Subhash Ghai launched his mega directorial venture Yuvraaj starring Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Zayed Khan, Katrina Kaif and Boman Irani. A song choreographed by Shiamak Davar was picturised on Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. AR Rahaman has composed the music of the film, Gulzar has penned the lyrics. “A marathon 21 day schedule is going to take place in Western Europe next week,” says Subhash Ghai. Well looks like Salman and Katrina will have each other for company. We don’t think they are going to complain about this outdoor schedule.
Salman Khan‘s penchant for a fit body is no secret. He visited the gym after he came back from Jodhpur. Incidentally, when he saw Upen Patel there, he was surprised to see the latter working out without his wrist bands. Salman immediately called his man Friday and asked him to get wrist bands for Upen. After that, Salman monitored Upen’s exercise routine. He also gave him many vital tips on how exactly he should exercise to get better results. Alifia Shah, owner of the gym said, “Yes, I’m aware that Salman was there at the gym and Upen also came in later on. They both hugged each other and were chatting. Salman takes his exercise very seriously. Wrist bands are very good while doing weights, that’s what Salman must have told Upen about.”
Do you guys know what Salman Khan‘s favourite past-time is at midnight when the world goes to sleep? Well, it might sound weird, but he likes to roam around the city in an auto rickshaw. Yes, that’s what he does in the middle of the night! In fact, he does it so often that most auto drivers in his locality are aware about his late night outings. Confirms Willard Carroll the director of Marigold, “Salman Khan actually taught me how to ride rickshaws in Mumbai, and I must admit I have become addicted to it.” In fact, during the shooting of Marigold in Film City, they would have auto races where Willard would be in one team with Nandana Sen and Salman and Ali Larter in another team. Of course Salman would eventually win the race. “But that’s because he knows the roads well while I’m new. He is quite a pro at it and takes advantage of it,” laughs Williard. Ali Larter says, “Salman is cool about driving autos. It was fun taking the ride with Salman, encouraging him during the race. I loved winning the race with Salman on the driver’s seat and Willard always had to treat us to dinner every time we won the race.” Salman as rickshaw driver, any takers?
While he is Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem (his character was called Prem in Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun and Hum Saath Saath Hain), he is also Willard Carol’s Prem. Salman Khan‘s name in the soon-to-be-released film Marigold is Prem. So when we asked him if he considers the name to be lucky, he laughed and said, “Actually my character is very close to the one I played in Maine Pyaar Kiya. It has the same innocence and vulnerability. Now, I play the same guy after 17 years.” Director Willard Carroll thought that the name Prem suited Salman best. Some ‘prem’ kahaani this.
Salman Khan might be the toast of the season (he always is), but he still needs loads of luck to keep him free from all the supposedly evil forces. And that’s why he doesn’t leave his house without his lucky mascot.., his sliver bracelet, which was gifted by his uncle. And we hear whenever there is any problem in the bracelet, he doesn’t give it to any local jewellery shops, but it goes straight to his uncle who repairs it and sends it back. Hmm, we wonder what he wears till then.
It was not quite easy for director Willard Carroll to shoot his dream film ‘Marigold’ in India. During the pre-production days of ‘Marigold’, the film’s production unit would often scare him saying Salman Khan would not come to the shoot for the first schedule as they were shooting in Khimsar the same village near Jodhpur where he had allegedly killed a black buck.
Although, Salman had promised Willard that he would be there, Willard got nervous. His worries only increased when he heard that Salman had missed his flight to Jodhpur and that there were no flights for next two days. Willard recalls, “I was caught in a dilemma I didn’t know how to handle. What was worst was that Salman’s personal cell was not reachable. I was nervous because we were to start shooing the very next morning. Men tally I decided to start shoot with Ali Larter.”
However, it turned out that Salman had indeed missed his flight and yet managed to reach Khimsar before time. Salman says, “I had genuinely missed the flight because of traffic. But I didn’t want to miss the first day of shoot either.” So, when he realised that there were no flights available that day for Jodhpur, he flew to Delhi and drove down to Jodhpur to reach Khimsar at 7 in the morning ready for his make-up.
Willard adds, “Everyone in the unit was stunned to see Salman at 7 when the call time was 10.
Salman was naturally tired. I requested him to rest and suggested that we start shooting the next day. But he kept his promise and shot. Everything went on smoothly and the unit completed the schedule one day before time despite there being tensions about the location.”
