When 'OG Animal' Shah Rukh Khan defended playing negative characters in films: 'It is entertainment'
Long before Ranbir Kapoor in Animal, Shah Rukh Khan was seen in roles that divided the audience in films such as Darr, Anjaam and Baazigar.
Ever since the release of Animal on December 1, many have been debating the film's 'misogynistic' approach and its lead character, Rannvijay Singh aka Vijay's (Ranbir Kapoor) 'toxic' behaviour. Amid the backlash over Animal's toxic masculinity, an old clip of actor Shah Rukh Khan from a 1994 episode of Aap Ki Adalat has surfaced. In it, the actor was seen responding after he was accused of playing 'negative roles' in films, which were a ‘bad influence’ on people. Also read: Triptii Dimri breaks silence on controversy around Ranbir Kapoor's 'lick my shoe' line in Animal
Shah Rukh on if his negative roles impact society
Shah Rukh Khan said, “Ek beech ke roles hote hain. Main junko human characters kehta hoon. Main unko negative character nahi kehta. Nahi main unko positive character kehta hoon. Yeh black and white nahi hai... Maine jo filmoh mein kiya usme maine basically love angle use kiya – ki main is se pyar karta hoon, iss inteha tak pyar karta hoon ki main pyar mein jaan le loon… Aur har film ke akhir mein humne kahin par bhi aisa nahi dikhaya ki kuch sympathy uske sath jati hai (These characters are humans, they are not negative or positive. It is not as simple as black and white. I have played characters that can even kill for love, but they have never been rewarded or gotten a sympathy for doing bad things).”
Shah Rukh was told that a magazine had done a nationwide survey about his negative characters in films, and most respondents had said negative roles should be played by villains and actors such as Shah Rukh playing them has a 'negative impact'.
'I have never had a negative response'
When Shah Rukh, who was seen in negative roles in films such as Darr and Baazigar, both of which were released in 1993 as well as Anjaam (1994), was asked about glorifying murder and torture in these films, the actor denied the accusations.
He said, "Glorification tab ho jab woh yeh sab kar ke nikal jaye. Lekin agar aap inn filmon ki ending dekhe, toh mujhe itna mara hai end mein... itni buri tarah pitai hoti hai. So I don't think kisi jagah pe glorify kiya hai (violence)... It is entertainment... I have never had a negative response... Aage bhi main joh aise roles karunga woh sirf audience ki bhalai ke liye hain (It would have been glorification if the character faced no consequences, but I have been beaten badly in all these films... in future too, I will continue playing such roles for the audiences' sake)."
The actor recalled how women praised his roles in these films and kids would tell him he did well and even call him 'Baazigar uncle'. When asked if he has ever thought about the negative impact his characters can have on people, especially on women's safety, Shah Rukh said he was a ‘small part’ of a film, just like the rest of the crew and he 'will not take the whole responsibility for the film'. The actor further added that people were 'intelligent enough' and would not blindly copy is character.
Shah Rukh was last seen in Jawan and before that, in his other blockbuster of 2023, Pathaan. The actor is now gearing up for the release of Dunki, which will be out on December 21.