T FM speaks exclusively to Shah Rukh Khan in Muscat during the promotional tour of his movie “Zero”, which releases this weekend
T FM 95.4: Welcome to Oman, Shah Rukh! We are so excited and honoured to host you.
SRK: Thank you for having me. I have been here before but it’s always nice to return to a place that gives back so much warmth and love and I always find an excuse through my movies to visit places that welcome me with open arms. Thank you to VOX cinemas, T FM and everyone involved in making this possible.
T FM 95.4: What was the first thought that came to your mind when you found out that Oman had been added to the list on your promotional tour of the movie?
SRK: To be honest, the Red Chillies and YRF teams are working hard to distribute the film across the globe; for me, it’s like requesting them to get me here and not the other way around. It’s an opportunity. The film is just an excuse to meet my fans, even if it is for an hour or so, it’s an opportunity to see them and interact with them. It’s very heartening to see the people who make me the star that I am and I hope they like the film when it releases here in Oman.
T FM 95.4: Let’s start from zero for the movie “Zero; considering the title of the movie, it is very unconventional, what convinced you to
do this movie?
SRK: I’ve been working for so long and, more often than not, we play larger-than-life roles, something we conventionally call the “hero” type. Anand Rai, the director of the film, and Himanshu Sharma, who wrote it, came to me and said they have grown up watching my films, and most of the films that they have done have a reference of me, even though I haven’t been a part of them; they would always keep me in mind and introduce a “Shah Rukh Khan type” of scene; I never understood what it actually was. They said now that they have gotten the opportunity to work with me, they would like to take away everything they have seen growing up and take it upon themselves as a challenge to show the fact that if they took away everything for which Shah Rukh Khan stands for, people can still fall in love with me. So they gave me the role of a vertically challenged person, took away my niceness and wanted to see if people would still fall in love with a completely different avatar of me. I sometimes get bored of doing the same kind of roles; I work in commercial cinema and more often than not, I am offered the same conventional roles and characters which I play in my movies, so ZERO came as an opportunity, a challenge to break my own stereotypes and play a different kind of role. It was extremely gutsy of Himanshu and Anand to think of such a role, they could have easily shown my conventional side and gone the easy way.
T FM 95.4: During the movie promotions, you’ve mentioned several times in your interviews that all the characters in the movie are very different from one another and have something “missing” in their lives. Can you elaborate?
SRK: Actually, everyone in the film has something missing in their lives. There is no empathising with them, they don’t want your sympathy, they lead their lives as normally as anyone would and that’s the message behind the movie. We usually see larger-than-life characters in our cinema, someone who is coming at you in full speed, running and jumping around, but in this movie we wanted to make a “smaller than life” character and we wanted to make heroes out of ordinary people, heroines out of ordinary women. If you watch the film, you will see in the character that Katrina plays in the movie, she is extremely vulnerable and sweet, and somewhere down the line, all of us are, we all have our worries. You know a lot of people meet me and ask, “You’re Shah Rukh Khan, what more do you want?”. I say there’s a lot more to achieve and a long way to go, and yet at the same time I am extremely satisfied with what I have. If, God forbid, I can’t achieve anything further, I will be happy and content and say that my life is beautiful and I am happy. The essence of life is to live it, not try to be someone else. That’s how every character in the movie is incomplete yet complete.
T FM 95.4: Is there something in your life that you would like to complete or achieve?
SRK: Look, I can take one part of the philosophy and say I would like to achieve a lot but I believe in the other philosophy and I think that if my life were to end right now, it has been the most
beautiful life ever and I would like to thank everyone for making it so, including all the people and, of course, my family. I would die a happy man!
T FM 95.4: The trailer of the movie looks great, one thing we noticed is that when Bauua Singh is happy, he starts singing. Are you the same in real life? If so, what makes you sing? What is the one thing that makes you extremely happy and what do you do?
SRK: (Jokingly) you wouldn’t want to know! When I start singing, most of the people who are tuned in to T FM will never ever tune in again. But on a serious note, it’s ironic that I don’t know much about singing or music, considering I have some of the best music in my movies, I am really tone deaf. My son and daughter can sing but I barely even get by.
When I am extremely happy and content, I go to sleep. I just lie down, watch the most inane programme on TV, which make absolutely no sense, and just fall off to sleep.
T FM 95.4: Did you ever get a zero in your school days?
SRK: No! I was a first class student; I have a sword of honour and always ranked at the top of my class. Not a serious student though, I just have good memory. Having said that, I had given an exam and one of my closest friends said he had aced it, and we friends on the other hand couldn’t even understand what the paper actually was, I think it was a chemistry paper. I got an 8, and the one who actually said he had aced the paper got 23. That’s the lowest I have ever scored. In school, I used to score low marks in Hindi. In fact, I sometimes managed to get a zero in my exams. So my mother, to get me to study Hindi, promised me that if I ever scored 10 on 10 in a paper, she would let me watch a movie; so I worked hard and educated myself and scored full marks. And that’s how I watched my first-ever Hindi film.
T FM 95.4: What is the one thing that you would like people to take away from the movie? What according to you is the USP of the film?
SRK: The philosophy behind the film is that everyone is missing something in their lives. I don’t think the underlying tone or the highlight of the movie is that, but there’s always a hidden motive behind the reason why one does a film, and I try to show that in all my movies. However, it may or may not come across to the audience. Though one thing that they would take away from this film is “reasons to smile”. The film is funny, has some great music and is very “active”; there’s not a single dull moment in the film. It’s not a placid and dull film and I think Himanshu and Anand have written some great dialogues in the film and they are honestly not even outspoken dialogues. It’s all just said, spoken and more like a conversation. They are very pertinent. The film is a flight, it’s nerve-wracking. It’s kind of new and if people hopefully like the newness and take that away and come out smiling, our jobs are done.