What's special about Salman Khan ?

March 22, 2002 Screen
At 36, he is still considered the enfant terrible of the industry. Though he has starred in some of the biggest blockbusters since his debut in 1989, Salman Khan has not pursued his career hotly like the other Khans. Despite everything, he holds a special place in the hearts of the Hindi filmmakers. Screen talked to some of his friends and contemporaries, where they discussed his strengths and weaknesses.

Arbaaz Khan
He is a sensitive human being
As his brother, I乫m one of the few people who knows the real Salman Khan and can vouch for the fact that beneath his rough exterior, lies a very sensitive human being. Not many people know of the numerous acts of charity that he has performed. I have seen him break down completely over the suffering of complete strangers. He is a great family person and really cares for his relatives and friends. Like everbody else, he too has some weak spots. He likes to live life to the fullest and this thirst gets him bad publicity at times. Another thing about him is that he says and does the first thing that comes to his mind when provoked. His anger lasts only a few seconds but gets translated as a lifestyle when highlighted by the press.
The inability to illustrate his version of events is another of Salman乫s shortcomings. If only he treated the media as his friend, half his problems would get solved. I乫m the last person to comment on how he should lead his life but one thing I really hope for is that he should settle down soon. Maybe marriage will bring stability to his life.

Rumi Jaffry
He has great charisma
I have written many films for Salman Khan and the one thing about him that has always struck me is his charisma. They say that your surat (face) is a mirror to your sirat (character) and that乫s very true in Salman乫s case. His face transmits a certain aura that cheers up the beholder from inside. Another thing is that he suits every kind of genre, be it romance, comedy or action. I can visualise him playing any sort of a character as he has the ability to bring that character to life. His charisma has made him a favourite with every filmmaker and he is one of the few rare actors that do not belong to any camp. In my view, apart from doing the type of roles he is doing right now, Salman should make a gradual shift to doing more sublime, mature kind of roles.

Pankuj Parashar on Salman
He is a committed actor

People call Salman Khan arrogant, and unprofessional and I totally agree. He is so arrogant that he just takes my word and signs my films blindly. He is so unprofessional that he reports at 8:45 for a 9乫0 clock shoot. He has upset me so much that even after working with him on three films, I still want to do every film of mine with him. He has corrupted me so much that now I expect his kind of dedication and sincerity from each of my artistes. Working with him, I really feel out of touch with reality. The whole process becomes so smooth that I have to pinch myself to remember that I乫m still working in the film industry. He is generous to a fault. He forever jokes around and lightens the atmosphere. He behaves courteously with his co-stars. Seriously, what else should a filmmaker want? It pains me to read about his so-called misdemeanours and makes me wonder whether the writer has written about the same person that I know. Maybe, like my film Judwaa, there are really two Salmans. The bad one does all the mischief and the good one gets all the blame. Let people say anything, in my view, he is the most committed actor that I have come across so far.

仛 Bhagyashree
He generates mass hysteria
Maine Pyaar Kiya saw Salman Khan stride the box-office like a giant and since then he has never looked back. A large portion of his success can, in my view, be safely attributed to the mass hysteria he generates among the female sex. But despite his loverboy image, the Salman I remember will always be the half-smiling kid who went out of his way to make me comfortable. Unlike Salman, whose father was a bigshot writer, I was completely new to the film line. Once, during the making of Maine Pyaar Kiya, a cameraman wanted to shoot an intimate shot of us with a particular angle that I wasn乫t comfortable with.
Despite being the film乫s hero, he told the cameraman to take my permission first before proceeding. I was so touched by this incident that its memory is fresh to this day. I think it is this inherent protective quality that makes the girls go wild over Salman

Diya Mirza
He has got a good physique
"Salman Khan has got a very good physique. He looks just like a Greek god. But, he hasn乫t let his good looks go to his head. I consider him to be one of the most efficient, intelligent people I have met so far. I was a rank newcomer when I signed Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge and the stories I had heard about Salman乫s wild antics were making me nervous. I had mentally prepared myself for torment. But what followed was an exact anti-thesis. From day one itself, Salman was courtesy personified. This line is totally male dominated and it helps a heroine a great deal if her hero treats her with respect. That sets a benchmark for everybody else on the sets. From the spotboy onwards to the producer and the director, nobody dares to mistreat her. Working in the film with Salman has been one of the happiest experiences of my life, one that I will always cherish.

Short & Snappy

What is it that Shah Rukh Khan has that you don乫t?
What is it that you have and Shah Rukh doesn乫t?
I don乫t know.
How do you compare yourself with Aamir Khan?
I don乫t.
Which is your favourite film?
Maine Pyar Kiya.
What is the funniest thing you乫ve ever heard?
Bombay director telling a Madras paanwala - Zara khushboo lagana and the paanwala saying dimag kharab hain kya?
Which would you rate as your best performance?
I乫m the same in all.
Which have been the most difficult?
Suryavanshi, Nischay.
Did you expect Hum Aapke Hain Koun (HAHK) to be such a big hit?
I knew it the day I heard the script.
What are you scared of?
Jumping off these heights.
What are you insecure about?
Nothing. My problem is I don乫t want anything from anybody.
It is said you bash up people.
When they dub me up the wrong way. I forget about it as long as I am in a good mood. When I乫m in a bad mood, I can乫t.
What乫s your opinion about today乫s fashion?
Today乫s party wear reveals more than what swimming costumes did in old times.
What乫s the worst line anyone has told you?
Will you pour Thums Up over my head? I didn乫t want to until then.
Are you a split personality?
I乫m not. I have no split opinion. I know I乫m right.
How did you feel being laid up in bed for three months?
I phoned an enemy and said, 乪I know how it feels with only three bones in my body. If you want, I can show you too.乫
When you turn a director whom would you take as a hero?
Kishen Kumar. He乫s good with close-ups.
Jokes aside?
Mohnish Bahl. I cannot work with people I乫m not comfortable with.

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