Filmmakers who have worked with him over the years give us an insight into the actor and human being inside the film icon
Salman Khan is known to support young talent. Over the years, he has helped many filmmakers in forming successful careers. It is not just blockbusters but relationships that the superstar builds with them. While many attribute the success of their films to his tremendous popularity, others swear that the actor is a master of his craft. A superstar who contributes to a film by giving it a different dimension altogether is what Bhai is all about.
'The secret of Salman’s super stardom is his simplicity’ - Anees Bazmee
“I’ve worked with Salman bhai in 2005 in No Entry and I worked with him again six years later in Ready. There was no difference. In the 15 years that I’ve known him Salman bhai has not changed at all. Salman bhai doesn’t arrive on the set for the morning shift at 9 am. But once he arrives, he is quick, efficient and thoroughly professional. So shooting never suffers. He has a very strong opinion on most matters. And he doesn’t change his mind about people or situations easily. When we worked together in No Entry he had just a guest appearance. But he brought so much to the table. Now I will be directing him in a double role No Entry Mein Mein Entry and as a writer and director my responsibility towards making sure his fans are not disappointed has multiplied. As Salman bhai turns 50 all I want to tell him is, don’t change. Everyone likes you the way you are. The secret of your super stardom is your simplicity. There is a child-like innocence on your face and a mischievous smile on your lips that is unique to you. Hold on to them. They are precious.”
'Salman has grown by leaps and bounds as an actor’ - Satish Kaushik
“When I directed Salman in Tere Naam he surprised me with his understanding of the craft. The feeling that he is casual about his performances is just not true. A casual actor cannot give the kind of performance that he did in Tere Naam and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. I am an actor and a filmmaker and I understand how much Salman knows about acting. On the sets he is absolutely casual, but once the camera is on, he goes completely into the character. All I want to say to Salman is, ‘Salman, you have lived life and experienced life. You have given amazing performances, seen super stardom, super adulation by the worldwide movie buffs. You have been in the midst of controversies. You have loved and cared for family friends and people. You have grown as an actor by leaps and bounds. I’d say the first half of the movie Salman was outstanding... Wishing and praying to God for a brilliant second half to make it into a blockbuster. Stay forever young, charming and unique as you are.”
'He has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever come across’ - Prabhudheva
“Salman Sir has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever come across in this business. When I directed him in Wanted I was new to the entertainment industry in Mumbai. Wanted was my first Hindi film as a director. But I was made to feel fully comfortable. Salman Sir contributed a lot to his character. He would come up with really clever suggestions. And his dialogue ‘Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di phir main apni aap ki bhi nahin sunta’ was a rage. I think dialogues like these become famous because of the way Salman Sir says them. I had great fun shooting Wanted with him. But I need to have a script that goes beyond Wanted because Salman Sir is India’s most wanted….rather, loved.”
'My true association with Salman began through Katrina’ - Kabir Khan
“I can’t claim to have known Salman well before I made Ek Tha Tiger. When I was new and trying to make Kabul Express, I was taken by Apurva Shah to meet him. Salman met me with great affection and asked me what I was planning to make. I narrated 10 minutes of Kabul Express and said he would like to play the lead. I laughed it off. Much later, when we met he reminded me how I had never got back to him about Kabul Express. To this day I am not sure if he would have done it or not. My true association with Salman began through Katrina. I was planning New York and my producer Adi Chopra suggested I try Katrina for the female lead. Katrina heard me out but must have been confused and zapped by what I had offered her. She went back to Galaxy Apartments (where Salman stays) and told him that this weird director had offered her this weird role. He heard that I had offered her the film and he advised her, ‘Aankhein band kar ke haan bol do.’ Salman’s endorsement at that point of time meant a lot to me. Many years later, we came together for Ek Tha Tiger and there was a lot of churning and debate on the sets between us. Here was this star with 15 blockbusters behind him being told what to do by a relatively new director. Salman wasn’t used to taking instructions from directors. We would often argue. By the time we came to Bajrangi Bhaijaan we had discovered a meeting ground and had become very close friends.”
'I am fortunate to work with him’ - Ali Abbas Zafar
“About Salman I can say at 50 he believes ‘life begins’. He is in great physical shape and has superb attitude towards work and I am fortunate to work with him and wish him all happiness and prosperity.”
'Salman only thinks from his heart’ - Nikhil Advani
“I’ve known Salman for many years and worked with him as a director in Salaam-e-Ishq. He was also my producer recently in Hero. Salman thinks only from his heart. At 50, anyone would advise him to start thinking with his head as well. But I feel it’s fine because Salman has a very sharp sense of people’s intentions. So he can never be taken for a ride. When he agreed to star in my film Salaam-e-Ishq I was a virtual newcomer. Salman working with a relatively new director like me meant a lot to my career. The film industry began to take me seriously. Not once during the film’s making did he let me feel he was Salman Khan. Salman loves to mentor new talent. Even his old friend Sajid Nadiadwala became a director because of him. Salman also sang in Hero. When he heard the composition he said it was too difficult for an amateur singer. Once he was convinced he put his heart and soul into the singing. Today he is not only one of the most sought-after actors, but also a very sorted artiste. I think he has discovered his rhythm. There is a clarity to everything he does in his life and career. When will I work with him again? That’s entirely up to Salman. He just has to say when.”
'It’s been 25 years of uninterrupted friendship’ - Sajid Nadiadwala
“As Salman completes his golden jubilee on earth, I celebrate the silver jubilee of our friendship. It’s been 25 years of uninterrupted friendship. We were born in the same year and are very similar in our likes and dislikes. We had even decided we’d get married on the same day. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.. Salman is not one to talk about his feelings. He once said if he needed anything he would turn to me. That meant a whole lot to me. Salman is a giver, never a taker. For him to ask for something is a very big thing. I wouldn’t have turned director if Salman wasn’t such a dear friend and if he had not told me to direct Kick. I was like a child who had to prove himself in his examination.”
'He’s a good soul’ - Subhash Ghai
“I worked with Salman Khan for the first time in Yuvvraaj. Whatever I had heard about him was wrong. He’s a delight to work with. I like stars who’ve full faith in me. Yes, we once fought and made up. Today, we’re friends. Not many people offered me a helping hand after Kisna flopped. I approached a lot of actors, but all I got were unfulfilled assurances and promises. When I approached Salman, he didn’t ask questions, he said he was keen to work with me. How can I ever forget that? Salman and I share a deep bond. I always treated him like a child. He’s my friend Salim Saab’s son. When Salman fought with me, Salim Saab ordered him to come to my home and apologise. He came home early the next day and apologised. He’s a good soul. And truly a gem of a person.”
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