The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
At eighty' Hair dyed but right here
- Old enough to advise, Shahrukh holds forth on the present and the future
Shahrukh Khan: No time to introspect

Shahrukh Khan spent his 40th birthday in New York shooting for Karan Joharís next film Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. He spoke to STAR News and STAR Ananda about what keeps him going and the road ahead.

You just turned 40 but you still seem to be bubbling with energy. Where does all this energy come from'

I think itís more to do with the positive thinking that I do. I am now old enough to advise people. So I would like to tell everyone that not to think negatively about anyone. That keeps me energised. Otherwise, I lead a very unhealthy lifestyle. I sleep less. I eat less. I guess I am just blessed. God has been kind.

From the time you set out in Mumbai to this day, how much have you changed'

I donít think of how much I have changed. I donít get too much time for introspection. Thatís what I like ' one shouldnít have so much time in life to sit and introspect. All I know is that for the last 15-16 years, I have been working. I get up every morning to work and keep myself excited about my work. And the people, they love that work. Beyond that I donít think about anything else. Personally, though, I think I am exactly the same as I was. Maybe I have got better. The anger in me has reduced. I have mellowed down.

How long do you think you will be able to keep ruling Bollywood'

Jo mukaam mujhe logon ne diya hai (the position that people have bestowed on me)' thatís only been possible because a large group of people like me, like my films and appreciate my work. I will go on working, I will go on singing and dancing till the time I can serve my audience. This is no false modesty ' I am saying this with a lot of humility. Till the time audience bolenge ki ab boriya bistar baandh kar apni dukaan bandh karo (tell me to pack my bags and close shop)' I will carry on and then respectfully retire from my work.

Shahrukh Khan and his wife Gauri at a party in New York on his 40th birthday on Wednesday. (PTI)

Thereís a lot written about your rivalry with Aamir Khan and how you had a tiff with Yash Chopra over the distribution of Mangal Pandey'

I think the effect of media on our lives has doubled and thatís because there are so many more media now. And I really wonder, from where do the media get these stories. Aamir is a very good friend of mine and I am as proud of him as an actor as the rest of the country should be. He is a wonderful actor and a wonderful person. I have known him since I first came to Mumbai. We used to play chess together. We used to discuss about films together.

In fact, Aamir, me, Salman, we all started out at the same time and we are all fond of each other. I donít find any rivalry between us at all. Itís really sad that in our industry all these things are written about. They never happen in the American or German or Japanese film industries. Have you heard reports of Tom Cruise fighting with Brad Pitt or George Clooney saying something against Richard Gere'

But do you plan to switch to character roles once you stop playing the hero'

For the last 15 years, I have always been playing character roles. If you read my first ever interview, I had said: ďI have come to Mumbai to be a character actor.Ē In theatre, we used to call this a protagonist or the central character. So, I have always tried to be a character ' from Swades to Paheli to now, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. I have tried to make characters in the existing framework of Indian cinema and hopefully will continue to do that for the next 40 years.

And do you plan to change yourself in the coming years'

I do believe in some reinvention every now and then, depending on the age. But I would like to serve the Indian movie-watching audience all over the world like the way I have been doing. And I will be right here at 80. Maybe the hair will be dyed.

Email This Page