a candid tete-e-tete, Salman comes clean on his many controversies, discusses
future plans and squirms in embarrassment when reminded that he is among
the ten most handsomest men in the world. I dont believe that.
There are so many boys in Bandra who are better-looking than me. I was just
lucky I was born as Salim Khans son, he
a Salman Khan youve never seen... or heard before.
your career with a string of hits, Maine Pyar Kiya, Baaghi, Sanam Bewafa
and Saajan and then just when everybody had thought the next superstar had
arrived, you went down with a row of debacles. We know you detest post-mortems
but have you ever tried to analyse where you went wrong in the
I had nine hits and then five or maybe six flops. Chandramukhi, Ek Ladka
Ek Ladki, Chaand Kaa Tukdaa, Nishchay, Suryavanshi and Jagruti were total
washouts. Love and Dil Tera Aashiq were commission earners though the press
decided that they were disasters. And Salman was out. He was finished. But
actually, going by box-office figures, even today I am the hero with the
some consolation today, but at the time you must have been pretty disillusioned
disasters made absolutely no difference to me. Highs and lows are a part
of this profession. Id seen my dad going through it all. Most people
say that they are very affected by the success or failure of their films.
But I dont care. I guess, Im one of the few actors who acknowledges
a flop. Hey, there are times when, during the trial of one of my films, I
have said that it is a bad film, it wont run.
when I had a string of flops I could indulge myself, have a good time. There
was never a question of survival since I come from a pretty well off family.
I concentrated on my workouts, worked on my looks. I did not get desperate
and sign films by the dozen because I was insecure. Though no one would have
been surprised if I was insecure. There were producers, or rather proposal
makers, who told distributors not to touch my films. There were always producers
queueing up at my door step, but with C-grade offers. They thought that since
all other heroes were busy they should opt for me. I was down and out so
I had plenty of dates and they must have thought Id be happy to oblige
them. But I turned them away. Look, I can fight, dance reasonably well, Im
good at comedy and I can handle emotional scenes too. I have got a great
physique and I look good on screen. I am not saying that I am brilliant.
But with these assets, I knew I could survive. All I needed were the right
kind of films. And I waited for them. Eventually, I signed films with the
people who matter. Filmmakers like Rajkumar Santoshi, Rakesh Roshan and Sajid
Nadiadwala. Soon Sooraj Barjatya also signed me again. With their films I
was soon back in the running.
opinion about you is that you are very arrogant and brash. Thanks to your
reputation a lot of people, including many producers, are wary of approaching
If I am
so bad then why arent little children scared of me? Why do their parents
not hesitate to introduce me to these little fans? The truth is that only
those people are scared of me, who, when I was going through a low phase,
wrote a lot of rubbish about me. The people I was rude to was because of
their own mistakes. Most of them were journalists who indulged in yellow
journalism, and I refused to give interviews to them. Theyre the ones
whore wary of approaching me today. Its simple. If youre
in the wrong you will be scared, never mind if you are the strongest man
on earth. If I have harmed you then for all my power I will still be embarrassed
to face you. That is why strength lies in honesty, in truth.
Is that the reason why you steer clear of the
I call you names, if I write rubbish about your family, will you like it?
The written word has a lot of power. It can spoil your relationships with
your colleagues, it can upset families, it can put them in many embarrassing
situations. Just because somebody wants to sell his magazine, does it mean
I should give them the liberty to make use of me?
press is your only link with your fans. By banning the press arent
you effectively closing all channels of communication with people who love
you, want you?
I have to
admit that because of my attitude to the press my fans dont get to
see good photographs of mine. They always read rubbish about me. But Im
lucky I have such diehard fans. By Allah miyans grace, they like the
way I look and irrespective of what journalists write about me, they still
stand by me. They still see my films. The good films in the theatres, the
bad films at home. I havent lost my fans because of my
of the films you are doing today are love stories. Films like Pyar Kiya To
Darna Kya, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, Janam Samjha Karo and Hum Dil De Chuke
Sanam. Are you only in romantic leads?
I have done some very different films too. Films like Veergati, Auzaar and
Judwaa. And I am doing very different roles in some forthcoming films too,
films like Bandhan and Dus.
of your contemporaries are working in at least one off-beat film every year.
