Salman Khan on Tubelight, his young co-actor from Arunachal Pradesh and why he thinks he is a fool!

His last film Sultan released last year but Salman Khan still hurts from the wear and tear that he went through during the shoots of the film that needed him to turn a wrestler. His next film, Tubelight, is all set to hit the silver screen in a week’s time and the actor is busy doing the rounds of interviews. This time, as the producer of the film, he seems to be going the extra mile with the media… at times even doing interviews standing because of the pain in his knees. He is not complaining. Rather, if at all possible, Salman is looking younger than he has looked in last five years. Maybe that is confidence showing on his face, or just glow of some real hard work that he is putting in at 51!

Here’s an excerpt from a chat that we had when we met the man himself recently.

The trailer of Tubelight received a fantastic response. Does that add to your confidence?

You just cannot say anything till the film releases! The weekend is usually good business because all the fans come and watch the film. The lifetime business depends on how the film does on the days following the weekend. So many factors decide how good the collections are, including how peaceful the atmosphere is at the moment and how safe people feel going into a theatre. It could be the best film but if people are scared if going to the theatre, the film suffers.

I have still not really understood how people predict business. I have just failed to get the math, Because things can go wrong and you have no control on them. Some ouseholds might be facing a tragedy, someone’s girlfriend may have dumped him…

Does Salman Khan still get nervous before a Friday now?

Yes, but for different reasons. You put in a lot of hard work on a film. But more importantly you sign a film because you believe it will work. And when the film does not work it hampers your confidence. You start wondering if your decision on your next film was right. If multiple films go wrong, not only does your career take a beating but you take down everyone working with you. The worst thing, you disappoint the fan who put their trust on you.

You seem to have built a rather strong bond with your young co-actor Matin Rey.

I really wanted to do all my interviews with him. Matin Rey is amazing. He is something else! He is from Itanagar and is not one of those over smart kids at all. One day I got him a small ATV toy and he asked me who was it for. When I told him it was him he said he cannot keep it as it’s a ‘little too much’. He then went to his mother and asked if he could keep it. When his mother allowed he took it. Next day I got him a motorcycle. And he refused to take it!

One day during the shoots he told Kabir and me that he was not having fun. He reminded us how we told him we will have fun while shooting but instead we were making him do the same thing repeatedly, that too in the heat. Plus we made his wear a sweater and plastic shoes! He said he won’t shoot any more. When we told him an actor needs to do these things he replies he wants to be a chef not an actor.  He was like ‘you should try my cup cakes’!

Tubelight has you playing a simpleton, a good guy. Does it come easy?

It is actually difficult to play a character like this… to get the innocence.  I might have had some shades of this character while growing up but that was a long time ago. When I took up the film I realized that if I overdo it I will look like a fraud or a caricature. Such a character requires you to go so deep, so far back that it takes a toll on you

This film is set around the 1962 war. You were not born back then. Did you ever study the war ?

I use to cram up geography and history at school. I used forget right after writing the paper. That’s a very good quality of mine for which I a now regretting. I had never thought all these would be useful some day. So I am still learning.

Your next film is Tiger Zinda Hai and then you have signed a dance film. Could you tell us something about those films?

I have singed Tiger Zinda Hai like a fool. I am jumping of buildings, shootings guns… I am going mad in the film. I feel like my knee is going to come out of the socket one of these days due to all of that. And after that, even more foolishly, I am doing a dancing film. I thought dancing would be slightly more than what we usually do. Now I figure dancing is all about acrobatics and gymnastics right now. So at 52 I am like .. yeh toh panga le liya!

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