Shah Rukh is the slice of my life. During Circus, the TV show we worked together on, he was an actor from Delhi trying his luck in Bollywood,” recalls theatre-veteran-turned director Makrand Deshpande whose theatre company Ansh is known for original Hindi plays like Sir Sir Sarla, Karodon Mein Ek, Kasturi, Miss Beautiful and Joke that have had a long run. “Shah Rukh was a good photographer, he shot my first ever portfolio.” After the small screen stint, the two met 13 years later on the sets of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades.
Is the film Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu a tribute to the actor? “It’s not about SRK, it’s about his persona, his aura and the effect he has on everyone he meets,” says Deshpande who has got the actor to appear in a cameo in the film that toplines newbies Preetika Chawla and Afzaal Khan and talks about how a street girl’s life turns around when the superstar compliments her, by chance.
What does he think of King Khan’s journey to stardom? “It has been phenomenal. He worked hard to get where he is. It didn’t happen overnight. His sheer energy, vitality and onscreen presence makes a huge impression on screen,” beams Deshpande, who has used a lot of references from Khan’s films, songs and dialogue in the film.
When asked if SRK has seen the film, Deshpande says, “Shah Rukh finds the film honest. He never questioned my intentions of using his name in the title. He didn’t ask me anything. He must have had a lot of faith in me for that. I didn’t even have to convince him for the cameo.”
The director’s next called Dream Man will be released in April. It is based on his play Ek Kadam Aage. It stars Kay Kay Menon. He will also direct Miss Sundari, which is based on his popular play Miss beautiful after that with a newcomer in the lead.