Salman Khan: 'Tere Naam' not the story of my love

2003 July 21 Filmfare.comBy SUBHASH K. JHA

Salman Khan has rubbished rumours that his new release "Tere Naam", whose catch-line is "unfortunately a true love story", is based on his controversial relationship with Aishwarya Rai.
"I think the catch-line 'unfortunately a true love story' has made people believe 'Tere Naam' is my own story. But there are no similarities. Everyone's asking me about it. It's pissing me off big-time. 'Tere Naam' is a remake of a Telugu hit 'Sethu'. Then why am I being asked this question?" Salman said.
In spite of strict instructions against personal questions, some of the braver scribes venture into the Vivek Oberoi-Aishwarya Rai range of conversation. "That's when I lose my cool," Salman told IANS, his displeasure obvious.

He also disputed media reports that he had decided to withdraw his plans to produce the Ramayana and play the role of Rama. "Though not right away since funds are a little short, but I'll certainly play Rama.
"It's my dream to do so. Who can stop me? I want to make my film on a par with 'The Lord Of The Rings', 'Lady Hawke' and 'The Last Of The Mohicans'."

But Salman dismisses reports that he has found locations in New Zealand to shoot the exile scenes. "It's too early to scout for locations."

Salman wanted good friend Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who's directing him in "Bajirao Mastani", to direct Ramayana. "But since Sanjay is busy with two projects, I'll look for someone else. But it will have to be someone with the vision to make Ramayana contemporary and yet pure. The language has to be accessible to today's generation. Otherwise what's the point of doing Ramayana again?"
Reacting to reports that the Khans were warned by fundamentalist groups against making the film, Salman said there were no threats. "And even if there was I'd like people to know my mom is Hindu. So I'm as Hindu as the boy next door."

The sparkle never leaves Salman's eyes even when he discusses his unfortunate break-up with business partner Bunty Wallia. No one knows what went wrong between the two and Salman isn't telling. But it's quite clear that the two couldn't see eye to eye on many financial matters. Also, it's learnt that Wallia's behaviour was putting off many of Salman's associates and friends.
His conduct during last month's U.S. concert was said to have been the last straw on the camel's back. "But he'll always be my friend," asserts Salman.

Speculations abound as to why Sooraj Barjatya didn't sign the original Prem for his latest film "Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon". Salman admits the role in the film demanded someone younger and he's glad it went to someone whom he loves like a brother. But now Salman and Sooraj will be getting together again.
Lots of people think Hrithik Roshan's role in "Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon" was written for Salman. "Yeah I've heard that. Sooraj gives close instructions on the sets. But I do it the way I think is right.

"Sooraj is like Gautam Buddha. I love working with him. The problem with our last film together 'Hum Saath Saath Hain' was that people had already seen us doing similar things in 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun'. If it had come before, it would have been a kick-ass film. "
Negative press doesn't seem to bother Salman. "I've been like this (media-wary) from the time I did 'Maine Pyar Kiya'. The media couldn't make me when I was struggling nor break me when I was successful. I'm paying a price for being a part of the film industry. And I don't mind. Because I love the industry.

"I won't change my profession for anything in the world. I guess negative pieces sell more than the positive ones. I'll tell you what happened to me the other day. I saw a lame guy hitting a kid with his crutch at the traffic light.
"He said, 'first let me tell you what happened. This kid was clinging to the back of a speeding vehicle. Suppose he had died?' I think people need to understand my situation before passing their judgement."

As for Salman doing Deepa Mehta's "Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam", Salman says he'd rather back out of it and let Aishwarya Rai do the film. Aishwarya has been signed on to play the role of tragedy queen Meena Kumari in the original.
"And if I've to do 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam' I'd rather play the 'Sahib', the husband (played by Rehman in Guru Dutt's film)," quipped Salman.
July 22 2003