By Shama Bhagat
His last four films 'Wanted', 'Dabangg', 'Ready' and Bodyguard' have crossed the highly vaunted Rs.100 crore mark and now all eyes are set on Salman Khan's forthcoming release 'Ek Tha Tiger'. The film will not only see him back with Katrina Kaif on screen, but is also his first venture with the Yash Raj camp. Like an alert tiger, he steels himself for a barrage of questions thrown at him from in.com. Here are excerpts from the interview:
What made you take up this role and how did you prepare for it?
It was a larger-than-life character. I depended on the script and created certain traits for this character, like the way he walks, the way he dresses up or talks. He has to be alert all the time. If people appreciate that, it's half the battle won. My character is exactly that of a tiger - he has that kind of stamina.
We heard you were not well during the shooting of the film. What kind of difficulties did you face?
The script needed me to be fit. I had signed the film and I was out of the surgery, so I could not give excuses about why I cannot shoot on a particular day. I am a tiger, remember? When I am hungry, I have to hunt for my own food. But (whispers) I can't use the word hunt, they will take objection to that (laughs). Since there was a lot of raw action, I had to run, fall and punch. It had to happen the way the script demanded, period.
It's your first film with Katrina after you broke up. Was there any baggage?
The role suited her. There was no baggage and Katrina and I have always been friends.
What took you so long for you and Yash Raj to collaborate?
It was wonderful working with friends and brothers. I worked with their brothers earlier and they were all amazing to work with. My father worked with them (Yash Raj) earlier. We did not work together, but we went out together. I have worked with Karan Johar in his first film. Karan's father and my father worked together. Our mothers were friends too. I never worked with Karan after that, but there was still a family relation.
Is there any one you hero worship in real life?
For me, real heroes are in real life situations. I find pride in people who show heroism in small things in life and are not embarrassed to do it. A hero for me is maybe a man who picks up a huge stone lying in the middle of the road or someone who shuts the manhole, if he sees one open. He is one who gets up in a crowded bus and gives his seat to an old man or a woman. In India, we see reverse situations. A girl gets raped in the middle of a road in Assam and everyone watches it without doing anything. They stand and participate in the act. The least they can do is call the police.
What was it that made you sign the film?
I knew when I heard the script, it was good but it would altogether be a different film on celluloid. I knew the action would take it to another level.
Your films have crossed the 100 crore mark. Do you think Ek Tha Tiger will do the same?
The audience does not come to watch a film because of the 100 crore business it does. They just don't care. They come to watch a good film and if they like it, they will watch it all over again. If a film does well at the box office, it generates a lot of revenue which is good for our country. I don't know about overseas business. We don't know what happens there actually. Business is a lot more than all this. Actually when you are successful, everything runs. Take for example, Sholay. The film didn't do well in the first week, but by word-of-mouth it became a hit after that. They had even made a special cassette of the dialogues of the film.
In Gangs of Wasseypur Part II there is an actor, who is a huge fan of Salman Khan. After Abhinav Kashyap, do you think Anurag's trying to extend an olive branch?
I haven't seen the film. I cannot use expletives. I do clean films. I want my films to be seen by families and I will never go with them to see such a film. I have nothing against his film. I would be glad if it did well. Right now, I am busy promoting my film. I know they are all adults, yet I would think ten times before watching such a film.
After Chillar Party do you plan to support any other children's film?
Of course, I will. We are working out on something now from Being Human productions. It will be a sweet film but we have not finalized anything.
You have been supporting Sarabjit Singh a lot?
Why not? I don't think he was involved in the bomb blasts. He has served his sentence and I think it's time they sent him home.
Do you ever go to the theatres to see the audience reaction?
I have never done that and I don't believe in it. I can sit in my car and get reactions. Collections at the end of the day prove the reaction, so why resort to such gimmicks?
We've heard that multiplexes have increased the price of tickets in the theatres because of your film. Your take?
I don't think it is right but I can't do anything about it. In any case, the single theatre audiences will buy tickets in black. They won't go to a multiplex to watch a film because the prices are high.
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