Shahrukh Khan opens the Floodgates
"I dont believe that people hate Shah Rukh Khan the person...
The greater my body of work, the lesser is the credit due to me. Im
the clown in the circus...
Its my job to make everyone laugh."
A flask of chai, a packet of cigarettes, an air-conditioned van, and
Shah Rukh Khan beside me, is paradise enough! Shah Rukh is the easiest
star to interview. Hes accessible, articulate and knows what hes
talking about. An interview with him is always an enjoyable event. The
Khans equations are as simple as a childs, operating on the
philosophy, If you like me, I like you. And yes, hes eminently
likeable. He calls a rose a rose, and sometimes, just for effect, calls
it a thorn. After some polite conversation, and some impolite, we talk
about the business of films. His home production Phir Bhi Dil Hai
Hindustani looms round the corner. He has been called predictable, but
in a one on one, you never know what hell say next.
Youre moving from success to success. What next?
I dont know. Success is so subjective, I dont think this is being
Do you judge it by public adulation or box-office figures?
Im not naive enough to believe that any of the adulation is directed
towards me. It is to the films I do and to the characters I play. My
friends in the industry, and I, find it surprising that Im a star.
Aziz Mirza says, Hey, how can you be such a big star? Juhi, Kajol
and I feel strange thinking of ourselves as stars. People tell us so.
Im not starry and have neither worked towards that, nor behaved like
What is stardom to you?
Stardom is what Mr Bachchan is, what Michael Jackson, Salman Khan and
Aamir Khan are. When I see them on screen, or in person, they exude that
Dont you generate the same kind of feeling with the public?
No! A response can be given to anybody. You do two films and you get a
response. When fans respond to me, its for something Ive done in
films, not to Shah Rukh the person. Its wrong to assume that if KKHH
put me on the pinnacle of success, it was only because of me. Any actor
who danced on the train for Chaiyyan chaiyyan or were in KKHH or
Dil Se... wouldve received similar adulation. If Akshay Kumar or
Govinda had done that song, they would have danced better than me. The
song wouldve looked nicer because their personality wouldve added
something to the song. There are 30 or 40 people involved in making this
phenomenon and these kind of reactions happen.