With every film he touches turning into a superhit, actor Salman Khan is easily the man of the moment. And as we wait to catch up with the star for our quick chat, shouts of Salman’s name reverberating across the road announce his arrival minutes before he actually cycles his way in. Settling down for a tete-a-tete with the superstar, as if sensing our question, he says, “Star? Superstar? For Salman Khan, Salman Khan is always Salman Khan and he still does the same things… still loves to cycle, hang out with friends, family, wants to work…”
So much talk about you, good and bad, does it affect you?
No. I know exactly who I am, so I don’t need people to give me character certificates. Every Friday it changes yaar, but Fridays don’t change who I am…
Has the excitement and anxiety of facing a Friday dimmed or increased over the years?
Well, no matter how hard you work, you still don’t know what to expect on a Friday. There’s no formula for a hit. Everyone still does their best and then waits for their Fridays to come.
And do you pray?
I do pray, but not for hits. I pray for izzat, ki izzat miley, people like my work. You know everybody has got their time. And the bad thing about good time is that it comes to an end too. So as long as you are well, that’s fine. So I pray for health too.
The past few years have been good for you?
Very good yes, mashallah! I think I have been lucky with the films I’ve been getting and the genre I’ve been getting. I don’t know how long the genre will last or what genre will go on from here..
But your fanbase moves with you…
I don’t know what I have done, I mean I have never overtly done any PR exercise or anything. I believe they just see a guy who is very easily approachable. So, yes, I am happy and fortunate to have a loyal fanbase.
Do you believe in destiny?
100%. Dabanng’s destiny decided Dabangg 2. Now, this film’s destiny would decide what comes next.
From romance to action, what character do you identify the real Salman with the most?
There’s a little bit of me in all characters and a bit of all my characters in me. So, there’s a bit of Prem in me, a little bit of Radhe and Chulbul Pandey and all other characters I have played. I may be Chulbul or Tiger onscreen, but I never let myself forget that I am still Salman. I may play the character well, but I am not that.
You are close to completing 25 years in the industry…
I look back and it’s been a beautiful journey. Though in a way nothing much has changed. I am still as anxious about signing a film like I was when I signed Maine Pyaar Kiya, still as excited as I was before its release and still as nervous about how well it will do. Life’s been going on…
With the highs you have seen the lows too...
Yes, I have gone through it twice in my career, the secure and the insecure phases. The only thing is that when I go through insecure phase I don’t feel insecure, I hike my price, work harder, don’t panic and wait.
Everyone around you is married. Do you not miss that?
What, coming home to a wife and kids? How do you miss a feeling that you are not aware of (laughs). But nahin not yet.