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It’s no news that Eid is synonymous with a Salman Khan release – and just as ‘Bharat’ hit the screens, we catch up with the man himself. In a cool, casual black t-shirt and denims – living up to his personality – Khan settles down for a chat at Mehboob studio, all about his latest release and his evolution…

How was it to make this film, and of course, the expectations have been so high!
I hope we meet all the expectations and even more. It was quite a difficult film to make because it starts from 1947 and goes up to 2010. The country has changed, the clothing, the age from 27 to 35 to 55 to 72. So, it’s a lot of task and with that, the whole art of the film, costumes all that also had to be changed. It was a big film to be made.

What did you like about the Korean film ‘An Ode To My Father’ from which ‘Bharat’ is inspired?
It’s just that I liked the plot of the film. We’ve moved away from the film because our emotion is different, their emotion is different. Basically it’s his journey from the age of 9 to 92, one common factor that has kept him responsible is that, he has made a promise to his father that I will take care of the family. That’s what he sticks by.

How was it playing a 72-year old?
Just the way I am. From within, the guy feels young and he’s dashing. I don’t see Amitabh Bachchan like an old man. I find him and his enthusiasm young.

You once mentioned that no matter what age you are, you should always feel like you’re 27.
You should. You should have the enthusiasm and interest in everything you do. Otherwise, don’t do it all. As soon as you lose interest and say, you’re tired, that old man, sets into one pore. And he takes over you. That old man should not be able to set in. Old age can be scary for anyone, not just for an actor, but you should work hard, feel at your best and be disciplined. Everyone is so fit even now.

Does doing immense action take a toll on you now?
I’m pretty used to it because I’ve only been doing action since the last few years but, it does take a toll. It takes a lot of time to rehearse. I’ve gone to ‘Dabangg’ from ‘Bharat’ and every scene is so enthusiastic that you get tired doing it. That keeps you fit, as long as you don’t have any injuries. It’s not easy for me to work out, because I don’t sleep well, that’s a different story. But, if I don’t paint or write or watch TV at night then it would be easy with more sleep. So, if I wake up late, I just cycle to work or do my cardio – do something or the other to stay fit.

All of us feel different at different ages, so for you, how was the emotional evolution of this character from 27 to 72?
That was difficult but it was also a lot of fun because for playing the youngest age, I had to lose so much weight and then I had to start looking the older age, so I gained 15 kilos which was easy. But you can’t shoot all the portions at one time so again you lose 15 kilos to come back to it which is difficult. It was a lot of fun, because I went back to see some of my old films. They are hilarious (laughs).

As an evolved Salman Khan when you watch older films, what do you feel and what’s the difference you find?
While watching it, I came to a conclusion that the innocence in me, which was there in those films is lost now. That rawness, innocence, and all of that is missing now. I watch the songs and I end up cringing at some of the songs. I watched films like ‘Nischay’, ‘Chandramukhi’ and I laugh seeing the songs and costumes. There were those films and then there were films like ‘Hum Aapke Hai Koun…’ and ‘Hum Saath Saath Hai’, which had a different Salman all together. The director makes so much of a difference. But I’ve been very lucky with the scripts, choice of films. Earlier even whatever I got, I chose the best from that. But I’m getting some really nice scripts but if I don’t get them, I write them myself. I don’t get much time to write because as an actor there’s a lot of work which goes into the scenes.

And how has the audience changed in these years? Do you think now they aren’t that lenient even towards their favourite stars?
Earlier, it didn’t bother much to people if the film is bad, because they didn’t spend much on the ticket, the ticket prices were so less. So, people could spend and they had the time to even watch rubbish films. But now life is so busy. Almost half your day goes if you want to go and watch a film. Now, the ticket is for Rs. 450, Rs. 650 and people go together in families. So, now that’s the reason why people are careful about which movies they watch.

What is it that you don’t take for granted despite being in the business for so many years?
I don’t take my work for granted. Actually, I don’t take anything for granted. Trade Magazine



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