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How Shah Rukh sidestepped the smoker-hero’s trap in Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam

en Bollywood News How Shah Rukh sidestepped the smoker-hero’s trap in Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam

There was a time when screen heroes were considered cool if they were shown smoking on screen. Ashok Kumar based an entire performance in Kismat on his stylish smoking. Things have changed over the years. As Akshay Kumar tells us at the beginning and midpoint of every film, smoking is injurious to health. In director the K C Bokadia-produced Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, which released on May 24, 2002. Shah Rukh had to play a chain-smoking character.

How Shah Rukh sidestepped the smoker-hero’s trap in Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam

Here is what he did to sidestep accusations of promoting smoking: he never lit a cigarette in the film; just dangled it between his lips whenever the character was required to be shown smoking. In an interview in 2002 Shah Rukh also spoke to this writer on why he felt smoking should be banned. “I don't think smoking needs to be an integral part of any character. It's as routine as a chair in the corner of a set or a bedsheet on a bed .It shouldn't be something around which a film is designed. I don't think any film needs to be designed around a character who smokes."

However, Shah Rukh felt an outright ban on cine smoking might be problematic for some characters, "Though I don't think it would be difficult for actors to project emotions without smoking, there might be a problem with some characters. If you are portraying Winston Churchill, how can you portray him without his trademark cigar? It might be tough to depict characters from the underworld without cigarettes. But otherwise, what's so essential about smoking on screen?" the Bollywood badshah asks.

Shah Rukh had said during that past interview that screen-heroes smoking does influence the audience. "I do remember seeing a sign in London which said, 'Papa, when you smoke, I smoke too.' I don't know whether my smoking would make my child a smoker. But if you tell me that such a thing can happen, I'd like to take it seriously. I don't know how far the ban on smoking would help eradicate smoking. Let's see how it goes. If it helps in getting rid of smokers, then I'm all for it. Actually, the more liberal a society becomes, the more stringent the laws are bound to be. In the US, you can buy a gun off the shelf, and then someone starts shooting down kids in a school. So they need strict laws to make guns accessible to people. With air travel being so easy now -- you can book tickets by e-mail -- airport security is tougher. In a banana republic, nothing is allowed. In our society, everything is allowed. Therefore, we need to check the flow of liberal ideas. It isn't intolerance that triggers off laws against things like smoking or buying ammunition. More rights entail more obligations."

SRK concluded by saying he is always careful about what he portrays onscreen. "For example, I'm very careful about bad language on screen. I don't use it. I won't. The most extreme emotions can be expressed without getting abusive. I'm not comfortable with bad language. But I don't disapprove of it. I believe cinema has to have the freedom to express itself in any way it likes. I may not like talking to a particular journalist. But that doesn't mean I'd stop him or her from writing."

Also Read: Shah Rukh Khan video calls a cancer patient for half hour, promises to provide financial help: ‘My last wish is to meet him’

More Pages: Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam Box Office Collection , Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam Movie Review


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