When I get up in the morning and I'm very excited about filming and still looking forward to filming as much as 30 years ago, that's all for me. I love it when the camera comes up and I do something and a director, sometimes very talented, sometimes not that much, says, “Okay, Shah Rukh bhai! Fantastic! ”And I'm really happy. Sometimes I am able to give my character an extraordinary format, and sometimes I fail miserably. The reason I enjoy acting so much is because I fail so often. It's so amazing because it's a job where everyone assumes I know everything and I don't really know anything, and yet I'm good at it. So it's amazing that I'm in an area where the knowledge is so vast that I don't even grasp the full extent of it. I can never know everything about acting and that's what's so exciting.

What are you doing to expand your knowledge?
I just keep playing. I just play around the clock. I tell everyone, all the young people who meet me, who want to know, "Shah Rukh, how can we become actors?" I tell them, play all the time. It is so easy. How do you become a runner? They run all the time.

So you play 24 hours a day?
In fact, the line is really very blurred now. I don't know when to play and when not to. One way of looking at it is that sometimes a lot of people look around and say, “Wow, that was so real.” And I think maybe I was just very real in that movie. Maybe the real me will become like my acting? Maybe my acting is now a reflection of who I am ... you can look at it and say I always act or you can look at it and say that I now tend to be real. So now the line is really very blurred. I really can't tell myself ...

The general perception about you is that you have many values ​​and, despite all of your success, you are very grounded, and that is not something that is heard about anyone in business. Many stars come with the baggage that they have really 'changed'. How do you manage to maintain this humility?
I don't think I'm doing anything special. The people around me say that I am special. People call me 'King Khan' and 'Badshah' etc, but for me, I do a job like anyone else. There are 11 people who work in my home. I do a job too. There is nothing more special about them compared to me, and likewise there is nothing more special about me. We all do our jobs. Your job is incredibly special to you. You like him.And why should I think I'm more special than you because of my job? I get up in the morning, I work from nine to six, or from two to ten, or whatever ...

But how about all the admiration? It has to go to your head at some point.
I think most of the time that the admiration is for what has been created on the canvas that is larger than life. It has nothing to do with me. I'm just an employee of someone's vision, and I really believe it. I am strangely detached from my success and failure. I love my failure more. I am very fond of it because it is like a disabled child and I like it. However, my success will always belong to others. I spoke to Danny Boyle, the director of Trainspotting. He had come to cast me for a film, to talk about a film. And he said, "It's so strange when a movie is successful it's kind of not yours anymore." So how am I supposed to be proud of something that isn't really mine to begin with? It becomes successful because you like it, not because I like it.

So do you like every movie you make, whether it's successful or not?
I love them all! And I really like my unsuccessful ones more. I love them because no one else did and so I'm more attached to them.

How do you deal with failure?
It's depressing. As it sure is depressing in any area. When you've written a great thesis and it's not recognized, it's depressing.

Yes, that's depressing, but even more so for you in the film industry, I think, because it's so direct in public ...
I cope with my failures just as I cope with my successes. I don't think I'm a 'badshah' and don't think I'm a beggar. I think I'm a guy who knows my job, who is very meticulous in my job, who works very hard ... And when it goes well, what it should because you paid me a lot of money, people start praising me more than I deserve Sometimes it goes wrong as it can and people criticize me more than I deserve. I break away from both extremes ...

Do you remember such failures?
Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani. I cried. I cried with Juhi and Aziz for several days. It was our first production and it failed. Nobody liked it. They said there was no commercialization of television. It was nonsense and over the top. No TV station behaves like that. I would like to believe that we were ahead of our time. Or that we shot a film. Both could be true.

