My challenge was to create a lover who does not know what love is: SRK

My challenge was to create a lover who does not know what love is

Rajan Singh13 Feb 2010

Shah Rukh Khan on My Name Is Khan and the political backdrop of making this film. He also talks about his character, Rizvan Khan with Asperger’s Syndrome in the film, and how he prepared for this challenging role and the controversy surrounding the release of this film.

Mr. Khan, how is this film different from other film also what role does 9 / 11 plays in My Name Is Khan?

Actually so many similar films have been made in the past in the West where the premise is a real life incident and then they talk about its effect on the life of some individual. My character in the film is called Rizwan Khan and Kajol plays Mandira in the film and though they both have got nothing to do with the 9 / 11 incident. The film has got an epic feel to it and encompasses a period of around 15 years. It talks about some 10 years before the 9 / 11 incident and then after that and so its got only a real life incident, as its premise, which I call it as the butterfly effect. It only means that far somewhere something happens and it has direct implications on our lives. It′s said that if a butterfly were to flap its wings then chances are that because of that movement it might just create a cyclone in some part of Latin America. Off course the effects of 9 / 11 was not small at all, its effects were felt almost everywhere. It shows that how the life of a couple changes because of this very incident. Whatever happens in any part of the world which is against humanity is surely to be condemned but because of this, the normal lives of few people surely gets destroyed, though they have but nothing to do with it. It′s basically a love story, which gets affected by a real life incident.

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Please tell us a bit about the role you play in this film?

Actually I am bit biased towards Karan′s film as I am always there in all his films. Many years back I was reading a book and at that time I had suggested Karan to make a film, which should have a backdrop of autism. The book was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, it was a very interesting book about a kid and after finishing the book I handed it over to him. But after Karan and Shibani wrote this story, it really touched me, I have too much of faith in them. But it was an added attraction that I would be playing a character, which I have never played before and chances are that in future too I won′t be able to play such a character. It′s a love story of an individual who does not understand love, neither he is able to decipher happiness and sadness. He can′t express love and is uncomfortable interacting with people. It was quite a challenge for me as an actor that will I be able to do justice to such a character. Fortunately or unfortunately my injury gave me ample time to prepare for the role. I researched a lot on this issue and it′s a different kind of love story. Love stories have their own parameters that the lover ought to be a good-looking boy and knows his shayari well and is a flamboyant person. Here the character is completely untouched by emotions and how will he be able to win over his love. The interesting thing being that how will be the girl who loves him will be able to live with that person. I later on researched on it and found out that there are many such people who are married and are leading a normal life. My challenge was to create a lover who does not know what love is and I hope I succeed in my effort.

How much was Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro at the back of your mind when you were playing the role?

Yes, I have seen Rainman and besides that I have also seen this film called Snow cake where the leading players had performed beautifully and I am forgetting the name of the actors right now. I thing the lead actress was also nominated for the Oscars. There is another film called The Whale and the Dolphin. I almost saw all such films, which had this element of autism in it. I also saw Forrest Gump. I saw many films and they also included many European films also. But of all the films I saw there were only few films, which dealt with Asperger′s Syndrome. Aspergers is more functional autism or in other words it has less degree of autism. Actually there is also a documentary, which has been made by a patient of Aspergers on the same issue. They can interact but they need to spend a lot of time with others. If they are scared of going to a place then the recorded footage of that place can be shown by their family members to him or her and then they feel comfortable. I saw a musical on autism but I have tried to keep it very simple. I spent time with two such people but I would not like to talk about them. My problem is that when I accept a role I almost get immersed into it. It happened with me for MNIK too. In the past it happened with me during the shooting of Don and Devdas. There was this scene in the film where Kajol is cutting vegetables and I slowly go towards her and ask her that can we have sex, the effort was only to show that such people are absolutely normal people. Karan has kept this as part of the film.

Did the constant protrusion of the neck trouble you while shooting the film?

Actually such people have deep set of eyes and the character on which I took my reference point was similar and he was a good piano player. I really liked the way he sang a song. I practiced a lot and devised a way where I could protrude my eyebrows out, as I don′t have deep set of eyes. It was very difficult for me to enact the mannerism, as I had to keep in mind so many things. Because of this started getting very bad headaches during the shooting. When I consulted a doctor he informed me that it was a migraine. Then I took medicine for almost a week and thankfully it has not come now. All this gave me too much of stress, when I do a sequel to this film, I will be very careful.

Shah Rukh, did you devise any particular promotional strategy for this film?

Every film has its own promotional strategy. We are giving importance to the style as to how a film is being promoted. A film is promoted in a way it has been shot. If there is a film like Om Shanti Om then it can be promoted on every musical platform. It had too much of song and dance in it. Chak De had its own flavor; there the girls were at the forefront. For this film I am visiting cities and I am interacting with lovers through Khan Ka Salaam, Pyar Ke Naam. The character in this film can cross any limit for love. The effort is finding out sabse bada lover. Finally we will choose a world champion lover. In Ahmedabad one girl even got married to me.

Now you have another wax statue of yours in LA now, please comment.

I think it′s the same statue, which is at London. They keep shuffling it always form one place to other. All over there is wax only.

Your IPL statement has created too much of furor, would you like to clarify anything?

This will go on an on and I am anti such things. We don′t look at the solution. This is not related to cricket. I am at such a position where thankfully people listen to me. As Indians we need to have a bigger heart. I wont talk about cricket and this will go on an on and let me also add that no one is to be blamed. We ourselves are to be blamed for such a situation. We should understand that when such things are happening, we create enmity out of nothing.

Finally MNIK is a very big film in terms of its release, what are your plans for its overseas release?

The film is releasing in phases and this will also be released in some non-traditional territories, this film also be released in Germany with as many as 60 prints. We are trying to cater to the non-territories this time. Its for the first time, the business won′t be open to us after three days it will be revealed to us only after 6 months. I can take credit that Yash Ji and myself were responsible for opening of such territory. I want such a Hindi film to be made which is seen by the whole world.

Thanks a lot.


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Nice article. Shah Rukh is a sensible person and he has all the courage to face the world! God bless him.
Posted by Mrs Chandra on  Feb 18 2010 5:58PM

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