“Salman and I shared a wonderful camaraderie from day one. He has been frank with me. If he didn’t want to do something he would upfront about it and hon est,” Willard adds about Salman.
Guests are supposed to be treated like Gods, at least that’s what our Indian values teach us. And actor Salman Khan enjoyed doing just that to Marigold director Willard Carroll and Ali Larter. Willard was quite well-acquainted with India, what with this being his sixteenth trip to the country, but it was a first for Ali. And guess who showed her around? Sallu, of course! He was her tourist guide in the film and off screen as well, we are told. From the beaches of Goa and Mumbai’s Elephanta Caves to the palaces of Rajasthan, the experience, she claimed, was beautiful. About the place she loved most, Ali says, “It has to be Rajasthan.”
There’s a new Salman Khan in town. A more atpeace avatar of the bad boy of Bollywood. At 42, and with rumours of marriage fast threatening to erode his eligible bachelor image, he is still ruggedly handsome. Perhaps even more than before, despite (or is it because of) the silver earrings on both ears now. If anything, age has only given him a softer, more mellow look.
“I am fortunate,” Salman said, shrugging off all praises about the way he looks. “I have done nothing in this regard. In fact, I have done things that have damaged the way I look and feel.” Like the earrings? Salman gives his famous scowl, ” Arre, I am a Pathan, and I have to look like one. My grandfather, father and uncles wear earrings. I had my ears pierced when I was baby.”
He is truly back in the saddle these days, and in action -doing art exhibitions, attending film premieres, going for parties. His Hollywood debut Marigold is ready for release, finally. “Hollywood movies function differently,” he said irritably when questioned about the delay. ” Aise nahin ki print bann rahe hai aur aap date set kar rahe ho. It takes about eight months of post production work, then another six-seven months to plan and work on the marketing strategy and all that. So by their standards, it’s not a delay. That’s the way they work.” He is open to more Hollywood offers, provided they don’t make him look like an idiot! “I have a certain sense of contentment today,” he explained mysteriously.
And his new film with Govinda is releasing this Friday too. Salman’s face lights up when he talks about the maverick actor-politician who is making a comeback to Bollywood with this film. “I never wanted to work with Govinda simply because he destroys you on screen. Look at the past comedies. Except for Sanjay Dutt, he has wiped out every actor he has worked with, including Amitji in Bade Miyaan, Chote Miyaan,” Salman said. “But Govinda is a secure actor, by far the best we have, he excels in every department. To be on par with him, a co-star has to constantly work on himself, like I did.”
If Govinda inspired Salman to go in for comedy, he is also inspired by the legendary macho star from the South, the evergreen Rajnikanth. Salman claims to be inspired by Rajnikanth’s philantrophy. “I want to do what he is doing. Whatever he earns, he is giving back to the people,” said Salman. Thus inspired, he intends to raise funds for his Salman Khan Foundation that goes to support a number of charitable causes through his own efforts because he dislikes depending on others for money. “Through my movies, my shows, my paintings, it’s basically going to be through my money. If anybody volunteers, I will accept donations, but I certainly am not going looking out for funds,” he said with conviction. He talked about marriage. Or, rather, the rumours of him getting married on his birthday around Christmas, this year. “The day I get married, or decide to, I will let the world know,” he said in exasperation. “Of course, I intend to get married, but it will happen only when it’s destined to. And I will celebrate the occasion with my friends, family and well-wishers. I won’t hide my marriage because I need people’s blessings and good wishes always.”
For Salman, charity begins at home. And that’s why he has recently launched his Salman Khan Foundation. The idea to start his own charitable trust took off when SRK called him to appear in his show. And now, we hear the actor did another bit for his trust. In spite of being down with a cold and fever recently, he danced at the wedding of a Mumbai business magnate’s son. And giving him company were Akshay Kumar, Shahid Kapur, Priyanka and Lara, who charged astronomical amounts of money to dance at the wedding. But, unlike the rest of the stars, Salman apparently didn’t charge a penny. And guess what the reason for this was? The business tycoon, it seems, had bought some of Salman’s paintings at a very high price. And the money was deposited with his foundation. So, when it came to doing his bit, Salman was more than happy to oblige the tycoon. Now, what do we call him – a good boy or a bad boy?