Farah Khan, who turns a chat show host with Roshmila Bhattacharya talks about Shah Rukh, her upcoming venture and more.
What prompted you to cast Shah Rukh Khan in the role of a ‘joru ka ghulam’ in the finale episode of Tere Mere Beach Mein?
Shah Rukh may be brash but when his wife wants him to be diplomatic, he listens to her. At home, Gauri rules. He doesn’t enjoy parties but when there is one at Mannat, he will quietly take a bath and come down. For most of the evening, he will be standing outside, welcoming guests, then, escorting them to their cars and waving goodbye. We call him the ‘darwan’. The message that comes through at the end of the episode is, make your wife happy if you want a happy married life.
Is your husband, Shirish Kunder, hen-pecked too?
That’s a myth that has been exploded in this episode. In this marriage, he’s the dominating partner.
You managed a casting coup by getting Shah Rukh’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law on TV for the first time. It couldn’t have been easy?
Vikrant didn’t need much convincing. I told him it was my show and he had to be on it. He’s great fun, a typical Delhi guy with a Haryanvi accent. He would run after Shah Rukh when he was wooing Gauri, wanting to bash him up. I guess Shah Rukh has forgiven him for that because he’s very fond of him now.
And his mother?
Auntie needed a lot of persuasion. She’s very camera conscious and would look into space while answering questions. But she adores Shah Rukh. He’s a wonderful son-in-law who never misses a family function at their home. They are a normal, upper middle-class, non-filmi family. I have stayed with them when I was in Delhi. And even when Shah Rukh is visiting, things don’t change.
I knew Shah Rukh would be a wonderful guest but his in-laws were a lovely surprise too. So was Salma aunty, Salman’s (Khan) mom. She was so easy and candid. Hrithik (Roshan) was a revelation too, as were Neil (Nitin Mukesh) and Abhay (Deol). Some of the common people were also inspiring.
I’m told you’ve already been given the go-ahead for Season 2?
Star TV was ready to give me a month’s extension. But I needed a break. Entertainment Ke Liye Sab Kuch Karega had started. I wanted to work on my script and also needed time for myself. Tere Mere Beach Mein is not simply about chatting or judging. It needs research. You have to fix on the right topic, get friends to talk, and then bring in the common man.
But I’ll be back.
And in the next season, we’ll widen our net; get in more sportsmen and perhaps a politician or two as well. We’ll also look for exciting subjects. Once you know what to ask, it’s not difficult to get your guests to open up.
Do you like being behind the camera or facing it?
Definitely behind, directing a film. I hate getting my hair done, wearing jewellery and putting on make-up. I’d rather be in my tracks and rubber chappals, saying, “Lights, camera, action.” Scripting is an ordeal but I love directing.
When will you finish scripting Happy New Year?
I’ve returned to the job today and should finish in a couple of months. Then four-five months of pre-production before we go on the floors.
After two big hits, Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om, your comfort level with Shah Rukh will be high.
If it’s any higher, we will be lying in each other’s arms.
Still, you’ve given him two of his biggest commercial blockbusters as a producer.
I’m very possessive of Shah Rukh, ditto him. I want him tomake films only with me and I’m sure he doesn’t like me choreographing songs for other actors. But we are too practical to stop each other from doing that. I love him so much that I want every film of his to be a big hit. But mine should be a bigger hit.
And when will Shrish’s film take off?
He’s been working on four scripts simultaneously and talking to a lot of people. Any one of them could take off by next year too.
Will you be a part of his film?
I’m always there for him as a sounding board. And I will definitely choreograph the songs. But still he’s not a ‘joru ka ghulam’.