And what motivates you to get up and move on?
In fact, I surround myself with so much work that is constantly overlapping; I try not to have the time to brood I have never worked for posterity, nor do I work in retrospect. I am not nostalgic. I like to keep moving and I don't think, 'this movie will get me there!' It's another movie. I've worked in so many films that I thought were wonderful that failed, and worked in so many films that I think were good, but they became huge hits. So I don't know what works myself. All I know is that I have to keep working. I don't know if this is the right or wrong way to go, so I just get on with it. I am a doer, not a thinker. When things go wrong, I usually don't have a chance to brood and feel sad; I'm the closest When things work out, like Chak De !, I don't have time to enjoy success. And if someone asks me what my best film was, it's always the next. What's my best performance? It's always the next.

How about a film like KANK? Karan told us that you were the only one who told him that you thought the ending wasn't how it should have been. You're the only one in the whole crew who reacted ... And what was your reaction to the omissions of this film? Because of the plot?
Somehow I just didn't feel any love in this film ... It was beautifully staged. I think Karan is a fantastic director - the best director I've worked with - but I think it should have been a more intimate film. A smaller film. It should have been about people in houses, not people with so many surroundings. You have so much life in New York; You don't need to have affairs. You have enough other things to do. When life is locked in and darkness surrounds you, this is what you get into when there is no happiness. That could be the reasons. Also, I'm not into affairs and things like that myself, so maybe it's something I personally don't like ...

Karan always says you have the best marriage he knows ...
I think the only people who know what a marriage is like are the ones who lead it. People think my life is amazing, I'm a great actor, a star ... but there are pressures and problems that I also face. These aren't much of a problem compared to the ones we see around us, but I have a lot of responsibility. I am very happy with my marriage. I am very happy with my children and my wife. I think that I am really blessed with the family that I have. But I couldn't say it's the best marriage like I can't say that I'm the best actor. I don't know what other people's marriages are like. Marriages and relationships are very subjective, and perhaps the problem with KANK was that it was too objective. It was too big. I had problems myself with the subject we were tackling, but there were some really nice moments.

What do you value most at this stage in your life?
Emotionally, I appreciate the gift I have of being able to entertain people. I want to entertain as many people as I can, for as long as I can. I don't value anything more than that. If there are a billion people in the country, I want them all to smile at the job I did. Personally and physically, it is my children who I value most - that goes without saying. That is undisputed.

Everyone wants to know about your incredible new physique. (Shah Rukh laughs). How did you get it and what motivated you?
When I turned 40, I used to tell my friends Putlu (Kajal Anand) and Karan, "When I turn 40, I'll have the best physique in the country." Until then, I'll hope my acting will get me through. And my son used to think that I was fat. We built a house and we decided to set up a gym - and it's a big gym. So I felt like having such a big studio and not having great bodies would be a waste. I wondered if I should hang posters of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan ... or should I hang my own? So I said, “Let's see if I can hang my own.” I wanted my son not to think I was fat and wanted to get healthier too. I used to be a sporty person and want to come back there. I had lost a lot of muscle from my back, knees, and ankle surgeries. All of my muscles are stunted from not using them. I used to run 6 miles a day - when I was in school and college. I don't have time to do any of this now. I also did that for Om Shanti Om. It's like growing a beard for Chak De! India. In Om Shanti Om there is a character who is said to be a hero in 2007-2008 and I have found that all the young people come with great physiques and longer hair and are just cool! So, if I was playing a character, under the parameters of commercial cinema, I said to myself, why not give it a try? For the first half, I'll look what I normally do, and for the second half, I'll look different. I doubt I'll take off my shirt for any other filming - is it a little strange? If there's a movie or situation that requires me to be shirtless, I'll do it. I took off my shirt beforehand. This isn't the first time - I did it in Dil Se, I did it in Duplicate. I took off my clothes for Karan's film KANK. When I meet kids like Aryan's friends they say, "Dude, cool abs." That's how kids are these days. I trained a little to find out. People say if you exercise and eat well, you will get abs in three months. I wanted to see if it was that easy. And that was it. It took me about two and a half months to get my abs in shape. I wasn't physically untrained, though. I was used to lifting weights. I just followed all the diet rules - I took some fat burners, I ate a little extra protein food, and I stopped eating carbohydrates. And one fine morning two and a half months later, I had abs! You wake up one morning and you see that the first row of abs is showing up and you are like, “Oh, it can work!” And seven days later, all of the abs are showing!

