Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai
Actor Salman Khan is riding high after the success of Ready. The critics may have panned the movie, but that doesn't seem to bother him.
In a brief conversation with Sonil Dedhia, the actor speaks about the movie, its critics and his production house.
Are we celebrating a new festival in the name of 'Salman Khan' because every time your movie releases it is like a festive season?
Nahi yaar aisa kuch nah hai (No, it is nothing like that). There was a lot of cricket going on and no films were being released. This is the first film to be released after the Indian Premier League so people were hungry and starved for films. The movie has come at the right time and I am glad that people have appreciated the film.
Some critics have slammed the film.
All over India and across the globe people have appreciated the film and liked it. The film has not gone down well with a handful of critics. Does this mean that my fans and audiences are stupid and this handful of people is sane who have given 0 or 1 star rating to the film?
'It is always good if a movie gets good returns'
There are comparisons with your previous releases Dabangg and Wanted.
Every time a movie works, the expectations always increase. The hype is always bigger. From music, to acting, to dancing, people always have bigger expectations. I have to go one notch above my previous performance so that I can keep my fans happy. How long can I do that is a big question.
So how long do you think you can do it?
Pata nahi (don't know). Till the time I can do it I will do it (winks).
At this point in your career, does the box office collection matter to you?
It is always good if a movie gets good returns. The more the better. What it means is that the audience likes the movie and they are going to the theatres.When so many people go and watch the film, it clearly means that it is a good movie. The intention is always to make a good movie and entertain the people and when you get a positive response, you feel good about it.
'My fans are the real critic for me'
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
What is the best compliment that you have got so far for the movie?
The critics are slamming the film and the junta loves the film.
So are you saying that the common man is the real critic for you?
Obviously. My fans go and see the film and they give their verdict and give their opinion. They are the real critics for me. My audiences start word-of-mouth publicity and this is the real report of the film. Agar unko Ready pasand nahi ayi toh phir they will go and watch a Kung Fu Panda or The Hangover.
I spoke to some people after they saw Ready, and they weren't very happy, saying it was not as good as Dabangg or Wanted.
It's a different kind of film. No matter how we publicise the film as not a Dabanng or Wanted, people still look for the same genre because it has action and some witty dialogues. But it is completely different from all my other films.
Dabangg and Wanted have become so big that people are still thinking only of them.
'I may do a guest appearance in my production house film'
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
What made you get into production with Chillar Party?
This is a film that I have done with UTV. I love the script and I just love the performance by all the kids in the film. It is one of the better films and the sweetest film that I have seen.
My production company is called Salman Khan Being Human so I needed a film that was a typical hero film. I wanted a film that was ethically and morally correct but didn't preach.
Will we ever see you working in a film produced by your production house?
As of now I have not decided anything. Later on I may do a guest appearance in my production house film.
Your friends and contemporaries like Sanjay Dutt and Aamir Khan got into production long ago. What took you so long?
This is not my production house. My production house is also Arbaaz's production house or Sohail's production house. We all stay together so we don't have anything separate. This is completely Being Human.
People want to give charity but they don't know if it will reach in the right hands and they don't get anything in return. Out here, the audience will buy the ticket, watch a film, enjoy themselves and be a part of the charity.
Can we look forward for more films from your banner?
Yes, I want to produce more films. When I get good scripts and good films like Chillar Party I will definitely produce them.
'I would not like to grow up'
The movie (Chillar Party) is about children; what according to you is the best part of being a child?
The best part of being a child is that you have the right not to grow up.
Will we ever see Salman Khan growing up?
Nahi yaar. I would not like to grow up.
Apart from your films which film are you looking forward to watch?
The trailer of Double Dhamaal is very funny. I loved it. I am also looking forward for Singham and Delhi Belly.
What do you have to say about Baba Ramdev's protest against corruption?
I have one Baba at home. The industry has Sanju Baba (Sanjay Dutt) and then there is Sai Baba (Laughs). The law is the same for everyone and we all have to respect it.