When you see Salman Khan on screen, the effect is larger than life. As he screws up his eyes in a characteristic scowl and delivers sardonic lines – to the villain or heroine – in his quietly menacing manner, he fills the screen and everything else fades from view.
However, when you first see Salman in person, the impression is more muted. Clad in a simple, black Being Human T-shirt and blue jeans, he strides into the venue – a lounge in a Dubai hotel – looking nothing like a larger-than-life hero from Bollywood.
He smiling, for one, an easy artless grin that becomes him. He doesn project a touch-me-not demeanour to keep off the hundreds of fans – whoe been waiting for more than an hour at the venue – from approaching him for a photograph. He patiently gives interviews to all the scribes assembled there without any sign of irritation – and it wasn even a pre-release publicity event for a film.
Apparently, what wee been hearing about Salman – that he a bratty, snooty superstar – is not all true. e a guy who seen a lot of ups and downs,?says Bollywood director Shashilal Nair, who seen him grow up in the film industry before blossoming into a star. e come to terms with it all.?/p>
In other words, he matured. The superstar, who will be turning 50 on Sunday (December 27), has had plenty of upheavals in his life. But mention that and Salman will reply in his mock-menacing style, hat ups and downs? I am always up!?/p>
So, how will he spend his 50th birthday? y working of course!?he retorts. But Salman does have a gift up his sleeve for his legion of fans across the world – his biography is going to be released on Sunday.
Titled Being Salman and authored by TV journalist Jasim Khan, the book is said to chronicle the colourful personal and professional life of the superstar, including the many controversies he been in.
But the bigger gift will be the film he working on at present – Sultan. Salman is leaving nothing to chance to ensure that the movie, slated for a 2016 Eid release, will be his biggest yet.
He is said to be personally supervising every aspect of the film alongside director Ali Abbas Zafar – who directed Mere Brother Ki Dulhan starring Imran Khan and Katrina Kaif, and Gunday with Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra – and blockbuster producer Aditya Chopra.
Salman sits in the film story sessions for three hours every day, because he sees Sultan as his gift to his fans to commemorate his 50th birthday.
Industry insiders say that Salman involvement in the blackbuck poaching case – which is still pending – and the hit-and-run case, in which he was acquitted of all charges, will be a part of the film. That would be a first for the actor, as he consistently refused to comment on the two issues until now.
Salman did allude to the effect the legal tussle in the 2002 hit-and-run case had on him while juggling shooting schedules of his most recent film, the top-grossing Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, and his previous blockbuster Bajrangi Bhaijaan (which made around Rs6.26 billion or Dh346 million worldwide) earlier this year, as court proceedings and hearings related to the case went on simultaneously.
t was very difficult to concentrate [on my work] then,?he said in an interview. couldn do a half-hearted job just because of all that I was going through. A fan pays to watch my work and I have to ensure that they enjoy it. So I just had to block everything out and give my 100 per cent.
y fans may forgive me if I slip up, but when they go to see a film, they want to enjoy. So, yes, it was really difficult [to concentrate].?/p>
And yet, Salman has no wish to be left alone. In fact he revels in the exposure his image gives him. hy would I want to be invisible??he says. hese other people are invisible to me.?/p>
The bachelor is in that space where he can afford to ignore the situation. get my time alone, and if I don like the place I am in, I imagine being in Miami or at my Panvel farm, fishing,?he says.
f you try and struggle to get out of a situation, you get stressed. When you accept it, and let your mind wander, things become much easier.?The 1.7m-tall star adds that this is easy for him because he doesn require constant fawning or cool things to keep him occupied.
am not fond of fancy things,?he says. f I have something – like this phone that has been with me for over a year – why change it? Before this, I had a BlackBerry Bold for like a thousand years. My house is small, but it OK.
don believe in change; I believe in growth. If you know what your goal is, you are set. Change is for the fickle.?/p>
Salman home is a humble one-bedroom flat in Galaxy Apartments, Bandra, a suburb in Mumbai. One of the main reasons he doesn want to move to a larger place – one that more appropriately befits his status – is that his father, former scriptwriter Salim Khan, lives on the floor above his.
The other reason is that Salman is a creature of habit. 楨very time I think of it, I find am not able to do it,?he says. 楢ll my life, I have taken the same left and the same right turns.
楢djusting to new neighbours is also a problem. My neighbours have been seeing me without a shirt since I was nine years old. For them, me without a shirt in the building is no big deal!?/p>
But he is pragmatic too. f course, Isure once I move out I will adjust, because human beings do adjust,?he explains. have a few properties; I will do them up first and see if it viable. I am just trying to shift my gym from my present home, so that I can get some more space.?/p>
Salman reluctance to let go of his past or even enjoy his success wholeheartedly perhaps goes back to the struggle he faced early on in his career. His first film, Biwi Ho To Aisi (1988), was a dud, and his screen time was cut so drastically, he ended up almost an extra.
Naturally, he wasn exactly sought-after. It was only after much persuasion that film-maker Sooraj Barjatya cast him in Maine Pyar Kiya in 1989, and fortunately, it was a game changer. The movie broke almost all box-office records in Bollywood at the time.
But Salman still remained without a single film in his kitty for nine months. His influential father had to intervene, penning the script for his third film, Pathar Ke Phool, and announcing the project in collaboration with Bollywood mogul, GP Sippy. t was only then that a music company bought the music rights for Rs500,000, with which we could commence shooting of the film!?Salman says.
Although the film was a success, and brought with it a spate of offers, most of them bombed. Salman had to learn the hard way to choose the right scripts that suited his image and talent.
One thing that these struggles taught him was to take both success and failure lightly. He survived also in large part due to his sense of humour. During the promotion of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, he shared an anecdote that still tickles him. recently went to the producer, Rajshri Productions?office and saw my screen test of Maine Pyar Kiya. For the test, choreographer and now popular film-maker Farah Khan had been asked to make me dance to the song O Hansini. I was so bad, she just ran away from the set! She told Sooraj, if you take him that will be the end of you!?/p>
It also illustrates his strength – the capacity to turn a liability into an asset. Today, Salman dance moves form a major part of his entertainment appeal. He known to set crowds wild with a flick of a hip.
How does he do it? watch people and try to absorb their style,?he says. see somebody dancing, having fun; and take that spirit in, modify it slightly and put it in my performance.?/p>
Has he chanced upon a formula for a successful movie? h no,?he says. don think anybody knows the formula for a successful film. If people knew the formula, why would they make a Men’s I chose Rapture Print Long Sleeve Tee Shirt flop?
e as film-makers keep thinking we are making the best film?right until it releases. But it takes just a few minutes on a Friday for us to know if we can rejoice or hold our heads and say, h shucks, we messed up?
t in those few seconds that you know if the audience has accepted or rejected your film.?/h2>
Salman is aware that no matter how larger-than-life a character is, it has to be based on some truth. That also why he has not bothered with niceties. Recently, when the ratings of his reality TV show, Bigg Boss 9, fell, he announced it unapologetically, saying: t has failed just like Shaandaar [a film starring Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt]?
But that has only served to make him work harder. Age is catching up, but Salman is not averse to doing strenuous physical workouts for his role as a wrestler in Sultan. However, he does admit that t getting a bit painful. The prep involves a lot of physical exertion, so something or the other keeps hurting every day. But I am enjoying it all.
楧on worry, I won let my fans down.?/h2>
But they aren worried at all. They just can wait for Salman gift to them.