Ahead of his birthday tomorrow, Bollywood star Salman Khan talks about being the actor with the ‘blockbuster touch’
Everything you touch seems to turn to gold at the box-office, including your latest Dabangg 2. Do you feel like the ‘man with the Midas touch’?
Arre baap re! Midas didn’t have a happy ending, did he? (feigns a worried expression). I wish what you are saying was true, then I wouldn’t have to worry about film scripts, direction, acting (laughs). But I think the genre has worked for me. Besides the director, cameraman, spotboys are as much a hero in the making of a film. I am just fortunate that my fans have always been there for me.
What do you think makes you such a hit with them?
The audience likes to see me in action or in love, so they like to see Salman Khan be the Tiger or Chulbul Pandey. They all have a little bit of these characters in them too. All I do is put it out on screen and they like it. That is why they like a Prem or Radhey too.
But do you have more of Prem in you or Chulbul?
It is easier to be Chulbul in real life than be a Prem. It is very difficult to keep everyone happy. Doing the right thing is one thing, but no matter what you do, you can never please everyone. It’s not easy being the nice guy always, no matter what gets thrown your way. As for me, I think I too have a little bit of all in me, but I am not them. I am Salman Khan.
Do you think it ever hampers your relationships... keeping your onscreen persona separate from the real you?
No. The people I share a relationship with know exactly who I am. They treat me like Salman Khan, not Radhey or Pandey. People who are close to me are the ones who keep it real for me, they know that’s the only way I know to be — real.
You are turning a year older tomorrow. Do you think about competition from the younger lot?
Competition has always been there, older lot, younger lot. But I always wish all do well. Film chalti hai toh sab ka achhcha hota hai. I think people accept my screen age, that’s what matters to them. I know I am not a youngster and doing action is not easy too. But till I can, I will really kick it!
Is there anything you miss at this age?
Jitna mila hai bahot mila hai. And I am just thankful for a family and fans who’ve given me strength to not give up. Somethings I have accepted. I can’t fight them, so I have just learnt to take what comes.
Next year you are completing 25 years in the industry?
And more than the money, it’s the love I have gained which makes it special. Hits come and go with Friday. I am lucky that I have had the love of my fans no matter how many Fridays have come and gone in my life.
Apart from the action, you seem to have reinvented the dancer in you...
I am no dancer, but I love doing what I do. Some like it, some feel I am stiff, but I enjoy it. And mostly the audience enjoys it too.
How much do tags like Rs 100-crore hero and money-spinner mean to you?
I do feel responsible, like I know how well Dabangg was received. Both Arbaaz and I knew that Dabangg 2 had to be a step ahead, not only in terms of money making. I am happy with the producers even just recovering money and everyone being associated with the film having something to be proud about. But in terms of taking the character forward, I feel I owe it to my audience. Tags... I take them to heart, because fans give it to you with love, but I don’t let them get to me.