What are you like when you are not SRK?
I am never a star. I've always been like that. The people who have known me for years know that I've never changed. Personally, I've always been shy. I like to be by myself. I enjoy being with children - mine and others. I like to read and all. But I am no different. As I am on the sets, so am I. I am nice and warm to everyone. I have a lot of patience and no temper. I think that with fame I will become a better person. I have more patience now and am more good-natured. I now stop waving to people twice as much as I used to do. But there is no difference between me at home and me on the sets. God has given me a lot more than I deserve. So when I'm not a star, I'm just grateful.

Are you very religious?
I'm not very religious about obeying rules, but yes, I am very God fearing. I pray a lot. I get my children to pray a lot. I believe in the power of God. Because there is no other way I can explain my phenomenon or my success. There has to be a power that goes way beyond the power of the directors, way beyond the audience, that has made me who I am. And I don't know that power, so I call it God. I firmly believe in Allah. And I mean whatever form of God - I'm Islamic by birth, so I call him Allah.

When we talk about your beliefs, what is your opinion on the increased racism against the Muslim community, which increased dramatically and drastically after 9/11 and the London bombings?
In all fairness, it is only fair for Western communities to be afraid of Muslims because the guys who have been more or less caught doing these things were Islamists. So it's okay if they felt me ​​at the New York airport. Or you take a stand like me - I don't fly to America very often now. I don't want to be felted just because I'm a khan. But as a Muslim - and I'm sure all Muslims would agree - even if you are very conservative about Islam, there is a lot of leeway in Islam too. It's a very flexible religion. Men and women are allowed to leave each other if they wish. Women can also get a talaq (divorce) - I think few people know about it. It's called Khilasa. If you don't like your husband, you can do a khilasa and go away. We are also the only people who can get married over the phone. You can make alliances with ease, and you can break them off with ease. Religions are disciplines, and disciplines relate to time and situation. This is how all of these disciplines worked at any given time or situation. Sometimes you have to change them. I think the only thing that went wrong is the interpretation of the word jihad. The idea of ​​jihad is to overcome your weaknesses by force. But this is a personal matter, it is not intended for anyone else. So if I have the problem or weakness of being lying, I need to overcome that weakness, even through emotional aggression towards myself. It's not about physical aggression. A lot of people have started to outsource this, but it's an internal matter. I think that we have enough people in the world in all religions who ’have nothing’ and these people can be misled by the bait of religion because God is a very strong being. I think that also happens in Hinduism and Christianity. You will find extremists in all disciplines. From time immemorial, Christianity and the people of Islam have had problems over land disputes. But as a modern Muslim, I believe that being educated is the best way to understand Islam. One should try not to be misled by the people who use Allah and Islam to incite you. I am very proud to be a Muslim because I was born with it and I am also sure that my wife is very proud to be Hindu. Generalization hurts when people think, "Oh, you are a Muslim, so you must be a terrorist." And it would be just as hurtful if someone thought, "Oh, you are Indian, you must be a terrorist." Or , “Oh, you're a movie star, so you have to be women!” I don't like generalizations like that. You are stupid. It is similar with Islam, I think the generalized view that we are aggressive is wrong. It was a very peaceful religion, but I believe it was promoted and promoted in the wrong way.

