In­dia's Shah Rukh Khan dreams of global Bol­ly­wood hit

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

In­dian screen icon Shah Rukh Khan has starred in dozens of Bol­ly­wood blockbusters and is adored by mil­lions, but there's a movie he still dreams of mak­ing-one that's a truly global hit. "I would like to be a part of that one In­dian film, as an ac­tor, as a pro­ducer, as a gaffer, as a sound recordist, as a pro­duc­tion man­ager, what­ever, which be­comes fa­mous all over the world," Khan told AFP in an in­ter­view.

"That's my 'Make in In­dia' dream. I've had this since 25 years," he added, bor­row­ing In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi's much-trum­peted slo­gan for boost­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing in the coun­try. The Asian gi­ant's Hindi film in­dus­try churns out hun­dreds of movies every year, rak­ing in bil­lions of US dol­lars in ticket re­ceipts, but is yet to re­lease a block­buster that re­ally takes West­ern box of­fices by storm. "I hope to achieve that but I don't sit down with peo­ple (and fo­cus on) 'What is the cross­over film that we can make?' No, I think it will hap­pen be­cause I believe in it," said Khan.

The ac­tor known in In­dia as "King Khan" or sim­ply "SRK" to his le­gions of fans is ar­guably Hindi cin­ema's big­gest and most-rec­og­niz­able star of the mod­ern age. He shot to star­dom in the mid-90s as the hero of ro­man­tic dra­mas such as "Dil­wale Dul­ha­nia Le Jayenge" ("The Brave­hearted Will Take Away the Bride") and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" ("Some­thing Hap­pens"). Khan is also known for lead roles in high-oc­tane thrillers like "Don" and this year's "Fan" while other ma­jor hits in­clude the 2013 com­edy "Chen­nai Ex­press" and 2010's "My Name is Khan", in which he played a man with Asperger's syn­drome.

'I like James Bond'

The 51-year-old boasts 22.2 mil­lion Twit­ter fol­low­ers and reg­u­larly sees hordes of ad­mir­ers gather out­side his man­sion by the sea in In­dia's com­mer­cial cap­i­tal of Mum­bai, the home of Bol­ly­wood. His next film, called "Dear Zindagi" ("Dear Life"), hits cin­ema screens on Friday. But Khan ad­mits he ini­tially had misgivings about play­ing the role of Je­hangir Khan in the com­edy-drama di­rected by Gauri Shinde. "I'd be hon­est, I didn't think I'd like the film. Not be­cause it's not a good film... But it's not my genre of film. I like bad boys. I like James Bond," he said. Khan says his char­ac­ter plays the role of a "men­tor, friend, philoso­pher, guide" to the much younger Kaira, played by up­com­ing Bol­ly­wood ac­tress Alia Bhatt, 23, in the film which he says is "sweet" and "funny".

He de­scribed "Dear Zindagi" as a feel-good movie about life and how to cope with it "not only as a young­ster but as a par­ent, as a mid­dle-aged per­son. "It deals with all of them with­out be­ing preachy," he ex­plained. Khan, whose ca­reer as one of Bol­ly­wood's most bank­able ac­tors spans three decades, says he doesn't see him­self as a real-life men­tor to young ac­tors, but will give ad­vice if asked.

'Out of body ex­pe­ri­ence'

Khan has ap­peared in around 80 Bol­ly­wood movies and col­lected nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades since trav­el­ling to Mum­bai on a train from his home­town of Delhi in the early 90s with the clear in­ten­tion of be­com­ing a su­per­star. "I al­ways wanted to be fa­mous, I wanted to be rec­og­nized, I want thou­sands of peo­ple out­side my house, I don't want to go on the beach and re­lax. If I want a McDon­ald's I'll open it in my house," he said.

"When I was 25 I wanted to be like Madonna said: rich, fa­mous, well-known, hard-work­ing, rec­og­nized and get all the awards pos­si­ble. I re­ally en­joy be­ing a star, I would not ex­change it for any­thing." In "Fan", re­leased in April, he played the dou­ble role of a movie megas­tar and a crazed young ad­mirer whose ob­ses­sion with his idol turns in­creas­ingly vi­o­lent after he fails to meet him. "SRK" de­scribes his own fame as be­ing like an "out of body ex­pe­ri­ence". "I'm ex­tremely grate­ful and I don't even un­der­stand how I've be­come what I've be­come. "Does it even be­long to me? I say this again and again, I'm just an em­ployee of the su­per­star called Shah Rukh Khan. I have no idea how he does it."— AFP

Bol­ly­wood ac­tor Shah Rukh Khan speaks as ac­tress Alia Bhatt looks on dur­ing an in­ter­view with AFP in Mum­bai. — AFP pho­tos

Bol­ly­wood ac­tor Shah Rukh Khan speaks dur­ing an in­ter­view with AFP.

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