Shah Rukh Khan talks about not being vein, what turns him as an actor, his process of acting and Aryan's opinion on his films...
You wearing kohl in your eye and pathanis, which is kind of setting a trend. Did you give any inputs when your character's style was being discussed?
I am not a big fan of myself, genuinely. I am not very vein, I am just naturally so good looking (says jokingly) I look good in everything. Honestly, I am very shy...I don't sit in front of the mirror. When I was doing fan it included 8 hours of make up so, you have to look into the mirror but, I am not a vain person..When I walked into the set for the 25 days of the shoot, everybody was very quiet also it was a new Excel unit and I got know from my camera man that everybody is thinking that I am in a very bad mood, looking scary, very serious and angry which is why nobody is talking on the set. After those 25 days I started telling everybody, I don't know if I am looking scary but, I am a very friendly person and we can talk and chat. I don't know much about styling even in the song 'Zaalima' they gave me something to tie my hair with, which I did.
You have made many friends in the industry, who are you closest to?
Aryan, Suhana, Abraham...are my best friends (Smiles).
What turns you on as an actor?
I have a process obviously; I have worked for 25 years in this industry...I know the graph a little bit more than I knew 25years ago and the struggle for an actor comes in different phases. Initially I felt I knew a lot, half way through i realised the more I act the less I realise.... the less I know as an actor. There's so much more to know. Then there comes a time where I feel that I have nailed the character, and I realise, no, there are so many more ways that I can actually expose myself as an actor. I am 51 years old and whatever kind of cinema I do, I am an actor first and then finally it comes down to, "Can I expose myself as a person within the character that I have been given." Picasso once said, "I want to paint like a child." I am not comparing myself with Picasso but, I understand it now. I didn't understand it when I read it 15 years ago but, yeah I want to act like a child...like the rawness I had when I did my first film because you lose it along the way when you have the graph. I have a very different process from a lot of actors. I hear and read the script, go into a shell and when I come out in my present, I just talk about that character. I make some notes and if there's a physicality attached to it I try to bring it in. Like in Raees is the voice that I wanted to use I didn't know what it will be but, I told Rahul (Dholakia) I will use it. I didn't know how I came up with it, there's a cragginess that I want to put into it. Like in Anand's film I'll have to prepare a lot as I am playing a dwarf, I'll want to study some people. I want to be able to do it differently than what I have done. Itmiaz Ali's film is a love story but I sat for hours with him from 7 in the evening till 7 in the morning just chatting and talking about our lives and not the film.
Rahul makes realistic films and you are mostly known for commercial films...did he choose you or was it vice-versa?
I have never designed a film for myself. The film selects an actor. I understand I come from a more commercial performance based arena. I am not considered as the most serious actor but, I am an extremely serious actor. If I didn't have dimples you would think I am Nawazuddin. I have not seen Rahul's earlier films but the script that he narrated to me was well researched. If the script is well edged out the actor's job becomes easy. He is so confident with what he has written. He wanted this film to go on a broader spectrum which is not a bad thing. Because I have done more commercial cinema and he has done less commercial ones we have had a good laugh at work. Somewhere we both agree with the ideas though our perspectives are different. Mahira Khan, Zeeshan, and Nawaz all are from realistic cinema but, we all had a great time (pauses), I think I am only the most commercial thing in the film.
How does Aryan react to you romancing in films?
I have never asked him. All the younger actors that I am working with now, they have a different take on life and I can sense it. They are kind enough to accept the fact that I am cool enough to be with them. I talk with them (his children) and listen to them actually more but, I have never sat done with Aryan and asked how did you find this? Because what he likes or dislike does not form the creative process for me. But, I do call him every week and ask to watch this film. Sometimes, he calls me back and says, "Very boring". He is studying to be a film-maker. I asked them to watch 'Jaane Bhi do Yaaro' they didn't find it as funny as we did. The humour and sensibility have changed; it's nice to hear what they are saying. We have too much happiness and freedom between us that we are always into encouraging each-other. I don't know how he reacts to me romancing the heroines and he doesn't know how I react to him romancing the girls. He is also making short films right now and I have to be unbiased and say I didn't like that if I didn't. They do watch my films and say, whether it was too long, bit okay...They loved Fan, not many of them liked it, but that's okay. I don't want them to listen to my ideas and put it in their films when they become an actor or a director but, to think about what I have shared shall help then and it can be vice-versa.