Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has said the ordinary middle class character of Surinder Sahni that he essays in “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” is what he really is and wants the romantic iconic crown to shift from the earlier yuppie characters to “Suri” “because he’s got a good heart”.
“I come from an educated lower middle class background and I have never lost touch with that. Suri is what I really am. And my challenge as an actor is genuinely to make Surinder Sahni the new romantic icon, ” Shah Rukh told in an interview.
“I want everybody not to love Raj (the name of his character in 1995 mega hit “Dilwale Dulhaniyan Le Jayenge”) anymore and say ‘We want to be Suri’. The romantic iconic status crown now shifts from Raj and Rahul to Surinder Sahni because he’s got a good heart, ” he said.
He was also full of praise for his new co-star Anushka Sharma, saying she “kept him on his toes”.
“I feel responsible for her (Anushka’s) career because she is starting off with me. I hope she does a fantastic job, ” he said.
“From the bottom of my heart I pray for her and I hope this film does really good for her and she does amazing amount of work, so we can feel proud that we started her career on celluloid.”
Q: What was it like working with Anushka Sharma who is making her debut?
A: Anushka in a certain way has helped me a lot with this film. I had to react to this girl who’s so fresh and different. So as an actor, I would say she has kept me on my toes and I think she has done a wonderful job.
I feel responsible for her career because she is starting off with me. I hope she does a fantastic job. She kept me on my toes, not just by virtue of being fresh and new, by being taller than me also.
I truly from the bottom of my heart pray for her and I hope this film does really good for her and she does some amazing amount of work, so we can feel proud that we started her career on celluloid.
Q: What sets “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” apart from the other Yash Raj Films’ ventures that you have been a part of?
A: When Adi (Aditya Chopra, director) narrated it to me, I just felt that he’s being very courageous and brave. He really wants to experiment with commercial cinema but still tries to think different within that parameter.
I never thought that for his own directorial venture, after eight years, he will think of a film like “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi”.
I think it’s truly brave of him to take three characters and make a whole film around them. I think it’s an evolution of a director and a producer and that’s what sets “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” very different from all the others.
Q: Your look in the film is very different and most talked about – can you tell us a bit about it?
A: The first character is Surinder Sahni and we wanted him to look like a middle class guy, having a fixed routine – perhaps to the extent of being boring.
We also wanted to give him a little bit of amusing quality without making him a caricature and to get all that, I think a physical appearance was important. Especially, for the movement of the story, the look was very important.
One day, I put a moustache and got some hairpiece done and showed it to Adi and he said, ‘This is the guy he should look like.’ It’s not how weird or funny I look, but the simplicity of the character will permeate through the screen.
Q: Any one memorable incident during the shoot of the film?
A: I think the most memorable part was the first seven-eight days when I changed my look for Surinder Sahni. When I used to walk on the sets, nobody would recognise me.
I got a taste of things that will come 30 years later in my life when I will no longer be a star and nobody will recognise me. I think that is the most memorable moment but I hope it never happens to me ever again because not to be recognised after 20 years of such high recognition is something I wasn’t ready for.
Q: An extraordinary romantic icon like you playing an ordinary man in a love story. Comment.
A: I have always said that I am just an employee of the superstar that goes by the name of Shah Rukh Khan. I just need to work hard for my employer.
I am basically very ordinary in the way I think, in the way I do things. I come from an educated lower middle class background and I have never lost touch with that. Suri is what I really am. And my challenge as an actor is genuinely to make Surinder Sahni the new romantic icon.
I want everybody not to love Raj anymore and say ‘We want to be Suri’. The romantic iconic status crown now shifts from Raj and Rahul to Surinder Sahni because he’s got a good heart.