After the magnanimous success of Chennai Express,Shah Rukh Khan has now expressed his desire to do a biopic.
The recent biopic on legendary athlete Milkha Singh,Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,featuring Farhan Akhtar was received well by the audience.
Earlier Shah Rukh Khan had received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Kabir Khan in Chak De! India,which was loosely based on the life and career of Hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi. However,the 47-year-old actor wants to do an out-and-out biopic.
In an interview,Shah Rukh Khan spoke about biopics,business and his future in television.
Ques: Biopics make a very interesting cinematic experience. In whose shoes would you like to fit in?
Shah Rukh Khan: Any of them yaar! I’ve been telling my friends for the past six to seven years that I want to do a biopic. Sometimes they think it’s not interesting and sometimes they think I don’t fit well into that biopic. Asoka is hardly a biopic and Chak De! India is based on someone I know but it’s not entirely a biopic. But if you ask me interesting characters,I’d love to do a Charles Shobhraj.
I know it’s not an interesting thing to do (laughs). I’d love to do the real Natwarlal,the conman. These negative characters make for an interesting,not appreciable life. I’d like to do sports personality. I would love to do a boxing film. I still like to do it. In the Indian context there might not be many known so it will be a difficult subject to do.
I would’ve done Bhaag Milkha Bhaag but I didn’t have the dedication and time to do it. Farhan has taken it to a different level and I always knew that. I can do anything – from a philanthropist to a business head,I’d change myself physically and mentally to get into them. I have the capability to do that.
If I can do it for ‘Dard-E-Disco’ I can do it for anything. But it has to excite me. Whoever is making a biopic with me,I’ll have to tell that person to leave me alone for a month or two so I can get into the character.
Even My Name is Khan was,in a generic way,talking about a very serious issue. I couldn’t mess around with it. I told Karan Johar to wait three months so that I could finish everything else I was doing. I told him I’ll get the autism part right and that he need not worry.
I want to do a biopic with dedication. Rahul Dholakia has a biopic that I am very interested in doing. I haven’t committed. Somebody told me I should do ‘Dhyan Chand’. He was one of the greatest people my father talked about. He talked about Mohammed Ali too and that’s why I would love to do a boxing film.
Ques: You’ve got your first Rs 200 crore film after two decades. The next feat will be Rs 300 crores. But how much of the business do you think will change in the next five months and for you to hit the next target?
Shah Rukh Khan: It doesn’t work for me in this calculation. I am an actor. When I am called to Taj Lands End to speak about a serious issue,I go prepared and speak that language. I can’t speak the language unless the topic is there.
The topic in this case is a film like Chennai Express. It speaks the language the people have been speaking for the last four years. Now you know the answer. So take the monkey off my back and the donkeys off my head.
This is a film that speaks the language in terms of numbers. It’s an entertainer and comes during a holiday period. You can’t release a My Name Is Khan and speak that language. You’ll be fighting a losing battle. Chennai Express is a very popular film made by the most popular director of our country with the most popular heroine of the country and distributed by the most popular studio house of our country.
Red Chillies has made the biggest hit this country has ever seen. I am proud of that and it’ll do very well for everybody. My choice of movies will never be dictated by the language of numbers or the opinion of guys who praise movies. If my heart tells me to do a film,I believe a lot of other hearts will attach to it. Numbers will follow if it’s that kind of a topic.
Ques: And which film do you recall on top of your head that came from the heart and hit the box office bang on?
Shah Rukh Khan: And very seldom it happens for every actor that a film comes along and convinces all three – the creative of the actor and the director,the appraisal of the film and the box office numbers. I’ve had it with Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge,Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,Chak De! India,and now Chennai Express.
All these movies came from the heart,especially Shimit’s. So here was a guy who assisted my director on Darr,who came from America and wanted to make a film on hockey with women in it. Yes,he speaks with an accent too (laughs). He has edited Asoka too. So,I knew him. It came from the heart. Swades was made like that. I loved Jodhaa Akbar. Ashutosh Gowariker told me once,”My dad says after making an important film like Lagaan,people will throng to see your film. Make a film that says something important”. I asked him if it has the potential and he again said,”Sha,my dad wants”. I immediately said ‘Yes’ because a friend’s dad wanted to. I think the choices are like that.
Ques: Now that American television shows are gaining more popularity over their movies,as a visionary,would you like to dabble in Indian TV too like you did years back with Fauji and Circus?
Shah Rukh Khan: I think it’s a fantastic thought to bring the best of the director and actors and producers to make T.V. shows but in India,business is personal. It’s just not business. So till people actually in India start to realize the importance of business as business,I don’t think there are too many people coming together and doing jobs. It’s unfortunate. It’s a sign of a developed business doing nation. It’s got nothing to do with my personal relations with anybody. I’ll give you an example. In Japan,it’s highly wrong that if you make the same product and I make the same product,except buying,there is no talk. Mushtaq Sheikh and Shah Rukh Khan are friends but if we do business it has to be only business. Japanese make square watermelons as it’s easier to carry and there was a meeting once done after the price rise in Japan. One decision was taken that changed the Japanese economy. They shared the transport but in that truck the products would be of three different companies. They’ll never go personal. In India,it’s still personal. There are very few people like Ronnie Screwvala who,when they sit across the table,they’ll only talk business. Peter Jackson goes to Steven Speilberg because the latter has the rights of Tin Tin. Peter Jackson says,”You’re dying to make it and I am ready to make it.” Both join hands and make one of the best movies of that year. In India,a few studio houses know how to do business and only business and that’s the way you should. There should be no ego battle. I am dying to do T.V. shows because there are certain stories that can’t be told in two or three hours. Anil Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan have started. I would love to produce it and creatively be a part of some series on Indian television.