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Make It A Double, Please

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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 12:22am | IP Logged

Make It A Double, Please

Shah Rukh Khan tells Vajir Singh what was it like to come face-to-face with himself', in the emotional thriller, FAN

What, according to you, is the genre of Fan?

I think it's an emotional thriller.

Is this the first time you've attempted an emotional thriller?

No, Darr was a love story and a thriller. But this kind of genre... it's the emotional journey of a person who wants to meet his star, which then turns into a thriller and then comes back to emotion. So yeah...

This is also romance of a different kind, right? Fans do love their stars.

According to me, it is romance. It's the love story of someone who loves you from very far, loves you unconditionally and without knowing or expecting anything. Otherwise you expect something in all other relationships, like husband-wife... Stuff like Saturday ko chhuti lena, or be nice to mother, or saara family khaana ek saath khayega. So love has conditions. You have to be with me'; We have to meet once a month even if you are outdoors.' But, here, there are no conditions. A person loves you and loves you unconditionally, so maybe that's why they forget that it's one-sided love, they love you so much.

They don't know you but woh aapki izzat karta hai, respect karta hai, yeh bhi maanta hai ki aap usko pyaar karte hai. But he doesn't know you. And you don't know that person. So it's kind of a love story. I think being known as a romantic hero' people assume that I only romance a heroine. I try to romance the audience. Sometimes I choose not to do a character when I feel I should not make people love them because they are not good people. In this case, Gaurav is a very good person. So is Aryan. And you have to make people fall in love with both of them, without picking sides, who's good and who's bad.

The presentation and the way this film has been written are unusual. Apart from that, you've played this kind of role before. Why are people saying that with this film, SRK is reinventing himself?

People have their own opinions about what a star is doing, from the outside. That's exactly like Gaurav, who has an opinion about Aryan Khanna. People have opinions and they expect their opinions to be followed or not followed. As a character, I feel the film is a little more in the real' space although the story is imaginative. Maneesh (Sharma) himself does films in the real, middle-class space. I think, this time, he has extended himself.

The story of Aryan Khanna is in the real space, the movie star's personal life, not the flamboyance or his exterior life. It is a different way to treat a love story. Even though I have played double roles before, I have not really ventured into such a double role. This is very different because the idea is that one should very clearly feel that they are two different people, dono alag hai. I think that will be the victory of the film.

Is it apt to use the word reinventing'?

I don't think so. I do the films I want to do. This one started two years ago, so why and when did I start reinventing'? I liked the story a few years ago but we couldn't make the film back then because of the technology. It's not reinvention; it's about wanting to tell a story at that point of time.

Sometimes I want to tell a story but I don't get that story from a director. Everybody doesn't want to tell the same story. There are lots of attachments to it. Sometimes, you feel like working with a certain director but does he have a story you want to tell? Sometimes, I meet so many good friends who are directors and they tell me they want to work with me and I want to work with them too but I don't feel like doing that story at that time. Everything has to match. So Fan fulfilled certain desires in me to do something like this. Maneesh had a story like this. Adi (Aditya Chopra) was ready to produce a story like this. And, more than anything else, we had the time and technology to do it.

We recently interviewed Maneesh, and he said the idea of Fan came to him when he visited Mannat the first time.

He came to see me. After speaking to me, when he went out, he had an actual friend called Gaurav who is a big fan of mine. So I think he got the idea when he saw people outside, saw them standing, and then thought what if one of them wanted to meet him or got attached to him? And then SRK met him and something went wrong?'

During the filming of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (RNBDJ), he told me, Sir, woh ek kahaani thi, maine woh chhod di. Mere paas yeh waali hai.' And he started telling me about the film. We liked the idea then too but the pitch had to be that Gaurav is a look-alike, not a double. And we didn't know how to do that. As years went by, when I was dubbing one day, I said to him, Woh picture banao yaar, we have the technology also. Kyun nahi bana rahe, VFX bhi hai let's try all this?' Adi said, Tu pakka bana raha hai?' I said, Next year.' So they took time to revisit it and develop it with the writing, etc.

What was so special about the concept that it stayed with you for four years?

It's one of those concepts you will remember whenever someone narrates a story like this. For an actor to play a double role, you will remember someone who offers that to you. But a double role should not be a double role'. I should play a 25-year-old and 50-year-old in the same frame. I didn't know how that was possible but now, having done it, it was difficult but not impossible. We reached the point where people think it's not the same hero. People ask me, Woh doosra ladka kaun hai?' I think that's quite nice, that we got that kind of feel.

Was it easy playing Gaurav because you've done theatre?

