Shah Rukh Khan’s unparalleled success at home and abroad is a story that can never be told in a jiffy. The mega star - who completed 25 years in Bollywood - hasn’t just carved a niche for himself as a consumer-friendly face for popular brands, but also been successful at winning plaudits for being a creative entrepreneur, an international icon and of course – an ideal family man. In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18’s Entertainment Editor Rajeev Masand, Shah Rukh Khan spoke about his interpretation of perfect happiness, and on issues that disturb him as a parent and a lot more. Read on.
Despite the fact that he is a phenomenon, Khan is an undisputed family man who has balanced his stardom and responsibility as a father and husband incredibly well. On being asked for his idea of perfect happiness, Khan said, “To make a film which the world likes and so does my family.”
While he showed no qualms in admitting that the combination of the two has still not happened in the last 25 years, he continues to work towards it. “The day I strike it maybe I’ll say, “Ok. If I have done this, let’s not take a chance with another one." But you want to make a perfect film for your kids. For example, I made Ra.One and I’m not someone who is saying it because I can – but I made it for kids. A science fiction where you have a superhero. India doesn’t have superheroes but the world didn’t like it too much. So the balance has to be present – to be able to create a film which everybody likes including the family. And that’s the perfect film and perfect happiness,” he said.
The actor-entrepreneur, who had recently made an appeal to the photographers to be gentle if they must photograph their children, also stated that it disturbs him when his children are hounded for pictures. For the unversed, Khan’s daughter Suhana was literally mobbed by photographers when she dropped by a suburban multiplex to watch a movie screening recently.
“Like I said, this is the part of stardom that we all have accepted… I think everything in today’s time and age is a fair game. It isn’t just the celebrity kids. I say this – we have sold our souls for selfies.”
The star also mentioned that most of the times his team prevents him from meeting his fans fearing a physical attack. “Many a times I’m in trouble and my team tells me, ‘You can’t do this”, “That person will attack”. But I say, “It’s just a selfie. Go take a selfie and it’ll all be done. I’m not showing off. This is what the life has become. Khan also recalled the time when his kids felt a tad awkward with what followed because of his stardom.
“I think, initially, the kids started feeling awkward with all the paraphernalia, the cars. Every time I go out in a public place, I don’t take them with me. My wife doesn’t come, my children don’t come, I go to functions alone or I go to post they have gone. So they don’t enter with me because with all due respect I’m a star and I expect everyone to rush on to me. I don’t expect that to happen to my family. So they have understood it, they don’t go.”
As Khan states, it is a conscious decision to never come together as a family for any occasion.
“There is hardly a place maybe a special occasion when we have to come together. Otherwise we never travel together to even a private dinner. Some adjustments have to be made. One of them was that I sent them abroad to study. Not because of the scrutiny but because they were feeling awkward from all the attention they had from their own staff.”
While Khan understands the need for the photographs to be taken, he has explained his kids how to handle situations wherein they have to face photographers. “I have explained it to my kids that if photographers come and stand, they should do the picture and say, “Please can I go now?’ They will all listen to you, I have known them for 25 years.”
“The second part of it – perhaps I’m old fashioned. I really do believe – you deserve attention. You have to earn it, you have to do something for it. So this I explained to my kids and they also understand it that just because you are photographed, doesn’t make you important at all," he added.