Salman Khan and Bigg Boss have become synonymous with each other in the last eight years. Salman is invested in the show and you can see it when he loses his temper or guides a contestant. The idea to bring in real people on the show was a masterstroke because the actor connects so well with the aam aadmi. In a conversation post the launch of Bigg Boss Season 11, Salman talks about being confused every time he begins a new season and the other things that are on his mind. Read on...
‘I don’t choose anyone’
Every season, the names of the contestants are closely guarded, but Salman has the inside information. He says, “I just got to know the list of contestants now and it’s fantastic.” But he makes it clear that he has no role to play in their selection, “Nothing is in my hands. I don’t get to choose the contestants. If I had the option, I would only send the most noble, mahatma-type people inside. Then, this show would be the most boring show ever. I can refer people and sometimes, I even do. But the team doesn’t listen to me. How do I recommend when they don’t want to listen?”
He further adds, “The producers have their own ways of selection and the contestants they choose cannot be all cuckoo and off, they got to be stable. There’s always a psychiatrist on call on the sets because it gets, mentally and physically, very tiring.”
A ‘confused’ state of mind
Taking the reins of the show year-after-year, what’s his state of mind at the beginning of every season? He smiles, “My state of mind is confused, very confused, actually. You don’t know what to expect. That comes in through what happens in the house every week. Then, when you watch some kaand happening, you are like, ‘Oh God!’ If it happens on a Monday-Tuesday, by the time Saturday comes, I’m fine. But if it happens on a Friday night, it doesn’t give me the time to calm down.”
Not even an hour Has he ever thought of spending a day in the house as a contestant? Salman laughs, “I wouldn’t survive even one hour inside the house. I would pull my hair out and lose it completely. It’s better that I host and not be locked up ever.”
He explains that shooting for a TV show like this is very different from filming a movie, “In films, I know what I’m going to do. We know the dialogues, who we are working with, the music and locations are sorted. The sets are also ready and the team will be there with us. Out here, we don’t know anything. Nobody in the house knows what exactly they will do the whole time.”
Is it as unpredictable as Salman? “Salman Khan is very predictable. Bigg Boss isn’t,” he says cheekily.
It’s possibly the longest running association between a superstar and a show. Much like his films, his TV shows too have catered to the pan-India audience. he says, “That is exactly what it is. I remember when I started Dus Ka Dum. By then, I had already done Hum Aapke Hai Koun, Karan Arjun, Andaz Apna Apna and all. Suddenly, this one show comes. I was at Panvel shooting for the show and I used to run back to my farm, which is like 10-12 kilometres. After pack up, the villagers used to come and scream ‘Dus Ka Dum’. I was left wondering that I’d been working for the last 20 years, giving the biggest hits ever but it’s Dus Ka Dum they call out. That’s the power of television. Even for Mr Bachchan, he’s the Kaun Banega Crorepati uncle. It’s got a tremendous reach. If you can do it well, there’s no stopping you,” he explains.
‘I’ve just been lucky’
There are only two actors who could translate their celluloid stardom to the small screen. While most of the big Bollywood actors have failed to make a mark on TV, Amitabh Bachchan and Salman stand strong on that ground. “Bachchan sir is a talented man, he’s been there for the longest time. I credit his success to his intelligence to brilliance, hard work and acting skills. Mine is sheer luck. (Smiles) I’ve just been lucky,” he says.
My dad, my Bigg Boss!
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Has he thought of a time when the show will come to an end? He hesitantly replies, “I already have a Bigg Boss in my life. My father. And if this show is not there, I’ll find something else.”