What about you?
off-beat do you mean you mean the arty type? No, Im not doing such
films. I dont believe in looking dirty and resorting to any kind of
yedapandi (foolishness). If you want to propogate a message the theatre has
to be full. And if you want to earn money you need a full house again. If
you make a film with the idea of promoting social awareness and the hall
is empty, what is the use? Today all good films are called art films and
all successful films are commercial films. But if you go by this rationale
how would you describe a film like Ardh Satya? Would you say it was an art
film? Id say it was an out-and-out commercial film.
From an actor youre now turning into a businessman
with your chain of restaurants, India Talkies. When will the first one
six months. The first restaurant will open in Mumbai. We have already finalised
the location but I would not like to disclose it at the moment. Apart from
me, Sanju (Sanjay Dutt), Govinda, Karisma and Mahima are also involved with
this project which will be on the lines of Planet Hollywood. Delicious Indian
food will be served, the kind you wont find anywhere else. All the
dishes will be named after the films we have worked in. Our costumes from
popular films will be on display. We will be making personal appearances
at these joints. Branches will be opened all over the world. We have already
received franchise offers from New York, London, Hong Kong and Australia.
But we want to start with Mumbai.
any of the partners hit a low patch, wont that affect
food business is one business with which you can never go wrong. The food
will be heavenly and whichever restaurant serves the best food people will
make a beeline for it. We are concentrating more on the menu and
said that actors generally make bad businessmen. Their decisions are often
influenced by the heart and not the head...
are very few actors in this industry who are educated, well-read and intelligent.
Earlier, you only had to be good looking and confident to be considered fit
to be a hero. But thats not the case anymore. Most of us are pretty
intelligent now. And with the prices having escalated, we need to have a
head for business. Yeah, maybe when we venture into a field were completely
unfamiliar with we may flounder for a while. And anticipating such problems
we have tied up with people who have the know-how as far as Indian Talkies
is concerned. And thats one smart move, right?
Apart from India Talkies, you have also entered
into film production, right?
Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya is a home production. It is a love story, a romantic
comedy. A film about relationships. It doesnt have any dull moments.
From the first frame to the last frame, it is good fun. I am sure people
willl want to see it again and again.
younger brother Sohail who has directed it didnt make a very good beginning
was an action film. Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya is a love story. And that will
make a big difference. As far as Im concerned, Sohail did a good job
with Auzaar too. I feel that if the film had come along with films like Mohra
it would have been a blockbuster. It was a fast-paced, entertaining film
with slickly executed scenes. It had everything you expect from a normal
action film. And Pyar Kiya... is a much better film than
was the first time you worked with your other brother, Arbaaz. What was the
is wonderful in the film. His character is really very funny. All through
the film I keep buttering him up because he is the brother of the girl I
love. He is one guy who will get a lot of respect after this film. After
Pyar Kiya... hell be miles ahead of the competition. He is a very
hard-working boy with a very American-Indian look. A hard face but very
vulnerable features. He is one of a kind.
was it working with Kajol?
was okay. I dont interact much with my heroines. If I speak to them
people think I am flirting with them. And if I dont speak to them it
is said that I am arrogant. So I think it best to keep my distance from my
heroines and do my own thing. I am so busy with my friends and staff that
I dont have time for anything else. Anyway, if you get emotionally
involved, you make the mistake of falling in love with a pretty girl. So
now I just give my shots and go back home to my girlfriend (Somy Ali). We
have a nice relationship going. And Id like to stick to
Jatin-Lalit been credited with music of Pyar Kiya... when you have used other
composers like Kamaal Khan, the Sabri Brothers and Himesh Reshamiya?
Doesnt it upset Jatin-Lalit?
were upset. But what could we do? We wanted the music of Pyar Kiya... to
be very strong. After all it was our home production. A lot was at stake.
Im glad we experimented with the other composers. The films music
has become very popular and Im happy.
promoting Kamaal Khan in a very big way. Why?
is my friend. Hes like my brother. My parents treat him like their
son. Whenever hes in Mumbai he stays with us. I have known him for
the last ten years. But till four-five years ago, I did not know that he
could sing too. When I heard his songs I was very impressed. I had given
the song which he has sung for our film, Ahha janejana... to the producers
of Janam Samjha Karo. I told them that it would be a surefire hit. But they
refused to incorporate it into the movie. So then I offered it to Tips but
they refused it too. When we started planning our home production my first
thought was that now I could use this song. The song has become a rage. And
has proved that I was right all along.
you opt out of Raju Raja Ram?
