Interview with Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan is irrepressible. He is buoyant on the eve of the release of his film Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Not afraid to speak his mind, Shah Rukh Khan shows why he is King Khan as he takes on the world…

Stories are doing rounds that your forthcoming film KANK is very different and bold. What excited you about your role in KANK?
What makes KANK bold is the dignified manner in which vulnerable relationships are handled sensitively and in a dignified manner. The sensuality and sexuality or the language used is not bold.

We look at the aftermath of relationships gone haywire. Issues that are normally considered taboo are dealt with in this film. The movie has been a complete complete turnaround for me. The role can easily be cynical and scary. But Karan’s sensitivity in portraying Dev will make the latter more likable.Someone as smart and intelligent as Karan can make something a film like KANK. If someone else had approached me with a similar subject, I wouldn’t have done it.

You have run away with girls meant to marry other men whileplaying Raj and Rahul. How different is Dev. Even he wants a woman who is someone else’s wife.
The roles of Raj and Rahul were of Utopian lovers, where my girl audiences have always wished for their boyfriends to be like me. In Chalte Chalte I have played such a character that falls in love and does so much for his love but without much thought.

But in KANK I play a role where I run away with somebody else’s wife, hence all the boyfriends and husbands will tell their spouse if they can all be like Dev.

You started a Special Effects (SFX) division in your production house Red Chillies. Elaborate.
At Red Chillies we prefer to term it VFX (Visual Effects) and not SFX. What is missing in India in this field are experienced operators and visualizers. Over the past few years I had been keen to assimilate the right bouquet of creative people. I am happy with the VFX boutique we have and I think they should be successful.

The same team had created effects for Main Hoon Na and Paheli which were little low end. But now I am going to give every film such an offer and visually explain to them what we have to offer.

While theVFX cater to onlymovies starring Shah Rukh Khan or only those produced by him?
Till date they have worked on my films only because I want to instill some confidence in the market. I want show that if I can take a chance with VFX in my films, then even others can go ahead and use it. The quality of my films is not generally bad.

But we started our first outside film with Don. We have signed two more films now which will not star me. Om Shanti Om, my next home production will use this VFX too. We are developing it and hopefully expanding it and taking more work of quality.

This is not just business for me, it a creative department. We will not just merely talk money. It will also be about the effects needed to be created. When we get more films and more business we will expand further.

SRk sells so many brands
Tag Heuer is launching a signature edition of Monaco 69. It is priced at Rs 3 lakhs and will be launched in October this year. It is a dual watch. On one side you have a nice sporty look with a digital clock and if you turn the dial around you can have a nice formal watch to go with suits.

(Demonstrates the watch on his hand and continues) This is actually a limited edition watch, so the next time you shake hands with someone chances are very rare that the opposite person will have the same watch too. (Laughs)

Will this watch be used in any of your films?
Yes in fact it will appear in Don. It’s a kind of film which lends itself to original style, hipness and strength and the Tag Heuer watch fits in perfectly.

Tag Heuer had also designed a watch for my earlier production Main Hoon Na. When I sign a film and the look of the character is decided and if he needs to wear a watch, then Tag Heuer will definitely design that watch for me.

You have a strong opinion on the Pepsi-pesticide controversy.
Yes. There are more pesticides in the mother’s milk and the water that we drink. Now in some part of the country some people have decided that the quality of Pepsi is not good enough so if it is not, then a central agency would take a stand and say don’t sell it. If they don’t sell it here then who am I advertising for? Who am I being a brand ambassador for?These are hugely quality conscious companies over 100 years old.

What are you trying to do in this regard?
People who break hoardings are not the ones who are going to decide; similarly the guy who goes up on the hoarding is not going to decide. I am not selling it to the people. I am just making them aware of it. If a decision has to be taken, it does have to be taken by me. We may look the face of the company at this point of time because we are endorsing it, but we come at the last end of employment. The central agencies have to take the decision. I’m sure they had given a directive to the cola companies when they entered our country. Now if a decision is taken negatively towards it, then who are we to go question it? In fact, if it is dangerous then I would not want anybody to drink it. But let me tell you that I drink Pepsi and if they ban it here I will go to America and drink it.

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Rohini Bhandari

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