What are your dreams for your children?
I want them to have a good education, and by that I don't mean higher education, I just mean that I want them to understand life, read and learn all the time. I just want them to be very well educated. That’s the most important thing… and that you’re fantastic at sport. I believe if you don't sweat you are not living. I like people when doing physical work in any way. If they can work physically or mentally, or have a need for knowledge, that would be the perfect situation for my children. In fact, it is very important to me to learn with them. I want learning to be fun. I joke with them, go on treasure hunts, but I will teach them. Now of course they are getting older, so I have to relearn everything first - fractions and the capitals of the world! I want my children to be more educated than me. Education is a habit. Even now I keep learning. If I don't know something, I'll find out. You should strive for an exceptional doctorate on your own throughout your life.

Do you have a secret dream?
I have a dream, but not a secret one. I would like to build the most beautiful studio in the world in Mumbai. The most technologically advanced studio in the world. Mumbai is the base of the Indian film industry and it should have a great studio. If I can do that, I don't mind putting in all of my efforts and the earnings of my entire life and let it go without making a profit. Because I think I've earned enough name and fame.

And what is stopping you?
Nobody is selling me the land. There is no place in Mumbai. And I don't want to partner with anyone - I want to do it on my own. Right now I don't have the money for the kind of land I want - I want 10 acres. So I may not be able to fulfill it, but I can dream ...

How about your weakness?
I smoke. This is not good. I am not getting enough sleep. Not good. I drink too much black coffee. Not good. I have a list. Maybe one day I'll stop smoking. It's a bad habit, not a weakness. I'm so proud of being detached from things, but I'm addicted to smoking.

When we talk about connectedness, how distant or connected are you to the controversy that surrounds you in the industry?
I am not involved at all. I don't follow what I hear about people, I make up my own mind. And it hardly affects me. I don't like indulging in gossip. I know what I am and I am very comfortable with who I am. If people think I'm having an affair with a heroine, that's okay. I know I don't have one. If people think I'm bisexual, that's okay. I know that it is not me. If people think I'm gay, that's okay. I couldn't have had two kids from heavy petting. I feel really comfortable with who I am.

Tell us about your current projects.
God willing, I'm making a movie called Robot with S. Shankar, the gentleman who made Sivaji. This is our own production according to Om Shanti Om. I'm reading a script by Yash Chopra. I'm working on a script with Raju Hirani. I'm working with Karan on a film called Khan or My Name is Khan. I haven't seen the script. Then I'll do Don 2.
Om Shanti Om is a really great movie. It's a full-blown entertainer. It is made by Farah Khan. I like women, I like women who work. Actually, I'm a real fan of women. I don't think people get the kind of love and respect I feel for them. And Farah is one of them. It's unconventional. She is a strong director. I read an article by Shobhaa De where she says this is reverse exploitation and I think this is fantastic. I think men must be taught a lesson! Usually it is the girl who is supposed to take off her clothes! Here is a woman who tells the hero to take off his clothes, so I feel very taken advantage of and wonderful. (There's) a new girl named Deepika in the movie, she's wonderful. There's a lot of girl power with Kirron Kher, Deepika, and Farah, and I think this film is going to get stuck because of the dedication of these three women. It's fun. It's also very dramatic, and it's a very big movie. It's the most expensive film I've made in my production company. I should be nervous, but we got a good price. Now I'm a little bit responsible for making this movie a success. I think it's a good movie. It was done with the intention of entertaining. It's a costume film set in the 1970s and 2007, and a love story between a poor guy and a rich girl. It's a huge drama. It's very colorful, with amazing songs and dances. It's a holiday film, the type of film that should be released on Eid and Diwali. I hope I get it right because if I get it right I can make an even bigger movie which will be Robot. Now I want to make some really nice, big movies.
Also, it's nice as an actor if this film comes in a year where I've made an unconventional film like CDI and then make a provocative, loud, commercial, attention-grabbing film like this. I have an eccentric sense of humor, so I like this contrast.

Do you have a dream role that you haven't played yet?
I've reached a stage where every role you give me becomes a dream role. Now after working 16 years and doing so much, I can't still cheat on not having a dream role ... I add so much to my roles and make them dream roles ... You shouldn't wait for a dream role. You should create a dream role.

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