Interview By: Ankita R. Kanabar
Dressed in a sleevless t-shirt and denims, we caught up with Salman Khan in a pretty casual, jolly mood at Mehboob Studio as we spoke about his latest release ‘Race 3’ amidst much more! Excerpts:
‘Race’ is a very popular franchise but has it gone bigger this time around?
Ramesh ji was always of the opinion that Dhoom is such a big franchise so I thought, let’s make it big (laughs). But yes, this is a big franchise, but this is slightly different than the earlier two parts of ‘Race’. It’s ‘Race’ with ‘Hum Aapke Hai Kaun…!’
Tell us about the action in the film.
This guy Tom who had done ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ and also a number of Hollywood films, he had come with his whole team, all the stunt-actors. They are ace! They saw how we were shooting, and they told us, we’ve worked on so many big films, but this is the first time, we got to destroy so many cars. All the action isn’t special effects. They actually did blow up a lot.
What made you also distribute this film as well?
Dad is into distribution, so he distributes. And we were in talks with Eros but that fell apart so we decided to distribute it ourselves.
Is there an effort to take action a notch higher with each film?
So, it’s tricky. Sometimes you go overboard, people feel it’s over-exaggerated. And sometimes people prefer the action of the earlier days, which was more real. So, it has to look genuine, believable. It can’t get farcical and make you laugh. So physically also, there’s a lot of stress and hard work in that. Even the action that these girls have done in ‘Race3’ is outstanding – the kicks and all, it’s all lethal. They have really trained for it. Also, right now, action costs a lot of money. For you to stand out and look good, it requires a lot of money. If you can manage to make the film in a budget and sell it for satellite, recover the costs, only then you can make out-and-out action films.
What was exciting for you character wise in ‘Race 3’?
This guy has all the shades. He is sharp, sometimes ruthless, he has suppressed all his emotions. You don’t know what this man is about till the end of the film. He is a mastermind.
Do you think that the industry needs biggies like ‘Race 3’ to bring in those numbers every now and then, for it to survive?
I think we need more theatres. China has gone into 38,000-40,000 theatres. So, once our theatres increase, we will be able to bring in those numbers. We have only 5000 theatres, yet we are doing well. If we have more theatres, it will make a huge difference.
How has the association with Remo been on this one?
We were to start shooting another film first. It was a dancing film which I am not ready for. I have been having some or the injury. In between Ramesh ji came with ‘Race’, and we both loved it.
At this point, and after so many years, you continue to be the leading hero, while some have moved on to doing more character roles…
I feel Shah Rukh, Akki, Aamir and I, will continue to do that for more years now. And whenever Sanju decides to come back, even he will! Which reminds me, why didn’t Sanju himself play the part of his current age in ‘Sanju’? They should have taken him only. But, Raju Hirani is a sensible film-maker so he will make a good film. Also, now the way Mr. Bachchan used to play these angry young man roles, and then a few years ago, he moved on to playing these powerful father roles, or character roles, Anil Kapoor is on those lines now. Also, I played a father to Aditya Narayan 25 years ago. Till the time you can do action, you can romance, and if you can romance, you can do action.
“Till the time you can do action, you can romance, and if you can romance, you can do action”
Do you think, the younger generation hasn’t really got the pulse of the audience the way you guys did?
Tiger got it right this time with ‘Baaghi’. Varun always gets it right. He went off once but then that was a film he wanted to do and nobody lost money. Apart from that, everyone thinks that India is from cuffe parade to Andheri, which is not. They feel all our emotions are slightly outdated which they are not.
What’s the line-up post ‘Race 3’?
We are doing ‘Bharat’, ‘Dabangg’ whenever the script is ready, Sher Khan, the dance film with Remo and one Sanjay Leela Bhansali film whenever he comes and narrates it to you.
So, despite the interesting line-up, do you think it’s difficult to constantly find scripts which live up to the expectations people have from you always?
I feel lucky to have good scripts coming to me, and when I don’t, I’d like to write a script, myself. If a film doesn’t satisfy me, I don’t do it. The films I want to do as soon as possible are the ones I am excited for. I just want to do something which I instantly like. When I say, I will think about it, means, I will never do it. A lot of people are experimenting but most of it is not successful.