Shah Rukh Khan was in town to talk about cricket and the Kolkata Knight Riders. HT City caught up with the Bollywood superstar after the press meet and quizzed him on his first love, Bollywood:
Enough of cricket. Are you aware that Rakhi Sawant has challenged you in the item act?
In an item act? (Laughs) Well Rakhi did her first film with us, Main Hoon Na. I have a highest regard for her personality and I wish her all the best. At this stage, I think it would be really strange for Rakhi to challenge me and for me to accept it…I wish her success and am sure she will win the item act.
The sky seems to be the limit. A Shah Rukh Khan wax statue is to be installed in France's Grevin Wax Museum. You are the only Indian after Mahatma Gandhi to have a statue there…
I think it is a great honour. I have already been honoured with the highest civilian honour by the French government. It's an honour for the films I have done. It's the Indian economy and Indian films that are reaching out. I simply happen to be riding on that vehicle — sometimes the package starts looking nice because the content is good. I am lucky.
That's modesty, isn't it?
With all humility I truly believe that it is the essence of India and Indian cinema that is reaching further. I am very glad I was born in this time of acting and have made a kind of an impact. I have been to France for Veer-Zaara and saw how the people who came to watch were not just Indians. This is a really good sign.
<b1>Is there is no end to Shah Rukh Khan rediscovering himself?
I was always like this and I am like that. People say I have a great business mind but I say no. Some people say that I am an intelligent person but I say no. I always have great belief when I wake up in the morning. And that's where the energy comes from.
Preity Zinta wants Kolkata and Mohali to play in the IPL finals…
I wish her the best. She is confident that she will reach the finals but I will not make tall claims like that. Honestly, on behalf of my team, I would like to say that we hope to play cricket that everybody cherishes and in that process we reach the finals.
Tell us something about your love for Kolkata…
As a sporting city it is the best. People out here have a passion. The city has a history. When I start talking I end up with Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray.
I am acting with Rani Mukerji, Kajol and Abhijeet and Kumar Sanu are singing for me. So, Bengal is there but we tend to overlook it. When you understand it you realize there is a huge pool of talent somewhere in the water of Hooghly. And this works for me.
When was the first time you watched a cricket match?
I went to watch an India-Pakistan match at Ferozsha Kotla. I have seen some matches in Mumbai and then I watched the T20 finals in South Africa. I had promised my son I would take him to World Cup Soccer but he fell sick in France. Then I took him to the T20 finals.
What drives SRK?
To me, young people are an inspiration. I have reached a stage of comfort now. I am always getting offers to be in some social activity or the other but if there is anything socially relevant I want to do, I want to do it in the field of sports because it makes a lot of difference.
I had problems in childhood, lost my parents but succeeded because of the audience, God's wishes and because I follow certain simple tenets. I want every youngster in the country and around the globe to know that whatever you do you should try and be the best. You want to be an actor be Amitabh Bachchan, you want to be a sportsperson be Roger Federer.