Far from being the ?conventionally handsome? actor, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has, over the years, emerged as the gold standard of romance in Hindi films. Despite ruling the roost, Khan’s life hasn’t been a bed of roses.
On Khan’s 55th birthday today, we bring you an incident, where he was ready to take a bullet for his friend and filmmaker Karan Johar.
Johar, in his autobiography An Unsuitable Boy, mentioned an incident that took place while filming Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (released in 1998) where he got a threat call from underworld don Abu Salem and how SRK stood by him like a rock.
Read the excerpt mentioned in Karan Johars book here:
On Monday, we were writing out the cards, dispatching them through production. My maasi had come to the house to help us. I went down to drop her. My mother was alone at home, even the servants were not there, all of them had gone out. The phone rang. My mother picked it up, and it was a call from the underworld. A man’s voice said, Your son’s wearing a red T-shirt, I can see him right now. And we’re going to shoot him if you release this film on Friday.?
“For some reason, they didn’t want the film to be released that Friday; we didn’t know why. It was a call from Abu Salem, and my mother was shaking with terror. She put the phone down and ran towards the door. She pressed the lift number, and I was coming up. As I came up those nine floors, she was going through really tough moments.
When I reached, she just dragged me to the room and said, ‘You have to call the cops. This call has come and they said they’re going to shoot you, they don’t want you to release your film this Friday…'”
“That evening, my father, Shah Rukh, the cops, Adi, everybody was there. The cops advised us, ‘We will protect you but you have to go ahead. You can’t show your fear. You have to have the premiere on Thursday.’
By my mother said, ‘What does this mean?’
We were a simple family. We’d never had the underworld calling us to stop the release of a film. We’d never dreamt that something like this could even happen to us.
My mother said, ‘We don’t want all this nonsense.'”
They had the premiere anyway, but Karan was put in a small room with two security guards for his protection. He writes about how he always dreamed about Shammi Kapoor coming out of a car to attend the premiere of his film. His mother knew this, and was very upset that Karan wouldn’t get to witness that. She told Shah Rukh Khan about this.
Karan writes, “Shah Rukh said, ‘What nonsense!’ He went inside and dragged me out. He said, ‘I’m standing here in front of you. Let’s see who shoots you. I’m standing right here.'”
“I said, ‘No, no, no, my mother was…’ He told my mother, ‘Nothing’s gonna happen. I’m a Pathan. Nothing can happen to me and nothing will happen to your son. He’s like my brother. Nothing’s gonna happen.'”
In a separate incident, Shah Rukh had to also deal with threatening calls from gangsters Abu Salem and Chota Shakeel, among others. In a book written by Anupama Chopra ? The King of Bollywood, she spoke about how Khan braved the underworld.
An unflinching Khan had once told Salem, who wanted him to work in a film by a certain producer who was close to the gangster, said, I don’t tell you who to shoot so don’t tell me which film to do.
It was during the shooting of Dil To Pagal Hai (released in 1997), Khan had got these threat calls.
When Khan got a call from Salem, he asked, Who’s this. Khan’s question invited volley of abuses in Hindi.
Khan chose to be polite as he continued to speak in English. Following the incident, Mumbai Police provided the actor with security.
To complete my film ‘Emergency’, I mortgaged every single thing I owned: Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut finished the shoot of her much awaited film ‘Emergency’ recently. But finishing this film wasn’t an easy journey for the actress. She went through a lot of ups and downs while finishing this period drama where she plays former PM, Indira Gandhi.
Talking about all the difficulties she faced to complete the film, Kangana recently said, “Whatever task I take up, I make sure I finish it. But to finish the film, I had to mortgage all my properties, every single thing I owned as I am also banking the film as a producer. Moreover, mortgaging all my property to complete the film wasn’t a big deal. I am someone who makes all my big decisions within minutes. The main struggle was running to banks back-to-back while shooting the film. Somehow, it hampers your work big time.”
Kangana, who made her entry into Bollywood with ‘Gangster’ in 2006, also spoke about her initial days in Bollywood. “When I came to Mumbai, I had only ₹500. So, if I lose all my property after ‘Emergency’ release and I’m completely ruined, it won’t matter much. I am very confident and strong enough to stand up on my feet once again and bounce back. Such possessions hold no meaning for me to be frank,” said Kangana to the paparazzi during the ‘Emergency’ wrap-up party held recently.
Salim Khan was one of those few friends who encouraged me to become a screenwriter: Javed Akhtar
Be it ‘Sholay’, ‘Don’, ‘Zanjeer’ or ‘Deewaar’, Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar have worked together in many such iconic films. And lyricist Javed Akhtar revealed how it was writer Salim who encouraged him to become a screenwriter.
In an interview recently, the lyricist revealed that he wanted to become a director before becoming a writer and a lyricist. Talking about his friendship with Salim Khan, Javed said, “Salim saab was one of those few friends who encouraged me to become a writer. The plus point was I used to live in a room which was close to his home, hence I would visit him often. Had I been living somewhere else, I doubt if I would be able to meet him regularly.”
Adding more about his years-long association with Salim Khan and why they stopped working together, Javed added, “In our struggling days, we were like ‘one team’. We didn’t have any friends, hence we would be together from morning till evening and even work together. Even our dinners would be together, in fact, out of 24 hours, we would be together for at least 15-16 hours a day. But once we tasted success, new people entered our lives and gradually our circle changed. Hence, the rapport we had broke and we couldn’t work together further.”
On the sets of ‘My Name Is Khan’, I couldn’t speak in front of SRK sir: Sidharth Malhotra
Today, Sidharth Malhotra has many fans. But the ‘Student Of The Year’ actor remembers those days when he used to work as an assistant director on Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘My Name Is Khan’. Being an SRK fan, he remembers about his first interaction with his idol.
“I still remember my first day of the shoot on the sets of ‘My Name Is Khan’ in LA. I had rehearsed for the clap so I wouldn’t fumble in front of SRK sir. But he was so warm and sweet, for sure it’s because of his upbringing. He just made everyone around him so comfortable. Trust me, on the first day of the shoot, I couldn’t speak at all in front of SRK sir.”
Sidharth even remembers how while working on one scene, Shah Rukh gave him some acting tips. “We were shooting a scene and only Shah Rukh sir and I were at that location. It was somewhere on a road. And suddenly he started talking to me and said, ‘You know, you should always come first and see if you can use anything on location as a prop’. I was like, ‘It’s just two of us here, who is he talking to?’ But he knew that I wanted to be an actor. He continued telling me, ‘You’ve to see if you can use anything.’ He’s so sharp that he creates many things on the spot. And from then, my respect and my love for him grew even more,” expressed Sidharth who’s seen in ‘Mission Majnu’ currently.