The Baadshah of Bollywood gets talking about his film roles, and why he isn’t heading to Hollywood
Not interested in taking up a stereotypical role created for Asians in Hollywood, Bollywood’s superstar Shahrukh Khan says “to get a role not specific to my colour or the way I speak or act is very difficult”. He has been active in Hindi films for over two decades, has featured in more than 80 films and won the tag of “superstar”, but the 47-year-old has yet to find a suitable role in international films.
A hugely popular actor in many countries, one whose face has become synonymous with the huge draw of the Indian film industry, particularly the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry, King Khan feels he doesn’t have the USP to work in Hollywood. Asked what made him think so, he said: “I didn’t talk in terms of fan following. I think the kind of role I would want to do in a Hollywood film is one that makes India proud. To get a role like that is not specific to my colour, or the way I speak, look or act or my age, it’s very difficult,” said SRK in an exclusive interview.
“I mean you can’t go to a big filmmaking world and say write a role for a 47-year-old actor who is brown, has hair like this, acts this way, dances a bit… the role should be something that Indians should be proud of. It’s too specific for me to have a USP.”
He however appreciated Indian faces who are doing well on the international arena. “There are a few young boys and girls, who are doing really well internationally, and I pray they make it big,” he said.
Shahrukh relishes and cherishes all the love and attention showered on him on the home turf and is set to woo his fans with Chennai Express. In fact, he is right now busy driving the buzz around the comedy drama, coming out Friday, his first film with new age master of comedies Rohit Shetty.
Sharing his experience of working with Shetty, Shahrukh said, “Rohit is fantastically organised. The best part about him is that he has a group of 200 trained people working under him. Rohit knows what he wants. He always delivers the best.”
Chennai Express, Shahrukh’s second film with Deepika Padukone after the 2007 super duper hit Om Shanti Om, has a popular train scene from his Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ). Interestingly, in Chennai Express the name of Shahrukh’s character is Rahul, a screen title he has donned in a string of hits.
He confesses to being a director’s actor. “I’m a director’s actor. I belong to a world which directors create. I enjoy being with them in their world. I want the world to see me as an actor who moulds himself according to the character his director creates for him,” said Shahrukh.
The Hindi film industry, which is celebrating its 100 years this year, has evolved with new filmmakers enlivening the silver screen with new subjects, Shahrukh said, adding it’s not a new trend.
“There’s Gangs of Wasseypur, Barfi!… all kinds of films are being made, which is good,” said Shahrukh.
“There have always been all kinds of filmmakers who make films like Iron Man, Batman and Chak De! India. It’s always parallel. When I did DDLJ, there was Maya Memsaab too.
“I always try to work on a different genre. I feel the industry has given me name, fame and money and I won’t ever forgive myself if I won’t do anything beneficial for Indian cinema and my fans.”
From romantic to villainous and from action to superhero – SRK has delved into a variety of roles. Asked how he is in real life, Shahrukh said: “I am a little like all of them. There are parts and portions of me that you see in my characters also. If I play a father, I do it the way I would do it with my kids. If I play a lover, I behave the same way I am in real life. I would say I am a funny person but also gentle and kind.”