How goes it?
It’s been wonderful. I’ve just been with the kids, I haven’t gone out much. Except for the music release of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and the ICICI press conference. I’ve been playing soccer with the kids at the park. But for the past two days,my knee has been hurting, so I just sit and watch them play. I’ll be off to Paris soon to shoot for Don, Aryan and Suhana will join me there.
How has Don shaped up?
I’ve only seen the songs and a little bit on the video monitor while shooting. The aim is not to belittle or outdo the original. Farhan (Akhtar) is very clear about that. The challenge is to be as good as the original.
How important is KANK?
It’s very important. Even if I say so, it’s a very different film. Karan (Johar) has taken a bold step. Javed (Akhtar) sent me a message that it’s mind-blowing. Now it all depends on the audience. Both KANK and Don are big films, and both will do well inshallah.
Reportedly you and your camp boycotted the IIFA awards because Amitabh Bachchan is its brand ambassador?
It’s ridiculous to suggest that I would avoid any event because of Mr. Bachchan. To be honest, I’ve always avoided three-day-long ceremonies, except last year in Amsterdam. Earlier, I didn’t attend the IIFA show regularly. This time, a month ago I told them I wouldn’t be able to make it. Award ceremonies are far too commercialised now. I have a simple logic: if I’m not performing or if I’m not nominated, then I don’t attend.
Also, I was taking a 20-day holiday with my family.With the music release of KANK and the ICICI function, I had only 18 days to spend with them. I’m afraid spending time with my family is more important to me than attending IIFA. My kids are not going to be eight and six again. Karan had the music release of KANK there. As for Farah (Khan), she doesn’t attend such functions unless she’s winning an award.
At the IIFA stage show when Karan Johar asked who should be cast in the Indian remake of Brokeback Mountain, Anil Kapoor, replied, “Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar.”
I haven’t seen Brokeback Mountain yet…maybe Anil knows something that I don’t.
Why has Time Machine with Ram Gopal Varma been scrapped?
Ram Gopal Varma was supposed to bring the complete script to me by June 15. I was shooting for Don in Malaysia then.We were planning to start the shoot in August. It was an expensive film, requiring a lot of pre-production. I would have had to be a handson producer. I just don’t have that kind of time. Ramu’s the one who said it’s not happening..can we not make it? I said okay, no issues.When Farah said Happy New Year was not working out, I said fine. So we moved on to Om Shanti Om.
Ram Gopal Varma had plenty to say about you and your superstardom being thrust upon him
(Laughs) If you know Ramu, you will know that he talks for effect. He doesn’t mean to be nasty. Most actors, including yours truly, say many things for effect. Only in my case, I sound amazingly educated. Ramu’s a good speaker, he gives the right statements to some journos. The only films relevant to me are the ones I do. If I hear 10 scripts a year, I only do three. I don’t talk about the seven which I’m not doing.
Ram Gopal Varma has even stated that to make a film with you would be like going to back to school
I like going to school, it’s a good education ground. Whatever his take or viewpoint, I can’t get upset or stop him from saying it.
Professionally, I haven’t seen much of Ramu’s work..the last film I saw of his was Satya and I loved it. Personally, I’d say he’s a friend, I genuinely like him.
Do the constant reports about a rift with the Bachchans disturb you?
They don’t disturb me because it’s all so stupid and unfair. Some journos need copy at any cost. The news on my bungalow has been exhausted. No newcomer is around to oust me. I’m bored with all this. During my 16 years here,my career obituaries have been written constantly, I’ve been knocked out by every new actor. I would just like to say please don’t undermine me. This is King Khan. I’m the Ronaldinho of acting. I’ll be there for another five to six years, then maybe you can think of some other actor.
I’ve been low key of late. But the Bachchan-Khan stories are completely false. I know the Bachchan family too well. I don’t see any issue, I’m very comfortable with them. Mr Bachchan is 64, the age my father would have been. I just cannot have any negative feelings for someone of that age.
What would you say about being a superstar for so many years?
It’s terrific. I’m respected, recognised. I’m paid well. Many magazines call me the icon of the country. Of course, of every 100 fans, two will pass a snide remark. But 98 of them are with me. I don’t need any more money than what I’m earning now. I don’t get frustrated if one film doesn’t do well. The fact is I’m blessed, it has been a charmed life.
You seem to have isolated yourself a bit lately
I do hang out as long as the conversations are worthwhile. I don’t want to keep talking endlessly about myself. That would make me a megalomaniac.
What’s the most complimentary thing you’ve heard about yourself?
My son Aryan telling his cousin that, “My dad’s the most handsome man in the world.”