Shah Rukh: Always wanted to play a superhero
After a three-hour wait, Shah Rukh Khan arrived in style to launch the music of his new film Ra.One, in Film City, Goregaon, a western suburb of Mumbai.
The superstar danced to Criminal, a song in Ra.One, and made quite a spectacular entry as he jumped from a suspended car.
SRK has dedicated the album to the late film-maker Yash Johar and to Bobby Chawla, the CEO of his company Red Chillies Entertainment and actress Juhi Chawla's brother, who has been in hospital and critically ill for the last couple of months.
"When we started our company Red Chillies Entertainment, one person helped me start it and gave me a lot of love, Yash Johar. I want to dedicate this album to him. And also to Bobby, who is so close to me and who can't be here today."
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'I felt i was too old to play a superhero'
Karan Johar, who launched the music, told reporters, "It's true, there is one person in this industry who just loved and adored Shah Rukh Khan -- my father Yash Johar. I think till his last days he had the best memories of SRK and wherever he is today in the universe, he is going to bless Ra.One with more love and success than anyone on this platform can imagine." Karan also mentioned that there isn't a movie on Indian celluloid that is superior to Ra.One.
Shah Rukh joked about the motivation of the film: "I have been working for 20 years and my kids thought I could do only romantic roles and could not do something macho, so it was important for me to do something like this."
Shah Rukh said he was inspired by all the superhero movies he saw, but was quick to add, "I don't want to compare my character or my movie with any one else's. All superhero films have the same basic plot. I always desired to do a superhero film but felt I was too old to play a superhero. I gave it a shot anyway and I am happy that we pulled it off."
Image: Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal
'We have a tribute for Rajni sir in our film'
He sidestepped questions on the visual effects being like Rajnikanth's Robot, by saying, "I would not like to claim and talk about any other person's film. I have immense respect for Rajni sir and we all love him. In fact, we have a tribute to him in our film."
Arjun Rampal, who plays Ra.One, the villain, in the movie, had his first media interaction. SRK has kept Arjun Rampal's look under wraps.
The film is slated for a Diwali release. The music is scored by Vishal-Shekhar. "This album is one of our best ever. It's complete, it's innovative and yet beautiful. It's grand in every respect, and thanks to Shah Rukh Khan, we have got the best collaborations, whether it is Akon or the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. We hope everyone who hears it will love this music as much as we do," said Shekhar.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor
'It turned out to be one of the costliest films ever made in Indian cinema'
Shekhar said it was easy to make the American Akon sing in Hindi. "When we briefed him about singing in Hindi, he looked very excited and it was a matter of three or four hours for him to croon Chammak Chalo."
Director Anubhav Sinha said that the germ of Ra.One came to him from a commercial that he was watching where he saw a robot controlled by two children.
He said, "The journey and the experience are still on. I had gone to narrate a very small story to Shah Rukh and it turned into one of the costliest films ever made in Indian cinema."
Anubhav soon found out just how costly during the shooting in London. "I asked the production head the budget of that particular day. When he told me the figure, I realised that it was equal to the complete budget of my first film!"
Image: Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan
'I have just been lucky to work in some good films and with some directors'
The movie has lots of special effects and VFX. Anubhav said the best special effects didn't happen at any studio, it happened at Mannat -- SRK's house. "He never interfered with the budget of the film and we didn't have to compromise on anything."
The best was kept for the last as Kareena Kapoor made a grand entry in her Chammak Challo avatar and sizzled with Shah Rukh to the feet-tapping number, not once, but twice.
"I have just been lucky to work in some good films and with some directors. I am really looking forward to the release of this film and hope it becomes a big hit," Kareena said.
The movie is dubbed in Tamil and Telugu and it will have a simultaneous release.
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor perform at music launch of Ra.One