gI donft think Ifll be able to pull off a negative role.h

2003 Sep G magagine By Raghav Shastri

Is Tere Naam based on Salman Khanfs life? Well, ask him the question and be ready to be blown away. No, not that muscles will be put into play, but quotes will fly fast and furious.

Understandably, for the man is the most misunderstood man in the industry today. The most likely suspect! Let news of a filmi fist flying appear in the dailies, and the first question asked is, gIs it Salman Khan?h or just utter the line gAishwarya Rai was seen again withch and Salman will be the most likely suspect. So coming back to the basics, make a movie that even smells Salmanish and you have people assuming it is his autobiography. A wonder he has kept his sanity in a world comprising the public, the industry and the media that misunderstands his every move.

egf gives Salman a break and presents him with a platform to have his say!

The way you are showering attention on the pre-publicity of Tere Naam one suspects that you have a stake in it. Have you invested in the film?
Whether a movie is my home production or one belonging to an outside banner, my involvement is the same. My dedication remains unchanged. Sunil Manchanda is a producer of this movie. And let me tell you one thing, he has paid me in toto for this. As for sinking money into it, when I have my own home production why should I financially support another banner.
Is Tere Naam autobiographical? In other wordsc the story of your life?
Every journalist Ifve met has asked me this question, and is continuing to do so. It is common knowledge that Tere Naam is a remake of the Telugu and Malayalam blockbuster Sethu. Sunil has bought the rights of the film. Ifd prefer not to have any further discussions on this topic.

But isnft it true that some scenes have been incorporated into Tere Naam. Maybe they have reference to your personal life.
The media is always known to make a mountain out of a molehill. You seem to be stubbornly intent on drawing a parallel between the film and my life. Let me confess one thing, I have not yet seen the original version of Tere Naam so I am unaware of the changes been wrought by the writers and producers.

One hears that you had a fight with your director Satish Kaushik on the sets of Tere Naam. Comment.
I was surprised when I came across this news item in a daily. I wondered who this Salman II was, since it wasnft me. Jokes apart, Satish alias Pappu Pager (I always call him by this name) is a very sweet guy. It is impossible to pick up a fight with him. He is so accommodating. But one thing he cannot tolerate is interference in his work. All in all, as much as Satish is a comedian on the big screen, in real life he is as much a serious guy.
What about Sanjay Leela Bhansali and you? Are you in his film?
Why donft you put this question to him? He will be in a better position to answer it. He is the producer as well as the director of Bajirao Mastani. I am just an actor. The moment I receive the summons to attend a shoot I will proceed.
One hears that you are building pressure on Bhansali to sign Katreena Kaif for the film, in place of Aishwarya?
Bekar ki baat hai yeh sab. (This is all rubbish!) Why should Sanjay succumb to pressure from me? If he is that type of guy, Salman Khan would have been the leading man of Devdas and not Shah Rukh Khan. He is not the type of director who can be pressurised. Besides, he does the casting of his films independent from friendly ties or business strings attached.
Letfs change the topic. Salman, why have you never ever done a negative role?
Simple. Nobody has ever offered me one. But even if anyone does so, I do not think I would be able to pull off a negative role. I always like to bring positive characters to life on the big screen. Ifd like to do powerful films with powerful roles. Ifm also wise enough to realise that running around trees or impressing a heroine on screen, is no longer cut out for me, ecause I have grown too old for that sort of role.

But you have not turned towards signing meaningful films.
I mean it should be a really different film, an out of the way film. Like a Hum Aapke Hai Kaun or a Hum Saath Saath Hain which dwell on family values plus are good business ventures.

Why are you always cross with the media?
I am upset with the media because journalists are interested more in my personal than in my professional life. They are more interested in whom I socialize with, whom I live with, whom I sleep withc You see, I do not have to answer every question put to me. As a journalist you have the right to ask me about my work. But once I am off the sets, I turn into a layman just like you and have the right to lead my life as I like it.

But you are a celebrity. And the public is interested in knowing what you do once you leave the sets. And that information can only be provided by the media.
Let me tell you that daily I receive thousands of letters from my fans. They do not ask me frivolous questions. They usually like to talk about my movies. Many of them do criticise me but only in relation to my work. Some of them even pass on some good advice to me. That is why I know my fans better than the media does. I know what people want to know about me.

Oops, but why are you so short tempered?
Me? I always like to laugh and make the world around me laugh. My family, friends, relatives, co-starsc all know me as a jovial guy. Well, except for the media.

Hadnft you lately picked up a brawl with Rishi Kapoorfs son, Ranvir?
Whether the incident is true or false, thanks to the media, it has gained wide coverage. I respect Rishi Kapoorji and his family immensely. You can ask him about this. Of the many such escoopsf that have been reported about me, this Ranvir episode is one. Like the supposed fight I had with Abhishek Bachchan. It was also reported that I had misbehaved with Manisha Koirala. But the fact is that all these actors are familiar with my jovial nature. They are all very nice co-stars and we get along fine.
By the way, Aishwarya had once said that Salman has no place in her life?
At that time Ash was not in a proper frame of mind. But I am not angry with her. Today too she is my good friend.
What is the position of the family, whose member your car allegedly ran over in Bandra?
All I know is that the guy was poor. I do not know anything more about him. The incident has shaken me a lot, and touched me to the core. I have sent the family the compensation decided by the court, though I know that one cannot put a price on a manfs life. Life is more precious than money.
What are your forthcoming movies?
My next release is Tere Naam. Puneet Issar Sanghaar is on the floor. Shooting for Bajirao Mastani will commence in October. Ravi Choprafs Baaghban is nearly complete. There are also two home-production projects which will be launched next year.

Sep 21 2003