Salman Khan, Anushka Sharma starrer Sultan released on July 6 and since then has been breaking all box office records. While yet another Eid release of the superstar has contributed to his super stardom, Salman decided to celebrate the success with media as well. A press meet for the success of Sultan was recently held and Salman was seen in his elements answering questions is his usual quirky style.
Sultan has broken many box office records and is still going strong. How do you feel about this achievement?
It is all because of this genius (Ali Abbas Zafar) because it was his script, his music. The music was definitely made by Vishal-Shekhar but it was about Ali Abbas Zafar’s script and how he wanted to go about it.
Much before the movie releases, there are a lot of predictions about your movies Salman. In the last two years, from Kick to Bajrangi Bhaijaan, you have managed to break several box office records. Do you also predict the record- breaking success?
I’ve just been lucky. I’ve just been somebody who has been at the right place at the right time, you know, choosing the right film or been made to choose the right film. I’ve been fortunate to work with people who are working more on me and that is because they have already worked on themselves. They have taken this average person and they’ve made me do films like Sultan. I’ve just been lucky. When the luck runs out then I’ll have to start working hard on myself.
Are you very choosy about the kind of films you want to do?
Yes. I am choosy. See, the amount of films I used to do earlier and now I don’t do them anymore. That is because I’m choosy with the films that I’m doing.
Sultan has broken some major records. At what point of time the numbers don’t matter?
I don’t follow numbers. They (YRF) follow numbers. Once the initial awareness of the film is done, which we did very little this time, I’m out of the film. I move to the next one. Numbers do matter but, I’m not good with dates or the numbers.
Recently, Aamir Khan watched Sultan and he got very emotional. He had also sent you (Salman Khan) a text praising the film.
Yes. I had received a text from Aamir Khan.
Does this success give hope for Sultan part 2?
Sultan was only made with so much difficulty.
What is success to you, Salman Khan?
Sultan has become a successful film in the sports genre, would you do more sports based films?
It’s tough to do a sports-based film. It’s a lot of hard work that is being put in such films.
If not for you, who do you think could have played a better Sultan?
Now, this is a difficult thing to answer. I think the way I see and the way fans have reacted to this film, the only person who would have been able to play Sultan was Sultan himself.
How did you see Aamir Khan’s strategy of releasing his poster of Dangal during Sultan release to make people aware of his film?
Everyone was aware of Dangal much before Sultan.
You strongly spoke about the repeat value, the repeat audience we strongly lack in today’s films. But, films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and PK have changed it. How do you feel about it?
There is an audience which does not go to the theater at all. They watch it at home, DVDs or satellite. Now, that is an audience we need. We don’t have those many theaters but for films like these, people should come out of their houses to watch it. Like footfalls of Bajrangi Bhaijaan was the highest of 40 lakh people in the population of 125 crore people. That’s not even 3%. There are hardly any theater goers and we are surviving in that. In UP, 1800 theaters have been shut down and in Maharashtra there are a certain amount of theaters being shut down. This is sad. There used to be more theaters than there are now.
Is it disheartening before the movie releases a lot of stuff has been leaked online? Like in the case of Udta Punjab, Sultan and like Great Grand Masti leaked two weeks before its release?
It is really disgusting. They are thieves. They are people who don’t want to do any hard work and want to earn money from someone else’s hard work. The worst profession is to let somebody else do the work and you take away the credit. You make money on their hard work. Some Minister was telling me that Tada should be imposed on the buyer and seller of these pirated copies. Two people will go to jail and this won’t happen in future. These things don’t happen in South film industry.
It’s just Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. After Monday, it comes back to normal rates. Then, there are single screens. Even I feel the ticket prices are high but if you see the infrastructure and real estate, if they don’t charge for it then the theaters will be shut down. Like, we tried it during Jai Ho by keeping the tickets for Rs. 250. Neither was the film appreciated nor did it get any good collection.
Salman, is your mother your harshest critic and who is your biggest critic?
I’ve been forgiven for a lot. She loved Sultan. My dad is my biggest critic. Every time I do a film, his reaction is really important to me. After Sultan, he came up to me and said forget about this. Concentrate on your next film. My mom and dad watch every film. They have this day where they watch the film with Karan Johar‘s mom, Prem Chopra, Ashaji (Asha Parekh) and others.
Have you all seen Aamir Khan’s Dangal poster? How did you like it?
I saw it. It’s very nice poster. He comes out with a bare chest poster. Have you seen his body? He is after me. I gave Aamir an advice saying Yeh Pehelwan ka role hain isme six pack abs nahi banana hain.
Recently, Aamir Khan said that you are a bigger star than him. What is your take on that?
See, he doesn’t lie about anything. That is one thing I give Aamir Khan. He doesn’t lie.
Ranveer Singh recently watched the film while in Paris and was seen dancing in the theater. Have you watched the video?
(Adds jokingly) I want to kill him. I just want to like a break a chair or something on his head. Watch a film, don’t do stunts and dance and disturb the film. I was like what is this. He is not watching Sultan. He is making people watch him there. He should have charged money for that.
Who do you admire from the younger lot?
Salman Khan: I like this boy Ranveer (Singh). I like Varun Dhawan, Tiger, Sooraj, Arjun’s good. I like Ranbir, Fawad, and Sidharth.
Would you ever work with the younger lot?
If something comes up then definitely. Like, I’ve worked with Pulkit Samrat.
Any plans on doing starring in Sanjay Dutt‘s biopic?
If he is making a biopic, I think it won’t be complete without me being part of it.
After Dus Ka Dum, you’ve not come out with the second season. Any plans on doing that?
Right now, we are doing Bigg Boss. I’d love to do it 100%. I really enjoyed doing that show. But, now this is an easy show (Bigg Boss) to do. In fact, this season will be even more difficult as common man too will be going inside the house. It suddenly becomes common man vs celebrity. When the common man will leave the Bigg Boss house, they will become a celebrity.
You are Bollywood’s biggest star. There is no controversy that has not touched you. Your friends and fans support you so much. How do you react to such controversies that come up during the movies?
No. I believe the last movie you do is the only thing that works. Then, the whole cycle starts once again to prove yourself. Once this chapter closes then the next chapter has to be better than the previous one. As per the controversies are concerned, if I don’t say anything I’m boring. If I give you something now, you’d survive in that for the next two weeks. You’d like that but people around me would not like that. See, I understand your intention. So, you decide whether I should give you something or not. I may say something, you may take it differently.
You will be starting your film Tubelight which is a period film. So, what can we expect from it?
Right now, I can’t say anything. That, we will answer when the film releases. Iska jawaab main aapko theater mein dunga.
Your films have been doing well both commercially and critically. Has your perception changed while signing the films?
No. I have been doing the same kind films that I would want to go watch in the theater. Those are the kind of films I’m doing and those are films that I’ve always been doing.
When are you starting Rajkumar Santoshi’s film?
We are working on the script right now.
Has someone approached you for your biopic, Salman?
See, my life is very boring. No one will make a biopic. If it’s made, a lot of people will die in it. I would not do the film because for that, one will have to write it down and the only one who can write it down is me or my brothers or sisters. Even they would write it in bits of it as they don’t know everything.
Salman, how was your reaction after watching Akshay Kumar‘s Rustom and Hrithik Roshan‘s Mohenjo Daro trailers?
I saw it today for the first time. Damn good. Fabulous. I have just watched Mohenjo Daro‘s song and some action sequences. It looks very good.