Salman: My father thinks my best is yet to come
Salman Khan is a phenomenon. He always was. There's no genre he hasn't attempted, he has an incredible fan following and he delivered some of the highest grossing films in the past couple of years.
Quite interestingly though, the star's father -- noted scriptwriter Salim Khan -- is of the opinion that his best is yet to come
In an exclusive interview with Sonil Dedhia, Salman raves about his film Bodyguard, shrugs off his disastrous previous pairing with Bodyguard co-star Kareena Kapoor, and clears the rumours about the Sanjay Dutt spat.
Your father Salim Khan has said that your best is yet to come.
If he says so, then I guess my best is yet to come.
After three blockbusters (Wanted, Dabangg and Ready), do you feel you have what it takes to deliver a blockbuster?
The audience has to love my work for a film to be a hit. It is they who declare the film a hit or a flop. We make films so that people get entertained. Cinema is the biggest form of entertainment in India and I am just giving what my fans and the audience wants.
Did the success of Wanted and Dabangg prompt you to release Bodyguard on Eid?
Bodyguard was ready and the best date to release was Eid. It's all about releasing a film on a good day or during the festive season when people are happy and want to go out with their family and friends and want to enjoy.
Image: Salman Khan
'Bodyguard is far superior to any of my other films'
Have you seen the original version of the film?
I haven't seen the Malayalam version. If I had, then somewhere some character in the movie would have influenced me. I wanted to keep it completely original and wanted my own take on the script. For me, the original version doesn't exist.
Did you change the script?
Yes, we have made a lot of changes in the script. We wanted to make the film on a very large scale. We have added more gloss. The songs are fantastic. Everyone has worked really hard on the film.
I feel the making of the film was so beautiful that the film has turned out to be amazing. This is the most beautiful film that I have done. I have done this film straight from my heart.
The film has shades of Wanted and Dabangg.
Bodyguard is far superior to any of my other films. The concept of the film is such that audiences will not have come across it before. We have taken the film to the next level.
The action is a notch higher than any action sequences that I have done till now. The best thing about this film is that the action is backed by a wonderful script.
Image: Salim and Salman Khan
'I would love to be a Prem or a Chulbul Pandey in real life'
Siddique is directing his first Hindi film. What do you think of him?
He is a great guy. He is very peaceful and calm on the sets. We had to make the film much bigger than what he had done down south, and he has brought in a lot of changes in the characterisation. It was difficult for him to make these changes, but when you see the film, you will realise that he has done an excellent job.
He knows exactly what he wants. He is one of the most talented directors in South Indian cinema. It was fun working with him and we shared a remarkable level of comfort.
Did you pick up any mannerisms from your actual bodyguard Shera?
I did not pick any mannerisms of Shera but I borrowed three qualities from him -- sincerity, honesty and he has a fearless kaleja (heart). These are the three qualities that you need to be a bodyguard.
The characters that you play are always larger than life. Do you make a conscious effort to do that?
Yes, that's because these are characters that I would love to be in real life. I would love to be a Prem or a Chulbul Pandey. My fans also love me in these roles and, ultimately, that's what I want.
Image: Salman Khan
'I always feel a little weird to work with Kareena'
Your last two films with Kareena Kapoor (Kyon Ki and Main Aur Mrs Khanna) were disasters.
I had a great experience working with Kareena. I always feel a little weird to work with her because I have seen her growing up in front of me. Karisma Kapoor and I have done some films in the past and at that time Kareena was very small.
I always see her as Karisma's younger sister, so while shooting I just have to forget the fact that she is Karisma's sister. Kyon Ki and Main Aur Mrs Khanna didn't work, but the past is the past.
Your songs are very popular with everyone. It's said that you have composed a song in Bodyguard.
It's all rubbish. I can't compose a song. I can give a reference, but that's it. I have just sung one line in the song, so that doesn't qualify to give me credit as a singer. They have put my name on the music CD just for the sake of putting it. I think it's a PR exercise and it's stupid. Himesh Reshammiya and Pritam have both done a fantastic job.
Have you patched up with Himesh?
When did I break up with Himesh? It was just that he was busy with his movies. Now he is not busy with that any more.
Image: Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor
'I love Sanjay Dutt to death'
You had approached Sanjay Dutt to play your father in the film?
I was misunderstood. I asked Sanju to play the role of father when the character I portray was a kid.
So, is all well between Sanjay Dutt and you?
Sanju is like my elder brother. The way we talk with each other is completely different from the others, and people have mistaken that as a fight. I don't know who is spreading these rumours, but whoever they are, I can only say that they are idiots. I don't have any respect for these people. The very next day we were hosts for the promos of Bigg Boss, which Sanju and I are going to host together. I love him to death.
What is happening with Dabangg 2?
We have finalised and locked the script of the sequel. Arbaaz Khan has written it. People loved the character of Chulbul Pandey, so it is easier to take it ahead. You will see Chulbul moving to a bigger city.
Image: Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan