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'It was easier for Aryan to dub'
By: Subhash K Jha December 16, 2004


Shah Rukh Khan With Ashutosh Gowarikerís Swades releasing tomorrow, Shah Rukh Khan is gung-ho. He feels itís a very important film, going by what it says.

Excerpts from an interview:
Letís begin with Veer-Zaara. Didnít the film give you leeway to be more experimental as an actor?
Yeah, I got to play an old man. The impact has a lot to do with the way a role is written.

An old manís role is relatively easier than playing my own age. Youíve so many props, like grey hair, a slouch, a faltering voice etc. I found it easier to do than to play a 35-40 year old.

Do you feel Veer-Zaara gave you a chance to be different?
I think the difference is in the mediaís head. I think Iím different in each of my films.

Swades again looks different. Like Veer-Zaara?
Iíd say Swades was a more difficult role to play. Here I had very few props and crutches.

Every project comes with its own baggage. Every film of mine crosses a certain budget and is targeted at a specific number of people. The whole world is the target audience. One cannot afford to be different just for the sake of being different.

How larger than life is your character in Swades?
Itís 100 per cent director Ashutosh Gowarikerís interpretation. By virtue of what it says, Swades is a very important film. It addresses itself to a core issue regarding the destiny of a developing nation like ours.

Hopefully it will make the audience think . Being in the entertainment business itís important to be focused on ones job, and yet try to make a difference to our world. Swades attempts to do that.

So now you are doing films which make a differenceÖ
I always have. The social message is never the main point. I think Iíve got a sufficient fan following to watch me entertain them. So if a message is teased into my film Iím all for it.

Why did you tell Aaj Tak that thereís an ice-hockey match in Swades?
They just come with questions for which they donít want to hear the answers. Ice-hockey or not, audiences wonít go away disappointed.

Is there a director lurking in you?
Iíll make a James Bond film. Bond films are the simplest and therefore the most successful. Itís about good making evil look stupid. Thereís Ravans within all of us.

Your voice and your sonís will be heard in the animation film The Incredibles on the same day that Swades is released.
It wasnít as though I had a hand in his being chosen. My son joined me much later. He was part of an audition with many other boys. I was told that they were hesitant about Aryan because they needed an older boy.

But a few days, they decided to go with Aryan. I didnít want Aryan to get into a situation that would tire him. But it was easier for him to dub than me.

How long did he take?
Three or four days for an hour every day. But there were beautiful ladies to handle Aryan.

What does your production house plan to make in 2005?
Weíre producing a film to be directed by Amol Palekar in February. I like the story he had to tell. We didnít have a big discussion.

Will it be typical Palekar film?
I wouldnít know. I havenít seen any of his films. But itís a good sweet story. Finally it will be a typical Shah Rukh movie. Simple, interesting and nice. Rani Mukherjee has agreed to do it.

What else?
So far thatís the only film Iím producing in 2005. Then Iím doing a film with Karan Johar in April. Farah Khan is working on her script. Iíll most probably produce her film as well. These are the three on the anvil.

And Aditya Chopraís next?
I donít know. He hasnít spoken to me about it yet.

Finally howís your back and neck now?
Iím okay. Iím fine. It hurts a little only when I laugh.