Salman Khan confides that while he’s dated the most beautiful women inside-out, he’s been naughty at times. Filmfare gives a thumbs up to his candour
The worst nightmare for any journalist is to discover that the voice of his interviewee is barely audible on the recorder. More so if the star is the controversial Salman Khan. It so happened that Salman was shooting for Bodyguard at a set constructed on the helipad at Film City. I didn’t account for the gusty wind that was blowing. The next four days then are spent in trying to cajole him for a repeat interview.
Then one evening he messages me, “Cm home!” I wait for him in his uncluttered, spacious and well-lit drawing room. A few minutes later, he makes an entry. I’m gob smacked! He isn’t wearing a shirt. All my hard work has come to naught! I don’t know where to attach the collar mike.
So Salman sits in his blue jeans, bare-chested before me and the device lies idle in my hand. Excerpts:
How do you feel redoing the same interview with me courtesy a technical snag?
It’s quite possible that if you ask me the same questions again, I’ll end up giving you different answers.
Prateik and Shraddha Kapoor are on the cover of this issue. Are you still game about doing this interview
Which will feature you on the inside pages?
I’d love to be featured inside if Prateik is on the cover. No way will I put my foot down and ask for a cover when Prateik’s on it.
What’s your opinion about Prateik who’s slowly trying to catch up with Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan?
I like him. He’s really a sweet kid. He’s an outstanding boy. I loved his mother (the late Smita Patil) as an actor. I love his father (Raj Babbar) as a person and an actor. I’ve worked with his brother (Arya Babbar) and his family.
Every time you are asked to promote your film what thoughts come to your mind?
The first few rounds of interviews seem okay. Then it gets boring. The same questions every time. They’ll ask me about my supposed ‘fight’ with Anees Bazmee. Often journalists ask certain questions because they’re expected to ask them. I don’t believe in publicizing a film. I just believe in telling people what the film is about. If they like the promo, they should go and see the movie.
Do you enjoy interviews or are you indifferent to them?
I enjoy them when I have something to talk about, when I’m asked questions worth answering and when I can share my life with my fans. But if you’re trying to evoke a controversy or get some shock value into it, then I’m not interested.
Considering Anees Bazmee’s last two films haven’t really done well, are you apprehensive about Ready?
Not really. He is a man who knows his job. If you push someone who knows how to swim into the water, he’ll emerge out of it. But for someone who doesn’t know his job and is a fluke, then it’s a problem. Anees has given hit after hit after hit. So what if one of his films didn’t work?
Will Abhinav Kashyap not directing Dabgangg 2 affect the film?
I don’t think it will affect anything. Abhinav not directing it will not affect Dabangg 2. I hope it does not affect Abhinav Kashyap.
Will Arbaaz Khan prove to be a good director for Dabangg 2?
Yes, I think so because Arbaaz actually never wanted to be an actor. He was just forced into it because he got a break (Daraar). I wanted to be a director but once I got into acting, I gave it my best. Now I don’t feel like doing anything else. Today, thanks to Abhinav Kashyap, Arbaaz has got an opportunity. We really wanted Abhinav to do the film because of his association with the previous one. But I guess, after Dabangg, he’s got too many brothers now.
Did Abhinav want to co-produce Dabangg 2?
No, Abhinav didn’t want to co-produce the film. He just didn’t want to do it. I guess he wasn’t happy with the way the film turned out at the box office. And he wasn’t happy with the amount of money we spent on it. And his brother (Anurag Kashyap) of course, the genius went on Twitter and made some more comments, which apparently he apologized for later.
Were there any issues over money?
There was no issue about money because for the first film also he was paid handsomely.
Reportedly, you met up with your ex girlfriend Somy Ali in Bangkok. You’re also friends with Sangeeta Bijlani and Katrina Kaif. What does it take to be friends with your ex?
See, things don’t end if you’re having a blast. If you’re having
the best time of your life you are not going to say, ‘We’re having such a good time, now we need to break up’. But misunderstandings happen, people get carried away. Then people cheat, etc, etc, etc. Sometimes the woman feels betrayed and sometimes the man. But you realize that there was only that much time you were meant to be together. Often the term ‘good friends’ is misconstrued in the industry.
At some stage and a little later you can actually be good friends. From that stance of ‘no comments’ you can actually say dankey ki chhot par ‘haan, yeh meri dost hai (say it loud and clear, ‘yes, she is my friend’).
When and how do you gauge in a relationship that the person is not meant for you?
Actually, you’re the last person to know. You’re the last person to know that you’re not a star anymore and that you’re not in the relationship anymore. In my case, many a times, it has been my fault. I’m a difficult person to live with and I’ve also been naughty at times.
So you’re not husband material either?
Yes. I’m not yet. Forget husband, I’m not even boyfriend material.
I’ve seen three or four women in my life and they’re very beautiful from the inside and outside. Somehow, it didn’t work out.
Is there a woman in your life currently?
Yeah, there are four women in my life. My mother, my sisters Arpita and Alvira. And there’s Reshma Shetty (she handles his ads)! The women in my life will always be there as friends.
Recently, you’ve been linked with Kangna Ranuat, Zarine Khan and even Sonakshi Sinha.
These guys want to link me with just about anyone. Right now I’m single, I’m having a blast. I’m not dating or seeing anyone. It just happens that I know them closely. I’ve worked with Sonakshi, I’ve worked with Zarine. I’ve known Kangna for the longest time.
Is there a team that has strategised the way you are positioned today?
There is no team. But I’m sure there are teams that would work against it. But no matter how hard they try, they won’t be able to pull off anything. Because I have God on my side.
Reportedly, you asked good friend and producer Sajid Nadiadwala to cut down on the intimacy quotient between you and Sonakshi in Kick…
What? Are you making up these questions right now?
(Pauses) If you see the original, there’s no level of intimacy whatsoever. From Maine Pyaar Kiya till today, I haven’t done any of this stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever do it.
Reportedly, you hiked your price by Rs 5 crore for Kick after Sajid kept repeating Akshay Kumar in his films.
No, no. This is ridiculous. Sajid and I never discuss price. In fact, whenever I’ve signed his film, Sajid has always given me more than he did for the previous one. He doesn’t take advantage of our friendship.
Had you known about the content of Ragini MMS, would you have barred Ektaa Kapoor from appearing in Bigg Boss to announce the film?
It’s alright as long as the film has an ‘A’ certificate. People want to watch sex and nudity. I’d watch it as well but not with the family. People come from different walks of life, people have different needs and they are placed in different circumstances.
Okay, then when do we see Salman Khan in an ‘A’ film?
I’ve been part of an ‘A’ film — Wanted. And I didn’t even touch my leading lady Ayesha Takia. The reason why it got an ‘A’ certificate was because of the action. But every kid has watched the film. So I don’t understand why the film was an ‘A’. This is a way of promoting piracy.
It’s believed that when Shah Rukh Khan and you are shooting in the same studio premises, there’s tension brewing in the air…
I don’t believe this. Why should he look for me and why should I look for him? He’s doing his work and I’m doing mine. He’s doing a damn good job of what he’s doing. And I respect that.