He started his career as a director back in 1997 with the Salman Khan-starrer Auzaar.
Later, Sohail Khan went on to direct his actor-brother in two more films — Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) and Hello Brother (1999). Now, after a gap of 12 years, he is set to make a comeback as a director with yet another film with Salman titled Jai Ho. In this interview, Sohail talks to us about working with his star brother, as he also reveals details about his family’s relationship with Shah Rukh Khan.
How has working with Salman changed since Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998)?
He has become relaxed. There’s no hurry. Since he’s doing only one film at a time, there’s no rush to reach another set. So he gives you more time. He comes in like a clean slate.
Are you nervous about Jai Ho?
I don’t get very excited nor do I get very nervous. Yes, I am anxious, but, touch wood, whatever responses we have received so far have all been positive. Inshallah, it will do well. Beyond that, the audience is the boss.
Does having your brother as the film’s leading man make things more comfortable for you?
Of course, there’s a comfort level because you know that whatever you have worked hard for will certainly be watched by people initially. But beyond that, the onus is on you. With Salman, the advantage is that the initial response will be good. But it comes with a responsibility too. He can pull a film through till Sunday or Monday, but beyond that, the film will do the talking. Salman has proved himself. Now, we (brothers Sohail, Arbaaz Khan) have to prove ourselves.
Is Salman protective of your work, as a brother, on the sets?
He doesn’t get into that. Honestly, on the sets, we take care of him. As a production house, we check if he is comfortable, whether he should be relaxed, etc. And that is our job. We should make actors feel comfortable.
Since you are Salman’s brother, do you have to take sides as and when he fights with someone?
You tell me, when was the last time he had a fight?
With Shah Rukh Khan…
That was more of a nok jhok (bickering) between friends. It was like an argument, but the media has made it out to be the Mahabharata. In fact, these people (big stars) live more cautiously than anybody else. Non celebrities get involved in more controversies, but they never get noticed.
Did the fact that the ‘fight’ got blown out of proportion bother you?
Not really. But he feels bad that differences are being created. That (the fight) was not such a big problem. I always had a cordial relationship with Shah Rukh bhai. Malaika (Arora Khan; Arbaaz’s wife) has worked with him. She has a very professional relationship with him.