Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai
“Every common man has the right to be uncommon and should stand up for his rights,” proclaims Salman Khan, at a press interaction to promote his upcoming film Jai Ho.
Khan will be playing a common man in the film.
Jai Ho is directed by his brother Sohail Khan, and co-stars newcomers Daisy Shah and Sana Khan.
Khan isn’t the sort to mince words and speaks his heart out.
He denies that his films are mindless masala entertainers and instead claims that they have always have a story and an emotional hook in it.
He also states that he doesn’t care if Jai Ho doesn’t break box office records.
Sonil Dedhia listens in, as Khan talks about the kind of films he wants to make.
You are 48. Is it difficult doing the action sequences?
There’s a lot of physical action in my films. I am still doing it despite the doctors advising me not to do so. I do it for my fans and the audience that comes to watch my films.
These people are paying to watch me and aren’t concerned if I have a nerve problem or personal issues. They are paying for the film.
The stunts that we do in films today are very dangerous. We are hanging in mid-air with the support of cables. During Bodyguard, the cable snapped and I fell from 20 feet on a car.
In Jai Ho, a car bangs into me and I roll over on the car and hit the windscreen and it cracks.
I controlled myself, but had I gone in a little faster, I would have gone through the windscreen, and ended up having 70-80 stitches.
'My films are with motive, drive and huge emotional content'
You have the reputation of acting in the same ‘over the top’ action films. Don’t you want to experiment with your roles?
As a child, I watched this type of film, standing on chairs, and whistling for the heroes I liked.
Today, I am in a position to do what my heroes did and entertain my fans. You can call it bakwaas (crappy) cinema, or whatever you feel like, but that is the kind of cinema I want to do because that is the kind of cinema I have seen.
The movie should be such that if the hero falls down, the audience should feel the urge to yell, “Get up!” You come out of the theatre and you want to feel like that hero and be that hero.
You mentioned in an interview that such films are becoming repetitive and some day will die out. So how different is Jai Ho?
My films Wanted, Dabangg, Bodyguard are considered action films, but they are not. They are films with motive, drive and huge emotional content.
There’s a story to it; it’s not random, frivolous action. That format worked well with Wanted, Singham and Dabangg.
But now it’s like watching Hum Saath Saath Hain after Hum Aapke Hain Koun. If the former had released first, it would have been a bigger hit. It wasn’t because people had already seen that kind of family film.
In movies that are being made now, the heroes are doing very little while the fighters are doing a lot.
But in my films, the hero is doing everything. He is climbing up, jumping off, fighting, falling down and it’s a huge challenge to do these action sequences.
'I don't think I can bulldoze logic with my films'
Aamir Khan said in an interview that he cannot pull off a film on his own, unlike you…
But he has done now (smiles).
But he feels that you can bulldoze any logic with your films.
No, I don’t think so. Aamir does different kinds of cinema.
The movies that I do are high on emotional quotient.
In Wanted, a father had a son who is an undercover cop. The whole film changes from there.
In Dabangg, the main protagonist takes revenge for his mother’s death.
'I don't care if Jai Ho doesn't make Rs 200 or 300 crore'
Actors today are obsessed with box office numbers. What are your expectations with this film?
I don’t care if Jai Ho doesn’t make Rs 200 or 300 crore.
All I care about is that the producer, the distributors and exhibitors should not lose money.
As long as my films run and make decent money, I am happy.
I don’t want to be a part of this numbers game. I am there (in that bracket) but it’s not like I want to break any box office records. I want to make a good film that I would like to watch.
All film stars say they don’t believe in the number game…
But I actually mean it. I want to get the price of tickets down to Rs 150-200. Unfortunately, that is not in my hands.
Tickets cost Rs 400-450. We wanted to get it down because we don’t want to be a part of the numbers game.
I just don’t want my films to flop because that means my thinking is going wrong and that would be bad.
I am enjoying promoting Jai Ho because I actually like the film.
'Daisy is in the film is because she is a beautiful looking girl'
Why did you decide to cast a newcomer, Daisy Shah, opposite you in the film?
Jai Ho didn’t require a big star. It needed a girl next door and Daisy was perfect for the role.
Daisy used to be a junior artiste, who graduated to background dancer and later became an assistant choreographer. She has acted in some films down South.
The reason she is in the film is because she is a beautiful looking girl who is ready to work hard.
'People like Ajaz Khan and Santosh Shukla deserve to be in the film industry'
You’ve been a godfather to a lot of new talent. It is said you are promoting Elli Avram…
Yes, obviously. There’s no Godfather scene here. If you like somebody you want to work with that person.
People like J K Bihari and Sooraj Barjatya gave me a break in the film industry, so what’s wrong if I give a break to others?
If you find that somebody is good and has the talent to face the camera and you have faith to launch that person, then why not?
Take the example of Santosh Shukla (a contestant in Bigg Boss 6). He is a true admirer and follower of Shatrughan Sinha, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff. He is very passionate about my films and we decided to cast him in Jai Ho.
We need such people who love the industry and not people who come to the industry as the last option.
(Bigg Boss 7 contestant) Ajaz Khan also deserves to be in the film industry.
'I am not committed about anything'
You do good things, so why are you depicted as the bad boy?
I am a great guy! (laughs)
Is it because of your bluntness?
I say what I have to say. But people don’t expect that.
Actress Trisha Krishnan recently said on television that she would like to marry you.
I am not interested in getting married or having a girlfriend because I love my single status. The last 30 years I have been with someone or the other. But now I can do whatever I want.
You don’t have to lie to anyone, or give explanations.
Are you scared of commitment?
I committed when I had to, now I am not committed about anything.
'We are working on a television show which talk about social causes'
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
You are doing a cameo in a Marathi film.
Yes, in Riteish’s (Deshmukh) Marathi production Lai Bhaari.
I am also producing a remake of a Marathi film Shikshanacha Aaicha Gho, directed by Mahesh Manjrekar. The film is tentatively titled God Only Knows.
We were planning to cast Govinda in the film but he refused. I have been after him for the last three years, but somehow he isn’t interested.
You are known to be a philanthropist. Would you come up with a show like Satyamave Jayate?
We are working on something that is different. It is not along the lines of Satyamev Jayate but it will talk about social causes.
We will have a lot more entertainment in it.
The show that I will be hosting will change a lot of things.