Interview: Shah Rukh Khan in Dubai

09 Dec 2011

Shah Rukh Khan talks to Ahlan! Live about the recent Mission: Impossible controversy, his own action thriller Don 2 and why he doesn't behave like a role model

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan showed off the 3D preview of his upcoming movie Don 2 at an open forum at the Dubai International Film Festival yesterday (8 December 2011), and the city has been going SRK-gaga ever since. Today, Ahlan! Live met Shah Rukh at Koubba, at Dubai's Al Qasr Hotel, and we’ve officially joined the enamoured groupies of SRK - hook, line and sinker.

Yes, there was a three-hour wait to meet Shah Rukh, but when he did speak to us, there was no topic that was off-limits. From why he thinks he’s schizophrenic to his smoking habit to the controversy surrounding Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol (it’s been alleged that ‘fans’ were paid to applaud Tom Cruise’s arrival at Mumbai airport) - SRK opened up about everything. Read on to find out more...

What do you think of the allegations that Indians were paid to pretend to be Tom Cruise fans for his recent arrival in Mubai?   
I don’t think it’s fair to say that. Not only does it reflect poorly that we don’t know the superstardom and greatness of Tom Cruise as a commercial actor, it also makes it seem like India is less ‘with it’. We are very well-informed. Maybe if he just walked on the road for a moment, he wouldn’t be someone you’d relate to; for that matter, if he walked in here just now - and I know him - you wouldn’t expect him to be there, so he may pass by quietly, but it wouldn’t be because of lack of knowledge or lack of stardom.


Have you seen MI4?
I’ve seen MI4 and I think the movie is awesome. It’s so awesome that it’s almost unreal.

Tom Cruise scaled Burj Khalifa in MI4. Are you tempted to do something similar heroic?
I would just hang around with pretty girls in Dubai while being Don! That’s my way of being heroic!

In your movie Don 2 you're playing a bad guy. How do you behave at home? What kind of a role model are you to your kids? 
I was just 15 when I lost my dad. The only thing I remember about my dad now was that he was a great friend. We were friends because he was as naughty as I was. I once troubled a lady as a kid, and she came over to our house to complain. Instead of punishing me, my dad sat her down, offered her a cup of tea, complimented her on her looks and said, ‘He’s a kid, he’s 12 years old, just forgive him.”

We were poor, and my mom used to be quite direct about saying that we couldn’t afford the tickets for a movie. My dad would say, "I'll take you to watch something even better than the movie." So he would buy me groundnuts, make me sit at the nearest roundabout, in the middle of the road, and say, "This is where we can watch all the cars go by, so let's sit down and have fun."

In my house, I don’t behave like a role model at all. I smoke. But now my daughter takes my cigarettes and flushes them down the toilet. She does it at night, so I can’t even go out and buy more. I’ve never told the kids that smoking is bad but both of them think it’s awful. So I’m sure I’ll give it up.

When we’re at home on the weekends, we keep awake till 5 in the morning. We play videogames and swim at night. We do all that they want to do. My wife always tells me, "You’re spoiling them, this is wrong". But every time that they go out somewhere, I do get a call from other parents who say that they are well-behaved. So you don’t have to play a role model, you have to be a friend. I don’t have a steady amount of time to give them, so when they don’t do well, I don’t reprimand them. I tell them, "If you like being at the bottom of your class, and that makes you happy, do that!"

You’ve joked that you are schizophrenic. Why do you say that?
I am schizophrenic! At home, my family says that there’s SRK1 and SRK2. One day I’ll be feeling good and gentle and I’ll want to do a love story. The next day I’ll be disturbed and want to be mean, and want to do a scene where I get to beat someone up. I am not nearly as good as Khan (Rizwan Khan, his character in My Name Is Khan) and not as bad as Don.

If you had to introduce Bollywood to an international audience, which movies would you pick?
Let me just talk about my films for this. It’s not that I can’t talk about other films. It’s just because if you were to give people a cross-section of what Bollywood stands for, I think I’ve done those kind of movies.

I’d pick My Name Is Khan, because it would be more understandable, topical, and a lot of it is in English. It's modern and part of the new wave of Indian cinema. So that would be quite interesting.

My second pick would be Om Shanti Om because it’s such a typical Bollywood film. It’s a fun film, there’s lots of singing and dancing, it’s loud, over-the-top and retarded. You still enjoy it. I call Bollywood movies cabarets - they're like a variety programme. You sit down, you have a bit of food, someone will come and sing, someone will crack a joke, someone will show you a fight sequence. It’s actually very difficult to put all these things in one story.

I’d also like people to watch Ra.One just for the technical aspects of what we are beginning to do in the last five to six years. Or maybe Chak De because it shows the kind of role that Indian society has subjected Indian women to and how they are growing out of it. It has the Indian national game (hockey), it has these women, and there’s no dancing or singing.