HT City brings you some of the shining stars of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2007.
Very few know I wanted to cast Ranbir (Kapoor) in Main Hoon Naa: Shah Rukh Khan. Read on...
You’re called King Khan. With your six-pack abs, you’ve become the fittest king around..
(Smiles) Thanks.. but the six-pack abs is hyped. It’s as good as growing a beard for Chak De. The second half of the film required me to look like the current crop of stars with long hair and toned body. I worked towards it, and now I like it. My son always thought I was fat.. but now he thinks I look stronger.
First half of Om Shanti Om is inspired by the 70s. What are your favourites from that era?
Seventies was the era of true-blue masala films. I often say that the term Bollywood, actually comes from the films during that era.
OSO and Saawariya are releasing at the same time. Is Saawariya a threat?
I have no angst because of Saawariya. Sanjay (Leela Bhansali) has given me a film, which will be remembered even when I am gone. Both Ranbir and Sonam have grown up in front me. Very few people know that I wanted to cast Ranbir in Main Hoon Naa.
Does Shah Rukh.. the producer, feel the same?
As a producer I’ll not leave any stone unturned to outdo Sony, Columbia, Tristar. If I’m called the King Khan, I better take-on the biggest in the world. When I go to the US, Sony doesn’t release my films. My competition is not against Sanjay or Sonam or Ranbir. It’s the Columbia Tristar, so they better be ready.
The year has seen many promising new comers. Who do you think will be your next competitor?
(laughs) I have a great body of work behind me and it’s unfair to compare them with me, at such an initial stage. The other day I was telling my wife that now Akshay Kumar is ousting me. Akki and I have been friends for years. Every year, I compete with myself. Every year I give the biggest hits. The biggest hit of the year is Chak De.. and once again I have to beat myself first.
Read Karan Johar's interview on the next page
I’m just the Star, they are the Plus : Karan Johar
Koffee With Karan is a thumping success?
The success of Koffee.. is promising for me. I take pride in accepting that I could bring a chat show to Indian television, which became a prominent talking point.
Why has it been taken off air. Any rift with Star?
No rift. I am the co-producer of NDTV Imagine. Koffee.. is the property of Star Plus. I always said, ‘I’m just the Star, they are the Plus’.” I plan to get the show back.
Who did you want to chat with this season?
Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.
So what went wrong?
Both of them have never done anything of the sort on television. I’d regret not being able to have them on the show.
There was news of Salman and his family appearing. What happened?
It didn’t happen as Salman had other engagements.
Your mother’s reaction to the show..
Oh.. she watched all the episodes. At times when it would clash with any of the Ekta Kapoor shows, she would watch the repeat. She giggled throughout the Rakhi Sawant episode.
Read Imran Khan's interview on the next page
I have an affair with politics : Imran Khan
Cricket or politics — your first love..
Cricket is not my love anymore. It’s more like an affair. Once you are done with one, you move on to the other. My affair with cricket is over. Now I’m having an affair with politics.
What do you like the most about Delhi?
I first came to Delhi in 1977. I love the monuments. I often visit Jama Masjid. Last November when I was here, I offered prayers there.
What is the most startling difference that you have noticed about the city in the last three decades?
To be honest, I liked Delhi then. To me, it seemed small, quite green.. it very much felt like Lahore. Now it’s very crowded.
Do you talk about cricket with your sons?
Yeah, we do. The younger one, Kasim, plays cricket. But the older one, Suleman, not only plays cricket he also analyses it. He is become cricket-mad now. We spend all the festivals together. They visit me six times a year and I join them in London at least twice a year. When they come over, I take them to our farmhouse a little away from Islamabad. In summers, I take them out to the mountains. I want them to grow up the way I did.
And how was that?
Since childhood, I was passionate about cricket and shooting. I killed partridges, got them cooked and savoured them. I want my sons also to be out in wild and taste adventure. Oh, I teach them shooting too.
Read Bob Geldof's interview on the next page
Being a celebrity is like a currency: Bob Geldof
A closer look at Bob Geldof, man of many shades — the Pink from the Wall, the singer/songwriter, the man on a mission.
On Floyd reunion: I was sitting in Dave’s (Gilmour) kitchen, trying to convince him on the reunion and he’d say, ‘No Bob, I don’t think so.’ Later Roger asked me for Dave’s number. Then I heard from Dave, ‘Bob I’ll do it.’
On celebrities with opinions: Being a celebrity is like a currency, it’s upto an individual how they spend it. (George) Clooney is a seriously clever guy, he should run for the President’s office.
Issues: I don’t misuse my access, and although I never went to college, I do sit down to understand how it works. I am with the facts. I’m not a hippie.