Salman Khan is relaxed and upbeat,
and yes, chatty too. Excerpts from his
conversation with Pratishtha Malhotra.
The producer needs guts
“Watching some of the action you think that a lot of effort and mehnatki hai but karni nahi padhti hai,. And then there is a lot in a film where people think that nothing has to be done here but actually you need to put in the most there. This is one of those films in which the hard work and the effort of the director is more in setting up the production setup amongst other things. Speaking of the actor, apart from doing those big stunts, he does not have to do anything. It is just the canvas of the action that is making the action look much larger. Aisa lagta hai ki actor ne bahut mehnat ki hai, but not really.
If you have not done this kind of stuff before, then there is a lot of mehnat but if you have done it before or you have played sports or ridden cycles all your life and you can do things like riding a motorcycle, driving, jumping off, fighting and learn action, then there is nothing. It is the same stuff that you do in other films, maybe a little more…10-15 maale aur. But it is more of the thinking behind it all.
The screenplay of the action is very important. Like, you can think that there is a bus and it has to blow up cars but when the budget comes across, then you think about things like, ‘Let’s just keep it about the bus only, why blow up so many cars? Let’s just blow up one’ (Laughs) Blocking off streets, getting a bus from London to shoot in Poland, all this stuff does cost a lot of money. The hero of such an action film is the heart and the jigar of the producer.”
Analysing Jai Ho
“Speaking of ‘Jai Ho’, it is a serious film. While making a film like JAI HO, we really liked the snort, like a tiger, but later we got to know that the children got scared of it. We make films for kids only, thinking that they see all these digital games with so much of bloodshed and stuff but then…See, when you make a film, the new one has got to be a lot larger than your last one. In this, sometimes it is convincing, sometimes people say ‘Yeh zyaada ho gaya.’
When you watch ‘Jai Ho’ on television, it is the most amazing film. The music of the film, which we thought was amazing, did not do well. So that makes a difference. And maybe the release also in January, the schools have just started, a big film has just gone in December, you have just come out from your New Year’s and stuff, it at least takes a month to go back to the theatres. Plus our ticket prices were Rs.250. Where all the ticket prices were Rs.450, Rs.650, Rs.950, we kept it at Rs.250 for the weekend and lowered it afterwards. We did that for our fans, which we still stand by it. Saying all of that, it is a Rs.126 flop, which is fine! (Smiles)”
“Until now it was fine but now when you start talking and you say a dialogue, you do feel that you have said it before. You sometimes feel that it sounds like a film you have already done. So now what new to do becomes a big task and that’s where the producers, the directors and the rest of the actors come in. So in KICK, there is Jackie (Jacqueline Fernandez) who has made a huge difference to my character. There is Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Randeep Hooda which makes for a different casting. You have not seen any of these people with me before. So I look different because of that. And sometimes getting kicked also gives me a big kick, it only sends me two feet ahead!”
“I don’t get scared of CG (computer generated) trains. (Laughs). Real trains are the ones I have had a really bad experience with. I remember in ‘Tere Naam’, I am supposed to walk the track with the train coming behind me and the fighter had to dive and save me. And while we were shooting that, he panicked and the train is behind me. Later he tells me, ‘Main toh darr gaya’. I am not supposed to look back because I am going on his conviction that he will take me out of it, and he is looking at me and then the unit while the train is coming at 30-40 km/hour. But even that slowly aaram se the train is going to take me. By the time I look back – and for me to pick up that speed on the railway track is slightly difficult – and you’re gone.
He comes to me and after telling me that he got scared, says ‘Sir agar khuda na khasta aapko kuch ho jaata toh sab log mujhe jaan se maar dete, toh isliye maine risk liya, apni jaan ko daao pe lagake aapko bachaya.’ In trying to take me out, he jumped but took his body out first and my neck hit the train a little bit…(Laughs)Then we realised that we could have done it simpler; we could have shot it in CG, and the impact would have been the same. This scene in KICK was a composite, there was a train but at a safer distance because sometimes what happens is that you are pedalling away to glory but the chain has come off…Anything can happen,yaar. Crossing the railway track always raises a track, there is lakda and pathar so it is not a smooth ride.”