Did you expect Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH) to be so successful?
Well, we have worked really hard – Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and the whole team of TZH, we believed in our story. The film’s message is of universal value: humanity is above all. So we were really hopeful about the film. Luckily, it connected.
And how! 2017 was a year of huge flops and disappointments. Does the success of Tiger vindicate the box office supremacy of Salman and your position as a blockbuster director?
What it validates is that if you give the audience what your trailer promises they will accept it with open arms. My equation with Salman is what the success of Tiger Zinda Hai validates. I think we work well together.
What do you think makes TZH so connectible with the audience especially at a time when all diplomatic efforts to bring India and Pakistan together have failed?
I think the idea of love is universal and peace and brotherhood is the core of our existence.
This is your second blockbuster with Salman Khan. Please describe your rapport with him?
Well, as I said Salman Khan and I work very well together, he is to me is like an elder brother. I am just four films old. His vast experience makes my work look mature.
You are now doing a third film Bharat with Salman. Apparently it is a remake of a Korean film. How do you intend to Indianize it and is this going to Salman’s ode to Indian history?
As far as Bharat is concerned, we have worked thoroughly on making it a work founded on Indian history and the adaptation of text would be fully researched. Now once I am free of all the post-TZH activities, I will start fresh on the film.
You started with Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. How do you see your journey so far?
I feel God has been very kind to me. My films are a manifestation of my experiences, my convictions and my beliefs. What a filmmaker creates reflects who he is. Keeping my head down and working hard is my strength.
Finally, your thoughts on the year that was and the year to come?
Well, for me personally, last year was Sultan and this is year is Tiger. 2018 will be Bharat. What more can I wish for? So Mashallah, I am happy and I wish all the love and happiness to everyone. I hope there will be more successful films in 2018.