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Interview

The great Khali on food, films and more

‘I am a big chicken lover, I can eat chicken in all forms, and I love KFC’

Priyanka Roy  | Published 20.09.21, 04:36 AM

KFC India has recently brought back its popular Double Down Burger and lending his weight to the brand’s new campaign is The Great Khali. A chat with the globally-renowned wrestler-actor

What brought on the collaboration with KFC and in what way does the brand resonate with you?

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I have always been a huge KFC fan, whether in India or while travelling abroad. So when I heard that they have a new and different burger, which is literally like the ‘Khali of all Burgers’, I knew it was for me, and I hopped on to it. I had a lot of fun working with KFC because I got a chance to do and try things that otherwise my fans didn’t expect me to do.

Also, I am a big chicken lover, I can eat chicken in all forms, and I love KFC. I absolutely loved the Double Down Burger and would recommend everybody to try it.  It was fun to work on this collaboration with KFC and give the world a glimpse of the true chicken lover in me.

What makes you a fan of the KFC Double Down burger?

The KFC Double Down Burger has no bun and chicken fillets on both sides...like I say, ‘Upar bhi chicken, neeche bhi chicken, chicken hi chicken!’ Which for a chicken lover like me is literally a dream burger.

The ad talks about the ‘nayi waali feeling’. How is life new for you in the new normal?

The lockdown did hinder a lot of work related to sports and wrestling... there were no shows, no events, travel was on hold for many months. But on the other hand, I got to spend a lot of time with my family. I spent a lot of time with my daughter (Avleen), learning new things with and from her. I also tried to cook new dishes that my daughter likes.

We know that you are quite a foodie. What’s a typical daily meal menu for you like and what do you enjoy eating the most?

I am very conscious of what I eat, but I also enjoy my favourite dishes. So, it’s a balanced eating routine for me. My diet includes chicken, egg, rice, dal... a balance of carbs, fats, proteins and fibre.

What’s your idea of comfort food?

My go-to meals would be gravy chicken, rice, dal, sarson ka saag and makke ki roti.

You have carved out a life and career by being different. What would your advice be to those who are talented but aren’t given equal opportunities in society because they are different?

To be honest, I wasn’t thinking too far ahead when I started. I started by keeping small, simple and short-term achievable goals for myself. I never thought that I would become this huge global icon, The Great Khali, or do brand endorsements, work in Hollywood and Bollywood. I wasn’t aiming for this. My area of concern was as simple as any regular Indian’s is.

But one thing that was consistent was that I never gave up, I kept trying and trying, and doing my best. It began with body-building and then progressed to wrestling. So, my funda is that if you start something, you must continue doing it with the same amount of energy and dedication. I have seen many people who, after gaining success, deviate and change their line of interest, but for me it was always about wrestling and body-building.

Congratulations for being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame recently. What does this honour mean to you and to the journey that you have had so far?

Thank you. It’s only made me miss wrestling more, with the one thing that I miss the most is people cheering for me. Thousands of people cheering around you, believing in you, and going crazy for you is a godly feeling when in the ring. I miss that vibe but other than that, it is same here. I continue to train, and now that the Covid situation has eased up a bit, we are back to training people in my academy.

As far as acting is concerned, will we see you doing more? We had fun watching you in Hollywood!

Oh yeah, those days (of acting in Hollywood films), it was nice, I really enjoyed it. Especially Adam Sandler (who Khali shared screen space with in The Longest Yard) was my favourite, we used to have fun on sets. With Anne Hathaway (in Get Smart), the shoot was happening while I was still wrestling. I was hopping between shoots and wrestling, so it was hectic but fun. I used to wrestle for four days a week and then travel back and shoot on the remaining days. I wasn’t allowed leaves to shoot for the movie, but I managed somehow.

The shooting days were my favourite because there was no rush, everyone was giving their best performance and I made some good friends. Now, I have lots of other things to do and if things work out in Hollywood, well and good, I would be happy to evaluate.

You were the first runner-up on the fourth season of Bigg Boss. Would you be game to go back again as a contestant?

Whatever experience that I have had so far, it was good. Other than that, I am not persistent about Bigg Boss, it’s not like I would make any proactive effort to get into it.

Last updated on 20.09.21, 04:36 AM
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