For over two decades, he has been at the top of his game. Yet, Shah Rukh Khan insists that he doesn’t like resting on his laurels. Even as he turns 50 soon (on November 2), the actor’s hands are full with big-ticket projects. Here, he opens up about working with the other Khans (Aamir and Salman), his multiple injuries, and more.
You started your acting career in the late ’80s (with TV series Dil Dariya). Do you ever look back?
When you come across photos, your memories get revived for a fleeting moment, but I have never thought about what all I have achieved in life. I have kept that for the last 10 years of my life. There has never been any nostalgia as such. At the end of my career, maybe if I have time, (I will) write down certain things that my kids should know.
Why at the end of my career? I have written a book. Every time I think I will publish it, I find something amiss or something new. It could be a new failure or a new success that makes me feel, "I should write about this too." So, it is kind of complete, but still incomplete. I don’t know when I’ll publish it, or if I ever will. I thought I will publish it when I turn 50, but I don’t want to rush into it. I love the idea of writing and keeping a record somewhere, at least for my kids.
Baba Siddiqui's Iftar party brought Salman, SRK closer.
Farah Khan recently said that “even God can’t bring the three Khans (Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh) together”...
That’s not true. I think it’s difficult to do a three-hero film, especially when all the three heroes are leading mainstream actors. A lot of times, it gets difficult to make a film with even two smaller heroes, as both think of themselves as stars (smiles). In this case, the three of us are actually stars. But, I feel, it might not be a problem. All three of us are humble enough to understand that we are doing a film [together]. We have to choose a film in which all three of us are equal. We should do [a film like] Ghostbusters (1984). That film has equal roles for all the three heroes (laughs.
Won’t putting together a film like this require too much hard work?
If required, we can work on that. Salman recently said that there won’t be enough money [to make such a big film]. Maybe, we can co-produce the film. But someone has to write an interesting script that we like. Today, if I were to write [a script] for Varun (Dhawan), Ranveer (Singh) and Ranbir (Kapoor), it would be hard. Not only because they should have equal roles, but because it must do justice to them all. It’s a difficult proposition to write a three-hero film, and then get three heroines, and three villains (smiles). If it happens, it’s great and even if it doesn’t, that’s also good. The three of us don’t exist because we should be in cinema together. Instead, we exist because we should be in cinema.
More work. In fact, I would love to start two films in January. From now on, I will do many films. All my movies will release on the same day, and there will only be one media interaction (laughs). On a serious note, I just want to make more films. As far as acting is concerned, I am not an actor who stays in one particular character. I can play many roles simultaneously.
SRK is currently shooting for Dilwale.
Doesn’t that become too chaotic to handle as an actor?
Yes, it’s difficult, and I won’t advise the same to my kids, if they, too, become actors (smiles). I would tell them to concentrate on one [film at a time]. But honestly, the projects I choose allow me to focus on all the roles I take up. I knew that in Fan, I would have to play a character that has a lot of depth. So, I finished that before moving on to Raees, which is also character-driven, but doesn’t have the same kind of depth, as it’s a very commercial film. Only after finishing that did I start work on Rohit Shetty’s film. I have planned it like this. Having said that, I think I can do a little more work.
You have always been known as the King of Romance. But looking at your upcoming releases, it seems like you are mixing things up…
I would still do a romantic film, if someone offers me one. Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) was the last romantic movie I did. Fan is a film that every actor will be proud of. I don’t know whether I have done well in it or not, but I am very proud of it. When I finished Happy New Year (2014), I felt that I was doing these blockbusters, and that I should get into a space where I could do something else. But whenever I thought about it, I would think, “Let me finish this commercial film, then I will do something different.”
Have you three ever spoken about teaming up?
We meet each other and talk a lot, but we have never spoken about films. One day, Salman cracked a joke. He said, “Guys, we three won’t do a film together. We will only end up fighting. One will keep using his brains, another will finish the work quickly, and someone will not reach the sets on time.” So, we discuss stuff like this.
It was beautiful to make HNY with my friends, but I got really lazy during that film. Aur kuch kar hi nahi raha tha (I wasn’t doing anything else). And I could have done a film in between. I was seeing what other actors were doing, but then I thought that I was a producer, and that I should stand by Farah (Khan). I think I got lazy. And I hate being lazy. Also, when I have to grow a beard, it becomes a problem (smiles). Due to that, you can’t do anything else.
Watch: Shah Rukh Khan in Raees
So, do you want to continue taking up such roles?
Yes, but I have a company that works on the commercial aspects a lot more than the creative. So, I have to also keep the production house afloat. I have to do big films more often. When Chennai Express (2013) and Happy New Year (HNY) happened, I thought, “Before anyone points out [that I was only doing big films], let me quickly do two movies that I want to do as an actor.” I would have wanted to mix things up, and have Fan come out before Rohit’s film. It might not do as much business as Rohit’s film, but it’s very close to my heart.
Injuries are like my hits. There have been too many of both (laughs). This [knee injury] is recurring. I first got hurt [on my knee] during Koyla (1997), then again during the filming of another movie. Then, during Happy New Year (2014), a door on the set fell on me. That’s when my knee got hurt again. In Fan, there is a lot of running around, and Raees has several action sequences. So, I guess my knee is just not getting a chance to get better. All the surgeries I have got done have been successful. Only my knee surgeries have been unsuccessful.
Another surgery soon
I think I will have to go for a major surgery now. Till that time, I have to make do with a minor one, so that I am able to finish my films. There is a chance that I can avoid it (the major surgery) for three to four years. If I can’t, then after February, I will think about it. If I do it, then I will require rest for four-five months, and a total break from work. But right now, I am feeling better. I am exercising. Things have been very hectic, but I don’t feel pressurised at all, except for the injury that got me (to slow down) for 10-12 days.
Read: Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan are friends, says SRK