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'I don't bother Salman too much'

By Rajul Hegde
Last updated on: December 30, 2015 18:08 IST
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Zarine Khan'While shooting Veer, I used to just sit and stare at Salman Khan. He must have found that very freaky and he used to ask, 'What?' And I would say, 'I can’t believe I am shooting with you, sitting and talking to you.'

Zarine Khan gives Salman love.

Apart from getting cash registers jingling, Salman Khan is known for launching new faces in the film industry.

One of the actors he's launched and mentored is Zarine Khan, his Veer heroine.

The film didn't do well at the box office but later Ms Khan teamed up with the superstar for an item number in Ready.

They haven't worked together since but Zarine still shares a friendly equation with Salman.

In this conversation with Rediff.com contributor Rajul Hegde, the Hate Story 3 actress recalls how Salman got her into acting.

What is Salman's best advice to you?

When I was doing Veer, he told me that I have a childlike innocence and that I shouldn't let anything take that away.

Which qualities about Salman do you like the most?

He is spontaneous; you never know what to expect out of him. 

What was it like working with Salman in Veer?

Veer was a dream debut with Salman. For the longest time, I thought I was dreaming.

I will always be a huge fan of Salman. When I got an opportunity to work with him, I couldn’t believe it.

It took a lot of time to believe that I was doing a film with someone whom I have appreciated for so many years. It was an unreal experience.

While shooting Veer, I used to just sit and stare at him. He must have found that very freaky and he used to ask, 'What?' And I would say, 'I can’t believe I am shooting with you, sitting and talking to you.'

What made him cast you in the film? Did he know you from before?

I did not know Salman from before. He was shooting for one of his films Yuvvraaj in Mumbai and I had gone with a couple of my friends to see the shooting. I got an opportunity to interact with him as a fan.

In the middle of the conversation, Salman asked me if I have my pictures. I started randomly showing my pictures on my phone.

But he was asking for my portfolio pictures, and I said I didn't have that.

That very moment he called a photographer named Munn S and designer Ashley Rebello. We did a photo shoot right there. By the end of the day, I got to know that he has chosen me for Veer.

Salman Khan and Zarine

Image: Salman Khan and Zarine Khan in Veer

Are you close to his family as well?

Whoever is close to Salman automatically becomes close to his family. He makes you a part of his family.

You often accompany Salman to screenings and parties. What's your rapport with him like?

Whenever I get an invitation by him or the Khan family, I make sure to go because they are important to me. I feel very happy that I have been remembered. He's a very busy person, so I don’t bother him too much.

Did you speak to him after the hit-and-run court verdict was out?

Actually, I had no idea it was the verdict day. I got to know after people starting calling for reactions. That's the best birthday gift he could get. He has been struggling with the case for so many years; finally, there is a sense of freedom. I don’t think there can be a better gift than this. 

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Rajul Hegde / Rediff.com in Mumbai