The euphoria the arrival of a Bollywood superstar can evoke can be deadly and who better knows this than King Khan himself, Shah Rukh Khan. The trailer for his upcoming film ��Fan�۪, releasing this Friday, has already got a buzz around it, not only because Khan is playing a double role in the film but also because it is a story of many of his own personal fans. Madame Tussauds in London decided to go one step further and pay homage to the film by dressing up Khan�۪s waxwork in the character Gaurav�۪s clothing and posing him the way he is in the film ��Fan�۪.
BizAsia had the opportunity to attend the press interaction which took place on 13th April, after Khan unveiled the waxwork’s new attire. Khan spoke with passion about his role as a superstar in the film industry and the love that his fans had for him, in conversation with host Ameet Chana.
Khan officially unveiled the waxwork of Gaurav at the start of the event and admitted that it made him feel a little awkward. Speaking about his role as Gaurav in ��Fan�۪, he said: ���So to do a whole film where there�۪s a person who kind of looks like you, this one (pointing to the statue) still looks exactly like me, but Gaurav is a lookalike. He doesn�۪t look exactly like me. It was quite surreal. Actually I must say, when everyone watched the film they�۪ll see it�۪s very schizophrenic, because you have a lookalike trying to be like the actor in the film and then you have the actor Aryan Khan.�
Khan admitted that though he is doing a double role in ��Fan�۪, he developed his own technique for playing both the characters in the film. He said: ���There�۪s a technique I have developed doing double roles, which is when I say the dialogue and pre-record them, and then try to follow it but it�۪s a very strange thing to do. We have to rehearse it about 100 times, and then it will be like ��Mein aapni life ki paanch minute bhi kyun do tumko�۪…he looks up��_…scratches his nose and says ��Mein aapka fan hoon�۪. So you have to record everything, and then you just sit down there and you just act with nothing else in-front of you, just a voice. And then the actions he looks at him…scratches his nose, ��Fan hoon�۪, so you have to follow all the instructions, it�۪s very strange.�
Talking about working with director Maneesh Sharma for a second time, since Sharma was assistant director on ��Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi�۪ (2008), Khan shared a background with him as both of them originally came from Delhi. He said: ���I think one of the conditions to work on the film was that you have to like my films and know about my films. So what was very strange was him telling me and giving me instructions was one of them, but I also had to do some old scenes from films of mine like ��Baazigar�۪ (1993), and when I�۪d do it, they�۪d come and say ‘It�۪s not as good as when I had played it 10 years ago, You have to do it all over again.’ And I�۪d say ‘I know how I did it,’ and he�۪s say No, i�۪ve seen it 10 times, I think you have to do it differently.’ So that was taken, but it was great fun working with him.�
Khan also looked fondly back on the idols he had growing up. He said: ���Growing up with films, Mr Bachchan of course because my time in the 1980�۪s, watching films was full of Mr Bachchan so I�۪m a big lover of his work and himself. Dharmendra, Mr Rishi Kapoor, Saira Banno, Mumtaaz, and initially when I joined the industry, young ladies who were working like Madhuri Dixit-Nene and Juhi Chawla. I was a big fan of theirs and I used to watch their films and really love them so it was and still is actually when I meet Madhuri and Juhi, I�۪m still kind of fan like. In terms of sports people, Mohammad Ali I really admire – my father used to tell me stories Milkha Singh and others like Mother Teresa.�
Khan was keen to point out that he was never an obsessive fan of anyone at a young age because he was busy working hard to establish himself. He said: ���From the age of 15 to 25 is when you have the luxury of being a fan, selflessly and unconditionally loving someone, cutting their pictures out and sticking posters up. I had to start fending for myself, – Going back to my job, I had to start working and finish my studies. So i tell everyone before I became a fan I became a star.�
In recent years, Khan has been doing commercial films like ��Happy New Year�۪ (2014) and ��Dilwale�۪ (2015), BizAsia was curious to know whether this was a conscious decision on his part. He said: ���No, these films were done much before. ��Fan�۪ was done during ��Happy New Year�۪ (2010) and was intended to come last year, on the 15th of August, but we didn�۪t realise VFX would take so long. ��Raees�۪ was also actually shot a month after that. We finished it, but I got injured and I had to shoot again for 30 days, so I had to finish it now. So it was a mix at that time, I think ��Fan�۪ should have been four months after ��Happy New Year�۪ but what we had got and how we had shot it, I was shooting in the middle of ��Happy New Year�۪, so it�۪s been two and a half years, we just didn�۪t realise it would take so long, so no.�
���I think people give too much thought into how I think I do a film. I have always done films which I feel like doing. It�۪s very important to me, to wake up in the morning and be excited with the thought that I�۪m going to work. If I go in to do it for other reasons; myself to begin with, and the people that I work with, it�۪ll be very difficult for me to work 15 hours a day or something, and it would become just like any job. So these are films I got very excited about, and the new ones also. ��Raees�۪ I have just wrapped five to seven days ago, and there are other films also that I�۪m doing. It�۪s not like ��Oh I want to do a frothy film now!�۪ I think I�۪ll be in Anand Rai�۪s film I�۪ve just been discussing it, that�۪s off and strange, and how he�۪s going to portray me and do the film. I�۪m finding it very exciting and challenging, so hopefully it will be my own ��Appu Raja�۪. I just do the films that excite me, it’s never a conscious decision to do a film at this time, or a patriotic film on the 15th August but the commercial films we think like at Christmas it has to be all happy and colourful, but otherwise no. There�۪s no other thought that goes into it.�
BizAsia wishes Shah Rukh Khan and the team of ��Fan�۪ all the best for their release and look forward to watching the film, releasing on Friday 15th April 2016.
Photographs by Shyama Sudra