making it big in the movies, Shahrukh Khan proved
to everyone that a small-time TV serial actor can
also have his say on the silver screen. Shahrukh Khan
started his acting career with serials like 'Fauji'
and 'Circus', and with his hard work and immense talent
has become a super star. He is a man full of energy
and passion; he is very dedicated and hard working
and puts in life into any role given to him. With
Ashoka doing excellent at the box office and winning
applauds for King Khan, now we all are awaiting the
release of Devdas. Meet the Numero Uno and get up,
close and personal with him.
What made you
choose a period film like Asoka as your first production?
I need to take such risks if I want to
evolve as an actor. Also, let me tell you that if
I have Asoka and Devdas, I also have a Kabhi Khushi
Kabhie Ghum. I have worked with directors who are
taking risks all the time. I admire Adi (Aditya Chopra),
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Mansoor Khan and Karan Johar
for their efforts. Josh had me not as the hero but
the heroine's brother. Everyone thought that the film
would flop but they were wrong. If all these guys
can take risks, why can't I?
How did you feel about choosing
the role of Asoka?
Frankly, it was every exciting. Everyone knows him
but so little is known about him. And that is what
intrigued me. That he was a monarch, a mighty warrior
and did some pretty mean things and turned ascetic
is known, but this role focuses on what he was as
a human being, and on the circumstances that could
have lad him to do what he did. It was a very interesting
experience going through the changes from a prince
to a commoner to a mean warrior to a saint. I loved
the concept the moment I went through the script.
Are you excited about playing
Yes, definitely. See I have never played a drunkard
before and so that's one of the things that excites
me about Devdas. I love to over-simplify matters.
Beyond that I know nothing about Devdas. I hardly
remember the old version. I haven't read the novel
by Saratchandra Chatterjee. But when I am into a role
that I have to portray I have to make it perfect.
So do you see Devdas as a very special film?
I think all my films are very special. It sounds like
a cliché, but to single any one film out is like playing
favourites among my children. All my films are special
to me because in put in my best into it.
you are known as a romantic rather than a psychotic
or an action hero. Does that make you happy?
Oh, how I miss not doing action films! I'm a child
at heart and enjoy fight sequences. I make up for
their absence by playing with my son. We play boxing,
play with guns. I pretend to be injured and fall down...
It's good fun! Initially, I couldn't do action films
because I had no muscles to display. Still I struggled
in Darr and Anjaam. It's funny but action is inherent,
a very personal thing. You don't need to manifest
it onto cars and stunts! You can physically show it.
You can also keep it inside you. Karan Arjun, Ram
Jane and Koyla showed that. My favourite, of course,
are the over-the-top action films. I enjoyed doing
them for the first 4-5 years, but since everyone else
was doing the same, I shifted to love stories. Now,
even if I want to do action films producers will not
let me because of Mohabbatein, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le
Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Dil To Pagal Hai. I
am still trying to mould myself into a perfect action
hero. I don't have the looks but I have the inclination.
And till these films came my way I will play a kiddie
kind of action hero (laughs).
Don't you think your career
is going into a new phase?
Every actor passes through four or five phases in
his career. I think I'm going through the second-and-a-half
or third phase of my career. The first phase was the
kind where everyone says, "My aunt saw you on television
and she said you'd make it big. We all knew it all
along." The second phase in my career was where everyone
including me accepted I was a star. I realised I had
been given a special position. That was about a year-and-half
ago, when I accepted I was a star who could do no
wrong. Then starts the questioning phase. The "Is
he a star?" routine. That's the phase I'm going through
What happens when you interact
with other celebrities?
I fall in love with them. Because they're so much
more real. I met Madonna while I was on my shows.
Face to face, she looks so much smaller, thinner and
more vulnerable. I just held her hand. I can be arrogant
and say it's not important to be photographed with
Madonna because where I come from 70 million people
want to click their photographs with me. When I did
a photo-shoot for Filmfare with Amitabh Bachchan,
I didn't even want the weight of my fingers to rest
on his shoulders. He seemed so vulnerable. Ditto when
I met Hema Malini, Sridevi, or Madhuri Dixit. To me,
it was like a Jurassic Park ride at some theme park.
So if someone comes to meet me, I want to give them
paisa vasool entertainment. But sometimes, it's nicer
not to meet the people that you don't love. Sometimes
they're like wet paint, touch them and they'll smudge.
What is acting to you?
Everything. Even if I were a corporate type, I'd be
an actor. If I was a major in the army and was dying
in a battlefield, my death would be as heroic as those
death scenes in the movies. I was born only to act.
You can take me out of the actor, but you can't take
the actor out of me. Five years into our marriage,
Gauri knew that I'd always be an actor. When I'm asleep
at night for four hours, I miss the actor in me. When
I'm taking a bath, you won't believe the acting I
So why is the yuppie hero
talking of going easy on his acting assignments?
When you're good at something, it's time to move on.
You have to spearhead new movements. That's why man
went on the moon. I want others to learn from my mistakes.
I want to spend some time alone and reassemble my
internal mechanism. I'm a little tired with the demands
made on my life. I need to rediscover the child in
me. The more I get in touch with people; I'm losing
my ability to be a child. I want to become childish
and silly again. To grow more, I need to stop growing.
What's the reality about something as make-believe
An actor has no shelf life, stardom does. Years ago,
when I was doing the TV serial Circus, the trapeze
artists told me, "Ho gaya to kartab, gir gaya to haadsa."
If you get it right you're king, if wrong you're dead.
Similarly, in acting too, sometimes there's no time
to struggle, no ifs, no time for recuperating. You
have to all the time move on. Hopefully away from
the sound of the applause, from the wah-wahs and the
awards. It'll be time to dig into my magic bag once