Technically, it's very difficult because of the make-up and VFX. You have to have a certain amount of experience doing double roles to do this one. Physically, there was only one challenge because I was hurt throughout the shooting. Since my knee was injured, all the action, dancing and running was difficult. I think the theatre training really helps, the body language, losing weight, the walk. Also it helps that Maneesh and I are from Delhi, so the language was easy.

Having said that, most of the input Maneesh had was very clear. He had lived with it for so long that he had an interesting idea of how the mind of Gaurav should be, his lines. I think he had written it for so long that he knew each nuance and the dialogue. But, yeah, as an actor, it was very challenging and interesting. The make-up used to take very long.

Was it easy to play Aryan, since you are playing yourself?

No, Aryan was more difficult. People will mistake him for Shah Rukh Khan but he is not Shah Rukh Khan. Aryan is a little more responsible, strict, and his sense of humour isn't as good as mine. He's a little more real. He's a different kind of family man. Also, he's someone who's come from Delhi but very attached to what he has achieved. Very different from me. For me, the more difficult role is Aryan Khanna's. The issue with Aryan is I should make sure he's dignified. It should not look like he's the bad guy or Gaurav is the bad guy. Both of them have to look like normal people. So Aryan was very difficult for me to play, because you have to save him from being arrogant or a bad person. People watch the trailer and think he's arrogant, which he's not. He's reacting to a situation like any normal person would. And there's no showing him shooting, or trying to show him as a star, which I am. So it's not like I can say, Aisa hoga, crowd hoga.'

Except for that one scene, which was shot on my birthday and was a real shot. Apart from that, the rest is his private life. I had to change his voice, I had to change the walk. Normally, I would maintain a star walk. But because Gaurav's walk was different, even this guy's had to be different. And the way he talks. I also had to maintain that their backgrounds are the same, similar colony, lower middle class, but Aryan has become a sophisticated star and he's just a regular fan.

Did you give any input to Maneesh while he was writing Aryan's character?

Actually, no. Adi and Maneesh were very clear because they were using my archival footage and my stardom to establish that Aryan was a star, without actually saying it. We didn't have to establish this by showing a song, him shooting, nothing. But as soon as I am cast, you can show the rise of a star and say Shah Rukh Khan. You accept that.

But they were very clear that they wouldn't take any personal moments from my life because it's too close to the truth, whether it is my children, my wife or my sister. They didn't want to have any exposure where I would be awkward ke yaar yeh meri family ka kyun? Except for my house. We took my house because there's no other house for a crowd to come, Madh Island mein bhi nahi hai, so that was out of convenience. But it was not meant to make things awkward that I was expressing my personal world to the outside world.

We used archival footage but we have to see him as a character otherwise it could go against the film. Aryan Khanna, Shah Rukh Khan nahi hai. My fans, who come to see the film, should not assume that he is the real me, just as they don't assume this in many films. I'm not Kaali or I'm not a killer from Baazigar. There's little stuff like Aryan playing video games with his kid, but they were very clear they didnt want an input on how I would behave and I didn't have to give any inputs as nothing was taken from my personal life.

I was just telling the press that I have given more retakes as Aryan Khanna. For example, how would he get angry? I have a different way of getting angry. He's more mature. So we didnt want anything of mine coming in. Maneesh had studied me so closely as a star and as a person that he's got a laptop full of stuff on me. Sometimes, he would say, Ki sir, aapne yeh line boli thi uss interview mein.' They have hundreds of photos and videos and interviews as research.

Playing a fan and working with a fan, that is Maneesh, who came to Bombay with the dream to direct you. What was that like?

Maneesh is a very fine filmmaker. He's got a different take. I've worked with him in RNBDJ, known him for some time, and spent some time with him. He's from Delhi too, so maybe there's that relationship. Somewhere down the line, he's really not a fan; he just wanted to make a film with me.

There are people like Jaideep (Sahni), Maneesh and four or five other directors I know who felt that Shah Rukh Khan Dilli se chala gaya, hum bhi jaa sakte hai. He wanted to be a film-maker, he took a scholarship, and went to Cal Arts. Parents usually don't know how films are made. We went to the same college, he tried to find a path where he could do the same things and come to Mumbai and be a filmmaker.

Make It A Double, Please

While doing this, somewhere down the line, in Cal Arts, apparently he got a lot of chances for internships. But he said, Nahi, I've decided ki agar maine Shah Rukh ko soch ke agar maine aisa sab kiya hai toh main usi ke saath picture banata hoon.' I think it's a good thought. He called me up and said, "Mein aa raha hoon picture banane ko aapke saath.' I said, Aa jao,' I encouraged him.

In our interview, he had said he called up Subhash dada and you took the phone. Is it really that easy to get in touch with you?

