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Salman: If Dabangg 2 fails, Arbaaz is doomed

Last updated on: December 17, 2012 19:09 IST

Salman: If Dabangg 2 fails, Arbaaz is doomed

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Patcy N in Mumbai
Unlike Bollywood's other stars, Salman Khan is an extremely moody person.
 
Patcy N managed to chat with him on two occasions, and caught him in totally different moods. The first time was obviously an off day for him, and he made the interview challenging with his quirky answers.
 
But on the second occasion, he was cheerful, and spoke at length about his new film Dabangg 2, coming up on December 21.
 
Here are excerpts from the conversations.
 
How different is Dabangg 2 from the first instalment?
 
Dabangg 2 is a lot bigger than the first one. The setting has gone from small town to a bigger town, Kanpur. The emotional turmoil my character was going through in the first one is not there in the second one now that he has a family.
 
Of late, we have seen you in larger than life characters in Dabangg, Wanted, Ek Tha Tiger. When we will see you in characters like Prem in Maine Pyaar Kiya or...
 
I think Maine Pyaar Kiya was the most larger-than-life character that I have done, because what I am today is because of Maine Pyaar Kiya. 

I don't think that only action is larger than life. Emotion, romance and drama can be larger than life. After so many years in the industry, anything you do will be larger than life.

Image: Salman Khan in Dabangg 2


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'Till the time I deliver good films, people will come to the theatres to watch me'

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What keeps you so grounded?
 
How do you know I am grounded?
 
I don't get influenced by the characters I play. I give them my best like Chulbul Pandey (Dabangg), Radhey Mohan (Tere Naam) or Tiger (Ek Tha Tiger), but I don't believe that I am Chulbul, Tiger or Radhey. 

If you think you are these characters, then you have clearly lost the plot.
 
You have given hit after hit...
 
I have just been lucky.
 
Do you get sleepless nights still...
 
Why should I get sleepless nights?
 
...Thinking about whether your next film will be a hit or not?
 
The person who is giving flop after flop, he should get sleepless nights. Why should a person who is giving hit after hit worry that the next film will be a hit or not? 

I live in the present. There was a time when I was also giving flop after flop. I slept then, I sleep now. 

People who watch my films get sleepless nights. If I give a hit, they will not be able to sleep as they will be thinking of the film, and if I give a flop, they will be sad and sleepless.

Image: Salman Khan in Dabangg


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'I am doing a sequel for the first time'

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You are a phenomenon now. This was not the case five years ago.  What changed it all?
 
That was always the case... Picture chale na chale tum log (the media) toh kush ho na, aap logon ko aap ka material mil he jata hai (even if the picture doesn't do well, the media gets its material).
 
How did Arbaaz step in as director?
 
When Abhinav Kashyap refused to direct the sequel, Arbaaz, who was producing the film and was involved in it completely, stepped in as director. He has produced and acted in the film too.
 
Is there pressure because you are doing a sequel?
 
There is a lot of pressure. I am doing a sequel for the first time. After this, I will be doing No Entry's sequel too.
 
Looking at Arbaaz, I feel that the pressure is too much -- he has turned into a pressure cooker.
 
As a producer he proved that he is the best but as a director he has to still prove himself. Dabangg 2's destiny will decide Arbaaz's destiny. 

If the film gets a bumper opening and is appreciated then Arbaaz's career will do well. If it fails, Arbaaz is doomed.

Image: Malaika Arora Khan, Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg 2


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'It is true that my fan following is growing'

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Nowadays you are spotted wearing 'Being Dabangg' T-shirts....

These are Being Human T-shirts that have 'Being Dabangg' written on them. They are sold at all the outlets. It is a tie-up and the Dabangg T-shirt money goes to Being Human.

Your films do Rs 100 crore. Do you think Dabangg 2 will cross Rs 300 crore?

First, let us cross Rs 200 crore. It is difficult to get to even Rs 100 crore at times.

It is true that my fan following is growing and the number of theatres have increased and that's why the business has grown.

But let me tell you that in our life time, we will see films do business of Rs 300 and Rs 500 crore.

Do you feel the pressure and responsibility because of this Rs 100 crore mark?

My responsibility is just from signing the film to the release, and what the film is about and who is in the film. After that, nobody is responsible. Once we have put in hard work and money in the film our job is over. Nobody starts making a film to create a flop.

Image: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg 2

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'Arbaaz has been assistant director, so it is not like a new guy is directing a film'

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Arbaaz will debut with this film. How was it being directed by your brother?

Arbaaz has been in the industry for long and it doesn't look like he is directing for the first time. He has been assistant director, so it is not like a new guy is directing a film.

We are very close so there is a comfort zone. We help each other out. I think he is a fantastic story teller. Arbaaz is a sensible guy.

He is actor, director, and producer how difficult was it for him?

It is difficult, but there was a nice atmosphere. The script had come out well, and it was our home production so it was easy. 

He has also done the Makhanchand role very well.

Is he a better actor or director?

He is a better director.

Image: Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg 2


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'Once you are married, romance is out of the window'

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How much change have you seen in Sonakshi Sinha since her debut film Dabangg and now?

