Here are excerpts from a rapid-fire Q&A with Shah Rukh Khan at Panchgani’s Ravine Hotel Dec.19 where he was present at the Zee Cine Awards event:
Q: How busy is 2013 going to be for you?
A: It will be as usual – I usually try and do two films a year and I will try and release “Chennai Express” and “Happy New Year” in the new year too. Then I will be doing everything else I do every year!
By the way, I recall working like a dog some 15 years ago when I was doing more films and grumbling about it. It was a shoot for a dance and Saroj Khan, who was the choreographer, told me, “Leave these complaints for the time when you don’t have work. Right now, embrace whatever work you have happily!”
Q: There are too many awards today. What is your take on them?
A: Oh, I love awards! I value them a lot! And believe me, I have received some really ajeeb-ajeeb (strange) awards – a Power Award, whatever that means, a Jodi (star pair) awards, a Fresh Face award…some Tijori award, Sunday award, Monday award…the works! (Laughs) And I will keep having faith in awards till I keep getting them! When you don’t get an award, you assure yourself that there has been something fishy!
Whenever I go back home after an awards night, while other children ask their fathers what toys or sweetmeats he has brought for them, my kids ask, “Kaun sa award mila?” And I say, “Today, I had a good sleep, looked very fresh and so they gave me a Fresh Face award!”
Q: Which awards do you value then – such trophies, the Popular ones where audiences vote or the Critics’ awards?
A: I think all are valuable in their own ways!
Q: How was 2012 for you?
A: It was a good year. I just thank God for giving me another year with my family and friends and at work. I did one film, hosted shows, did the usual. Yes, we lost some great names, but one must look at such things also positively, like finding that so many filmmakers and actors took birth this year in place of those we lost.
Q: Rohit Shetty’s films are known for their stunts and action. Are you doing them in “Chennai Express” too?
A: Don’t believe what you read – I am doing my usual thing on screen – main pyar kar rahoon to my heroine! (Laughs) The only stunt I have to do is when I have to stretch to reach Deepika’s height in our scenes together as she is taller than me!
On a serious note, Rohit makes things very safe. In fact, this leaves me somewhat disappointed because I feel maine kuchh kiya hi nahin!
Q: Wai and Panchgani are getting increasingly popular as locales. Why is that?
A: I love this place, and I am someone who has shot all over the world. This is a very shooting-friendly location, the natural light is good, the people are great, the food is nice and we are very close to Mumbai. 50 to 60 percent of the film is being shot here. In fact, this also happens to be my first outdoor locale ever – I shot here in Satara district for my first ever work, the serial “Fauji” in the 1980s. They had carted us here from Delhi and I would mispronounce the name of the district as Satra. I also shot here for “Swades.”
Q: Would you like to do a serial at this stage of your career?
A: Why not? I love coming in any form on television. From all the roles I have played, actor, producer, host and so on, I enjoy acting the most, and what is wrong with television? TV is so big today. I recall a mega-serial being planned by Mukul Anand long back with a galaxy of us stars. Then he passed away. It would be great to take out time to shoot a story that will be aired for three to four months. I believe in participating in any storytelling that makes audiences happy. The biggest stars do television serials in USA, so why not here? But it should be something solid, like “Humlog” or “Buniyaad.”
Q: What is your special interest in visual effects? You have invested in Red Chillies VFX years ago.
A: I am always interested in new technology and this company is a way of also giving back to the industry. I love VFX and my company is now over ten years old. I made “RA.One” for my kids and now we are doing “Krrish 3.”
Q: As someone from Delhi, what is your view of the shocking rape there recently?
A: Like everyone I am disgusted, because we form society and we must take a stand and make the law more speedy and stringent. As someone who owes a lot to women, who have surrounded me and encouraged me all my life, all I will say is that it is rubbish to say that women invite trouble by dressing in a particular way, doing titillating songs and so on. Women get raped only because men rape them.