Monday, January 21, 2008

SRK magic continues at 42

His charisma, wit and intelligence make him stand apart and his humility has endeared him to the masses.

No wonder, in a short span Shah Rukh Khan has become a phenomenon. And now the Bollywood superstar, who turned 42 on Friday, is set to charm movie buffs with his much-awaited Om Shanti Om.

"I am like a bad habit and you can't kick those bad habits. It is the worst habit India has. Good habits you can get over but bad habits it is very difficult for people to get over and you are stuck with them for the rest of your life," said Khan in a candid chat with NDTV.

Shah Rukh has specially cultivated six-pack abs for the film and even gone shirtless for his forthcoming film.

"My fans should not feel short changed or cheated that they wanted more out of Shah Rukh and could not get it. Every film is about respect. It is always going to be the star first, my personality first or the one who has repeatedly been blamed for playing himself. Yes, I have played myself by playing someone else. Or as Salman said I am just too damn good looking," he laughed.

SRK is fiercely promoting his home production Om Shanti Om which has been set in the backdrop of the 1970s Bollywood.

The film has re-incarnation theme as its backdrop and is directed by good friend Farah Khan.

SRK, who is known for bringing in energy and liveliness on his sets, said he would love to continue working like this.

"I bring happiness in films. If a filmmaker has worked with me he will not work with anybody else because of the kind of happiness I bring on the sets just through my work, it is not because of my jokes.

It is an experience working with me. I am not hard selling myself because I will not sign more than two-three films. I may not have promoted so much love and experience through my films, as I do it on my sets," said SRK.

"I find true love with my kids unconditionally but here also I want to please them. So, you can imagine what desire will I have to please the people I don't even know. I want to make them love me through my work. As a professional I just want everyone to go back home and love me. Why I have it I don't know," he said.

SRK's new movie also introduces model turned actress Deepika Padukone, daughter of former badminton ace Prakash Padukone.

The actor is reported to have sold the film, made at a budget of Rs 400 million, for Rs 700 million.

On Nov 9, the film will clash with another much-hyped movie - Sanjay Leela Bhansali's musical extravaganza Saawariya which stars, Nitu and Rishi Kapoor's son Ranbir and Anil Kapoor's daughter Sonam. Sony Pictures, co-producer of the film, is splurging big money on its publicity.

But Shah Rukh is unfazed.

"Nobody is going to use money to oust the goodwill that I have created."

Although not good-looking in the conventional terms, Shah Rukh's mass appeal is amazing. This was quite obvious when he became host of STAR Plus' popular quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati, which had become synonymous with icon Amitabh Bachchan.

When launched on Jan 22 this year, the initial response to the quiz show was not so encouraging. And comparisons with original host Amitabh were inevitable. But soon the comparisons stopped, and people began enjoying the show.

With his irresistible charm and wittiness, Shah Rukh gave a new makeover to the show and viewers began looking forward to it. Its witty content made the show a kind of a stress buster.

Shah Rukh is considered one of the premium brands of India. However, he says that he never worked consciously to achieve the status.

At a time when most of the successful actors are Hollywood bound, Shah Rukh brushes aside such aspirations and says he will be the first "Permanent movie star in the world for I will be like an addiction, I am like a bad habit, one doesn't want to leave it."

Shah Rukh, who started off as a stark newcomer in the industry in 1992 minus a godfather, is keen that India should have Oscar-like academy awards. He also wants to introduce new film technology and has plans to build his own studio.

Age is no bar to this superstar who seems to look younger, get better and more energetic with the passing years, just like old wine. (With agency inputs)

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