It has just been a year since the first Dabangg. There is no difference in her. I started working with her again even before a year was over. 

When she came into the film industry, she was talented. All she had to do was lose weight and that she did before joining the film.

In Dabangg, we see married romance; we don't see that anymore in films.

You can't see that in any house either. Once you are married, romance is out of the window. Very few married couples have romance in their life.

Sequels often have no connection with the earlier films, but in Dabangg 2 you are taking the story forward. Are you depending more on the original?

Chulbul Pandey is nothing without Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha) or Prajapati Pandey (Vinod Khanna) or Makhanchand Pandey (Arbaaz Khan), Tiwariji and Chaubeyji (two policemen who work with him), so all these people were necessary in the sequel.

In the sequel, Chulbul Pandey goes from a small place, Lalganj, to a bigger place, Kanpur, so with a bigger city everything is bigger in the film.

Image: Salman Khan in Dabangg 2


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'Dabangg 3 will be a prequel to Dabangg'

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Will there be another part to this film?
 
Yes, we are already planning it. It is a prequel to the first Dabangg and we will go back and see how Chulbul Pandey became Chulbul Pandey. 

Sonakshi will be there in Dabangg 3 as well. But we will make it only if part two is a hit.

Which was more difficult, Dabangg or Dabangg 2?

The second part, because during the second we tended to get carried away. For example, in the first part there was a kind of laughter that worked; in part two, I was doing that too often. 

Another example: In part one, Chulbul Pandey was a very serious character but the way he said one or two dialogues made it a comedy just by chance. But it looked good in the film. In part two, we were deliberately doing comedy when we shouldn't so it was very difficult to control these things. 

The character has to be larger than life, it cannot be a caricature. It cannot be different, but it has to grow too.

The only sequels that are good are Rocky and now Expendables -- they are outstanding.

In India, there is the Munnabhai series but they change characters; they don't take the character forward (other than Munna and Circuit).

Why did you take Prakash Raj in the film?

We needed a bigger villain this time and I had worked with Prakash Raj in Wanted.

Image: Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha in Dabangg 2


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'I love not working'

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After every film, you are called the name of the character that you play, whether it is Chulbul Pandey or Tiger. So how similar are you to these characters?
 
There is a huge amount of contribution of Salman in playing these characters as these are the things that Salman can't do, even if Salman wants to do them. 

At some point of time perhaps he would do so, but he would only get into trouble. That's the reason he makes Chulbul or Tiger do it.
 
You have done all kinds of roles. Which do you enjoy doing the most?
 
I love not working. Especially the kind of work that I am doing right now, it requires lots of hard work.
 
In Maine Pyaar Kiya, I was very raw and that was a different kind of film. But at 47-48, I am required to do 10 times better work that I had done when I was 22-23. 

The better and younger you look the harder you have to work, the higher you have to jump and kick. If you can't do all this you can't romance. So till the time you are doing action roles you can do romantic roles. The day you can't do action you will not get romantic roles.
 
When will we you see you playing Prem again?
 
Very soon I will be working with Sooraj Bharjatya.
 
You said you will be taking a break from action films...
 
The reason I started doing action films was because I wanted to be fit. I was doing lots of love stories and was sleeping and wasn't doing any hard work. So I thought from now on I will do only action films, but action with emotion.
 
You don't like anyone calling you bhai?
 
I have two brothers calling me bhai; their friends call me bhai, now everybody calls me bhai. I don't like it. 

Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) calls me bhaiji. It depends who is calling me bhai.

Image: Salman Khan in Dabangg 2


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'I may just be in a Mumbai court on my birthday'

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Tell us the art of delivering a Rs 100 crore film.
 
It is actually the art of putting my foot down. I was not happy with Veer. When they showed me the film, I cut it to one hour 55 minutes, but eventually they released the film at two hours 38 minutes. They shouldn't have done that. I thought the film at 1:55 was a rocking film.

I was very upset. I told them if they wanted it longer we should have shot for 18 more days so there would be more high points. When I asked Anil Sharma, he said long films work and gave me the example of Gaddar.
 
I wanted to make a fun period film because all the period films in the past were serious. If they drank so much and had 300 wives could they be boring characters? They must be very interesting and mischievous, so I wanted a period film with fun in it.
 
What are you doing on your birthday?
 
I'm not doing anything on December 27. And for all you know, this year on my birthday, I may just be in a Mumbai court. 

I think they have asked me to come on the 27th, but if the lawyers say I don't need to go, then I won't. If the lawyers say I have to, then I definitely will.

Image: Salman Khan in Veer


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'I want to move out of Galaxy Apartments'

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Critics say Salman Khan can get away with anything.
 
It is not true. When I put my foot down and make it clear, and I hope I am not taking advantage of my stardom, that's a big guilt.
 
You still live a simple life in a small flat in Galaxy Apartments.
 
I want to move out. I have stayed there for as long as I could. Now I may stay there only for another year. 

We have a property and we are constructing on it and that's where I will move. 

I have been living here since childhood, and I'm used to everything about it. But it's getting increasingly uncomfortable here, with no place for my shoes and clothes.

Image: Salman Khan in Dabangg 2

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