Being ordinary is also special, says King Khan - Hindustan Times

Being ordinary is also special, says King Khan

Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By, Lucknow
Dec 17, 2018 01:16 PM IST

Life lessons and success mantras wrapped in a dose of wit and humour, famous movie dialogues and some dance moves —that’s Bollywood actor and superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s master class for you.

Life lessons and success mantras wrapped in a dose of wit and humour, famous movie dialogues and some dance moves —that’s Bollywood actor and superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s master class for you.

Shah Rukh Khan in Lucknow.
Shah Rukh Khan in Lucknow.

Motivating the millennials to follow their dreams and make a mark, King Khan won over the City of Nawabs with inspiring stories about his journey to stardom at an event held in Lucknow on Saturday.

The session kicked off the third season of the Signature Startup Masterclass series – a platform where achievers from different walks of life share their passion to paycheck journey.

In a candid conversation with host Cyrus Sahukar, the actor shared several anecdotes from his struggling days to a successful career spanning over three decades, inspiring the youngsters to turn their passion into reality.

As someone who chose unconventional ‘anti-hero’ roles in films like ‘Baazigar’ and ‘Darr’ in the early stage of his career, Shah Rukh says no character is perfectly good or bad.

“Angry, mean, corrupt or competitive — there are shades of grey in every person. It is interesting to see a story from a villain’s point of view because it shows a different perspective. For example, I’d want to see and understand ‘Sholay’ from Gabbar’s point of view as well. I was attracted to those negative characters because I wanted to understand their point of view. When I play an anti-hero, I’m actually playing a more real role. It would be unfair not to depict someone who has had bad experiences in life,” he says.

About another unconventional character he played in ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’, who was not an achiever yet very endearing, he says, “Cinema reflects what is happening in our society. Nineties was the era of liberalization. It is important to believe and enjoy what you do even if it is not successful. It is not always important to come first or be special. Being ordinary is also special. This is what we wanted to convey.”

“Sometimes, success is just driven by circumstances. You need to be with the right people at the right place and time,” he adds.

Starting his career in an era of action hero and angry young man, Shah Rukh says there was no pressure to fit in. “I was practical and knew that I didn’t look the hero type, nor couldn’t I dance like one. In fact, a director once told me that he could use me anywhere because I was so ugly and not the hero-type,” he recalls.

“I was so passionate about acting that I took up negative roles. ‘Darr’ was refused by so many actors, but I thought ‘I love you Kkk... Kiran hi to bolna hai’. The gist is, if you love your work, things will fall into place,” he says.

Talking about the switch from playing grey characters to the ‘king of romance’, Shah Rukh says he is still very shy of women and was initially apprehensive about doing ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’.

“Mujhe romance karna nahi aata tha. I didn’t understand love stories. Yashji (Chopra) told me if you want to be a legend, you should do love stories. In fact, at the premiere of the film, after the scene where I say ‘palat, palat, palat’ and then Kajol turns to look at me, my friends thought I was going to kill her. Given the negative roles I’d done before that, they even told me that the film could do well only if I’d not been in it. Only person who saw the film and said it would be a super hit was Salman Khan,” he says.

In films like ‘RaOne’ and ‘Zero’, he has been pushing the boundaries with technology and VFX. Asked where he sees Hindi cinema in the next five years, the actor says: “We need to adapt new technology. Sometimes, we may fail, but it is an important aspect of storytelling. Our country makes the highest number of films in the world, then why shouldn’t they be the best from a technology point of view as well?”

Asked if he ever thought of quitting, he replies, “When I saw the rushes of ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’, I felt so bad about the work I’d done. I packed my bags but Aziz Mirza found me and stopped me from quitting. But now I’m a responsible citizen of the game. My job is to encourage people. I want to tell the youngsters that my first salary was 50 for a stint I did at a Pankaj Udhas concert before his performance. I went to see the Taj Mahal with that money. Money is important because you can’t be creative or philosophical on an empty stomach for long, but it brings both good and bad with it, so you need to be careful.”

Asked how he keeps the passion going even after so many decades of stardom, he says, “I never really thought that I’ve arrived. Even after 30 years, I’m still working to discover new things and will continue to do so for the next 30 years. I want to change people’s lives with my films because if your product is not doing that, it’s a waste.”

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