An actor who has probably robbed millions of their hearts, made all his contemporaries reckon him with an air of respect and redefined the face of Romance in Bollywood returns back to the arena that was always under his possession. Yes, Shah Rukh Khan, returning to screen after almost a year with Yash Chopra’s last directorial venture Jab Tak Hai Jaan might be known to most people, but what is concealed even till the eve of the film’s release is the film’s plot.
Shah Rukh, the entertainer was in full swing on his recent trip to Kolkata for the Kolkata Film Festival inauguration event and his film promotion. While he blatantly crooned lines from his poem to ladylove Katrina and sang a song for the effervescent Anushka on the dais at the press conference, what we could say to him was: ‘Rahenge sirf aap hi ke fan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Jab Tak Hai Jaan’!
You started off as Abhimayu Rai from ‘Fauji’ where you set the temperatures soaring with your attitude and now playing Samar Anand in your latest film, ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’. How was it getting back to a sphere which brought you so much of love and recognition?
To be honest, I did reminisce those beautiful Fauji days when I was shooting for this film. But those days we were not that rich to afford new clothes everyday and I used to stink a lot in my army attire. These days things are much different. We get new clothes everyday and I smell good too!
The entire plot has been kept under wraps since the time the film was announced. All we know are the characters and the fact that ‘JTHJ’ is a love story. Tell us something about your character.
In the film, I play the character of Samar Anand, an aggressive and unforgiving bomb defusal guy. And they are the two bombs, (pointing to Katrina and Anushka) that I diffuse in the film. Well, on a serious note, Samar Anand is arrogant, stout and very very unforgiving. He believes in love and life and his search for the same is relentless. And as far as my knowledge says, this is the first time that any actor has played the role of a bomb defusal guy from the industry!
Yashji was like a father figure to you. You have gone on records to say that more than films, you and Yashji used to talk and discuss about Life and zindagi. Now that he is no more, who are you going to discuss them with?
Its true, while most of you would feel Yashji made films with me and I did films with him, we must have spoken about films and films all the time. But it was never that way. More than films, we spoke about zindagi. He taught me how to respect women. And yes now that he is no more, I would turn to Katrina because she seems to be a genius of Love, life and all the other intricacies of human relationships. Anushka ke saath love ke bare mein baatein hongi, and Katrina ke saath Life ke bare mein! But then again, I feel I have a learnt a lot about human emotions and relationships from Mr. Yash Chopra already!
Getting back to a genre which you have been the undisputed King of, a territory that was conquered by your dimpled smile, how does it feel?
I seriously have no idea why people are talking so much about me doing romantic films. I myself am getting aware of it now. I am such an anti romantic person. You would not believe I used to ask Yashji ki kuchh toh action scenes dal dijiye. That is why he put me as a bomb disposal guy! (Laughs).
Technically your last romantic film was ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ but recently in an interview you said you considered Kuch Kuch Hota Hai as your last romantic film. Why do you feel so?
Well, Rab Ne… is a very special film but it was not a classic love story. Jab Tak Hai Jaan is definitely a classic love story told in a contemporary language. I don’t even consider Veer Zaara as a romantic film because the hurdles I and Priety face in that film too is purely external. In ‘Jab Tak’ all the three characters go through internal obstacles and difficulties. When you watch the film, you maybe feel it’s a little similar to ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. A pure love story is when the forces are within the characters and not exterior. Jab Tak Hai Jaan will make you feel in love, no matter whichever stage of life you belong to. With all due respect to ‘Rab ne Bana di Jodi’ and ‘Veer Zaara’, two films that I have loved making, but yes those are the films that makes you fall in love with the situations, circumstances and characters. This is somehow an overall feeling of love. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai happened about 14 years ago. This is what I feel. In ‘Jab Tak’, I hug Katrina and hold Anushka’s hand like that scene from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai! I could flirt a bit more with the two girls here. In Rab ne, I was besotted by her and in ‘Veer Zaara’, I was waiting for 25 years!
‘Son of Sardar’ releases on the same day and there has been a lot of talks regarding the legal case issued and all. What do you have to say?
Well I wish them all the best for the film. Everyone loves their own creations, everyone loves their own film. They love their film, we love our film. As far as the legal things are concerned, I am not the right one to make any comment. I know their film would do equally well and I seriously don’t want to be a part of this tug of war game. ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ is special to all of us, more to me, because it is Yashji’s last film. I am not being pompous or arrogant but this is a special film, not because this is a film we are a part of but we worked with Yashji and it is his last film. So everything will be good, inshallah!
Even Salman Khan has pledged his support to the film, both by giving an appearance in a song and on Twitter. Your take on that.
Sometimes since we are public figures, our statements get misconstrued as if it’s a highly volatile comment. But its not. And well everyone is welcome to have opinions. To us, Jab Tak Hai Jaan is special and that can never be deemed by anything.
You have been a part of numerous love stories where you have had to romance two ladies on screen, be it Dil toh Pagal Hai, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, or Jab Tak Hai Jaan. You also had films like ‘DDLJ’, ‘Veer Zaara’ and ‘Rab ne Bana Di Jodi’ where you had a single heroine. Personally which one do you love doing more?
I do not intend to objectify the ladies but more the merrier, as far as personally I am concerned. But having said that, the story telling part is more important than saying one lady or two ladies or three heroes or two actors! Each one has its own specialty. Dilwale, of course has been time tested and is considered a classic love story. I would say it again and again, not because my film is on release, working with Katrina and Anushka has been the most exuberating and exhilarating experience in my whole life. I have worked with Anushka before in her first film, I worked with Katrina on numerous stage shows but this is the first time we paired up for a full length film. The entire experience has been extremely satisfying and I really feel from the core of my heart that ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’ is the most special film that I have ever been a part of, as an actor. It will always be so and I won’t compare it with Dilwale and others to say whether romancing one girl or two girls is better! I say it from the bottom of my heart that as the film is releasing and perhaps I do realize that we wont be getting to spend much time together after the film is released, I will miss them. ‘Jab Tak’ is a good film, it’s a nice and its not a typical love triangle that way. When you watch the film, you will know it too.