I have not
left the film though I have been hearing rumours that Im no longer
part of the project. Some time ago, I spoke to Jackie over the phone. There
are some date problems. The dates for Raju Raja Ram were clashing with the
dates Id given to Sooraj for an outdoor schedule. If there are some
changes in the Rajshri schedule then I will definitely adjust my dates
for Raju Raja Ram. But if they are looking for a replacement for me, it is
fine with me. If they find someone else Ill opt out. And if they
dont, then I will do the film. With Jackie and David it is ghar ki
baat. Even if they come to me at the last moment and tell me to do the film,
I will do it. As far as Im concerned, I am still doing the film. It
is an amazing film. And I have a very good role.
youre not doing Josh, are you?
did you drop out of that project?
a problem of four days in January. I asked them to make an adjustment but
the producers were adamant. But because of those four days their film has
now been delayed by a year and a half. If Id been in the film, I would
have been completed the film by now. I definitely wanted to work with Mansoor
Khan. Mansoors films are my kind of films. But when the producers refused
to budge, I thought forget it. I could work with Mansoor some
other time. Now I dont want to even talk about them. They dont
mean much to me.
is happening with Mukul Anands Dus?
major work is over. Dus is a very different film, with lots of action and
touches of light comedy. It is mounted on a very lavish scale and if you
replaced Sanju and me with some Hollywood stars, youd think that it
is a foreign production. Mukul Anand completed a major portion of the film
before his sudden demise. Now Ramesh Sippy has taken up the project as director
and I am looking forward to working with him. Shooting should commence by
the end of the month.
been doing a lot of guest appearances. We saw you in Deewana Mastana and
now we hear that youll be making a special appearance in Mohan
Baggads Sir Utha Ke Jiyo, KC Bokadias next with Shah Rukh and
Madhuri and Karan Johars Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
I do these
roles for masti! Recently, I worked in six-seven episodes of my old buddy
Nazam Walkers (Johny Walkers son) TV serial Lage Raho. When he
told me that he was making a TV serial I told him I would be working in it.
I made an appearance in one of Anaidas videos too, which was produced
by my friends Bittu, Samir and Kumar Gaurav. I had also worked in one of
the songs in Sheebas album. Its fun.
that you charged Karan Johar an astronomical amount for that special appearance
in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai...
Yes, I am
charging him but not an astronomical fee. It is a guest appearance but an
important role. The same is the case with KC Bokadias
doing a lot of stage shows abroad...
I do that to establish a relationship with my fans abroad. Such shows give
me a high because the response is immediate. And its all white money
I am not against awards but I dont think winning an award is a big
deal. For me, my biggest award is if my film does well. All the actors who
are winning awards today have already worked with me. But tell me, were they
appreciated when they were pitted against me? Today if somebody tries to
give me an award, I will refuse it.
why did you walk away with Shah Rukhs award at a recently held award
a pre-planned comic routine. I had told him that if he won the Best Actor
award he should call me on stage. It was just to give the event a lighter
touch. As soon as I stepped off the stage I handed the trophy to Shah Rukh's
you suddenly started not just attending award functions but also performing
special items at such shows?
I went on
stage at Filmfare awards night along with Karisma, Govinda and Mahima because
they had agreed to publicise our restaurant, India Talkie. Sanju was not
in town, so I had to do it. I charged both Filmfare and Zee for my performance
you walk around with your shirt off these days?
Is it to display your physique?
around bare-chested is not new for me. Even in my house I never wear a shirt.
You will always find me in just shorts. If I am driving or walking down the
road and if I feel hot, I just take off my shirt and carry on. Tomorrow,
even if I become fat and stout, sporting a paunch, I will walk around without
a shirt. I dont care what people say.
it feel to be one of the worlds ten most handsome
that news item too and took the compliment in my stride. I dont know
the people who gave me this title. In fact, I dont really believe it.
In Bandra where I stay, there are thousands of boys who are better-looking
than me. When I look at them I wish I looked like them. I am lucky I happen
to be the son of Salim Khan and that I am in this industry. If I hadnt
been born in my fathers house God knows what I would be doing today!
I have not done anything to earn this title because I was born like this.
It is Gods grace. So why should I take the credit for something for
which I have not even had to move my little finger? I value the things which
I have earned, however insignificant they may appear to
is one of the most handsome boys in the world going to tie the knot with
his beautiful girlfriend?