Make in In­dia for the world

> Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan still dreams of mak­ing that one block­buster film that will re­ally be fa­mous world­wide and take west­ern box of­fices by storm

The Sun (Malaysia) - - THE BIG PICTURE -

IN­DIAN screen icon Shah Rukh Khan ( left) 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,” Shah Rukh tells AFP in an interview. “That’s my ‘Make in In­dia’ dream. I’ve had this since 25 years ago,” he adds, 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 it 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,” says Shah Rukh.

The ac­tor, known in In­dia as ‘King Khan’ or sim­ply ‘S.R.K.’ to his le­gions of fans, is ar­guably Hindi cin­ema’s big­gest and mostrecog­nis­able 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).

Shah Rukh is also known for lead roles in high-oc­tane thrillers like Don and this year’s Fan .

His 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.

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 new film, Dear Zindagi (Dear Life), is now screen­ing in cin­e­mas.

But Shah Rukh 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,” he says.

“I like bad boys. I like James Bond.”

Shah Rukh adds that 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 de­scribes 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 ex­plains.

Shah Rukh, 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.

Shah Rukh 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 recog­nised, I want thou­sands of peo­ple out­side my house,” he says.

“I don’t want to go on the beach and re­lax. If I want a McDon­ald’s, I’ll open it in my house.

“When I was 25, I wanted to be like what Madonna said: ‘rich, fa­mous, well­known, hard-work­ing, recog­nised 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.

Shah Rukh 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.” – AFPRe­laxnews

Ver­sa­tile ac­tor … Shah Rukh in (clock­wise, from above) Dear Zindagi; Fan; and Don.

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