I don't know, Subhash explained saying. Koi America se aapko phone kar raha hai.' And I could tell that he sounded educated. He also had a Master's in Filmmaking, so he had background. He sounded very decent. And because I'm from Delhi, I understand how Delhiites are. He was very direct. Picture karni hai aapke saath, sir, I'm coming from America.' I found that very sweet. I said, Aaja, abhi toh nahi hoga but we'll meet. Then he joined Adi and assisted Kunal Kohli on Fanaa. I used to meet him and tell him Tu likh apni picture.' So it's not easy to get in touch, but I can make out more often than not. And when I have the time, I meet people; when I don't, I don't meet people for months. I meet a lot of people, even if I am not working with them.

It has its disadvantages too, for when you meet someone, the next day's headlines say you're going to work with him or her.

That's okay because I know who I'm working with. I go to parties or attend some event and people say he's working with them'. Sooner or later, it will be announced who I'm working with. Everybody has their own way of formulating an idea, which is okay, we don't even need to clarify.

Now you don't even react!

I don't because everyone knows that I am doing what I want to anyway, and with whom I am working. Earlier, someone had asked me, Are you not doing a film with me because you're doing that one.' I would say, This is a commitment and we are working on it, why would we change it?' Now everyone knows that a lot of stuff on social media or even the regular media is put out there just to make news and it is not verified.

Your filmography shows that after every three movies, you used to do a small film. But we haven't seen you do a small film in three years.

Fan was a small film when we started out. Even Raees. Even Gauri Shinde's is a small film. But when we were making Fan, we thought we would restrict it to Bombay-Pune, Delhi-Pune, but Adi suggested that we make it bigger and go to Croatia. I've never done a small or a big film. I've done films that make me have fun as an actor. Sometimes, it so happens that I'm doing two-three big films. Sometimes, it so happens that I'm doing two-three small films. The ideology has never been that I'll make a small or a big film. Now that I've decided to make two to three films a year, one will have to be fairly small. One has to be a 50-60 day film. I have to keep that in mind.

How happy are you with the final product?

Everyone's seen it now. The marketing unit saw it yesterday. We've seen it at a technical level in case we want to cut out some stuff, we did the grading and all. It's looking nice. When you make a film, it usually turns out to be either better or worse than you hoped. But this is exactly the film we set out to make.

It was meant to be a very special film. There will be a lot of questions raised, ke gaane nahi hai... Commerce ke liye woh zaroori hota hai... SRK ka yeh scene hona padega... But we were very clear ke uss se hatenge nahi, so much so that ki Jabra hit bhi ho gaya magar picture mein nahi hai. When we started making the film, we had a certain idea and it's turned out to be exactly like that. We thought it would be a 2-hour, 20-minute film, but the actual run-time is 2 hours, 13 minutes, plus 5 minutes of credits. But we are more or less where we thought we would be with the film.

There were plans that Red Chillies would make movies that would not feature you. What's happening on that front?

We are still doing that. We have tied up for Raees and then a film with Karan (Johar), which has me in it. We are working on Ittefaq now, which should go on the floors soon, and it doesn't feature me. We are doing one more film which is yet to be cast. There's a Marathi film too. There's a Farah (Khan) film without me, so that's being rewritten. There are also a few other projects, which we should announce soon.

What are the other plans?

There's Imtiaz's (Ali) film, Aanand's (L Rai) film, the VFX unit is going to start on the next film. They are expanding, looking to tie up with companies to expand internationally. We are now purely a production house! With these four to five films, our hands are full.

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Briyanikidaig IF-Stunnerz
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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 12:41am | IP Logged
I love the way BOI always give priority to srk and always lower down other actors movies LOL
ElOqUeNcE IF-Sizzlerz
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Joined: 06 May 2012
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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 1:30am | IP Logged
Yeh IV hai...muje laga movie script hai...itna lamba lol

Edited by ElOqUeNcE - 16 April 2016 at 1:40am
edunn Senior Member
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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 1:36am | IP Logged
some people have problem with evert thing about him

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ElOqUeNcE IF-Sizzlerz
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Posts: 15475

Posted: 16 April 2016 at 1:43am | IP Logged
Originally posted by edunn

some people have problem with evert thing about him


Edited by ElOqUeNcE - 16 April 2016 at 1:46am
.rasgulla. IF-Stunnerz
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Joined: 11 September 2009
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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 2:32am | IP Logged
Absolutely love reading his ivsDay Dreaming

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NestleToulouse IF-Stunnerz
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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 2:43am | IP Logged
Lovely interview <3

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_SJ_ Goldie
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Joined: 21 November 2013
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Posted: 16 April 2016 at 3:08am | IP Logged
His interview Day Dreaming...





Thanks for sharing! 

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