The Pathaan  actor opens up on the tough last few years, thanks director Siddharth Anand, everyone associated with Pathaan for making this film a resounding success for him.
By Mayur Lookhar
There are few personalities in Bollywood who can hold one’s attention for hours. Last evening in Mumbai, the success meet of Pathaan felt like a Ted talk from popular actor Shah Rukh Khan. Pathaan  is nearing Rs300 crore nett in domestic business, while it has grossed Rs500 crore globally.
The focus though wasn’t much on the huge numbers per se as Khan took the opportunity to thank the fans, hid colleagues, media for making this film a gigantic success.
Khan acknowledged that the last four years were tough on him. His last film Zero  drew a blank at the box office. In fact, Khan has struggled in the last decade with Chennai Express  being his last certified hit. The two-year pandemic period brought the world to a standstill making it all the more tough for Khan and everyone. The Pathaan  actor, however, took that opportunity to spend more time with his family and friends.
As always, the trademark SRK humour was in full flow.
“My last film Zero  didn’t work. People said that my films will no longer work. So, I thought of an alternate business. I learnt how to cook hoping to start a restaurant. I’d called it Red Chillies Food eatery. I learnt how to cook Italian,” joked Khan.
On a serious note, he was all excited to work with John Abraham. He took the challenge to build a physique that would be needed when you are squaring up against a bulky guy like Abraham.
Khan says, “John is a very old friend of mine, but we hadn’t worked together before. I was scared that if I have to act with him, I need to have a good body. So, I worked out. I love him so much that I wanted to kiss him in a few scenes. Even John tried it. This is no one way love. But it is nice to be back. I’m never in a hurry to finish any film. It is my genuine desire to make people happy. When I fail in that endeavor, no one feels more hurt than me. “
Khan was indebted to director Siddharth Anand, John, Deepika, and producer Aditya Chopra for giving him the opportunity to turn things around. It was also a moment where Khan didn’t shy from revealing the human, vulnerable side to him.
“Deepika, Sid, technicians, everyone who was involved, wanted this film to click for Shah Rukh bhai. I could feel this every day, even when I was working with foreign technicians. I’m grateful for all the love, all these beautiful friends of mine because I was also low on confidence,” confessed Khan.
He adds, “It is not like SRK speaks well on the stage and so he is always confident. I’m proud to say that I get scared sometimes, I feel sad, I too lose confidence many a times in a day. That is why I keep going. The weaker you are, the stronger you can become. These are the people who gave me strength.”
This was a very humble Khan, contrary to his earlier days, when he didn’t shy from saying that he is the best. In fact, he even had a song titled ‘I am the best’ from Yes Boss . The 57-year-old clarified these words shouldn’t be misinterpreted as any sign of arrogance, but it is merely a way to self-motivate.
“I’m the best. We need to wake up with this thought every day. Only then we will be able to move ahead in life. If you don’t aim for the moon, you won’t even reach the 10th floor. You have to jump the highest. In spite of knowing that people are better than you, you have to wake up with the confidence that I’m the best today and I will do my best, then you succeed. That is why I say I’m the best, not because I really believe that I’m the best,” the super star clarified.
The last many years have been tough and Khan acknowledged feeling dejected when his films don’t work.
“As an actor who has been working for 32 years, I feel responsible that I have let people, audience, media, everyone involved in the film down, when my film doesn’t do well,” said the seasoned the actor.
Khan, however, underlined how one to has to quickly move on from a bad film and strive to work harder in the next.
He tells, “The good actor, director, producers, they don’t crib over their film failing by Sunday. Come Monday, they decide to make a better film next time. If the film works, then they would still aspire to make a much better film than this one. Monday for a film industry is all about getting back to business. Of course, you do feel emotional, you do cry [if a film fails]. I cry in my bathroom.”
“We all feel guilty when we let the audience down. Come Monday, we have to pull our socks, become labour class again. If you can’t do this, then you have no right to make films,” declared Khan.