On the cusp of the release of Tiger Zinda Hai, Salman talks about love for his fans, his films and stage shows, In a candid, freewheeling chat.
Over the years, controversy’s favourite child Salman Khan has often been in the news. Unfortunately for him, despite his successful stints at the box office, he has been making headlines more for his off-screen shenanigans. Thankfully, for Salman, these have been mere pauses in his illustrious career. For he’s a star — he always has been. And you cannot escape his stardom, going by the legion of fans he commands. After a rather prominent lull in his career in the 2000s, Wanted proved to be a hit for him, changing the direction of his body of work. However, it was Dabangg that sealed his position as the bankable star that he is today. So much so that even Tubelight’s disaster couldn’t mar his shine. But with Tiger Zinda Hai, it would seem like he has got the formula right once again. The trailer and the songs of his film show all the trappings of a superhit film, and has had his followers raving about his performance.
So, how does Salman react to so much love showered on him by his fans? “Well, it feels nice to see the fans and the audiences loving you so much,” he says with a degree of nonchalance. Salman gave his first shot for a movie exactly 30 years ago for the Sooraj Barjatya film Biwi Ho To Aisi, which released the subsequent year. And three decades years of his career is now being packaged in a single music show called the Da Bang Tour now. Since the past few months and after a whirlwind overseas tour, he has also performed at the Delhi edition of the Tour. Salman says that as an artiste he hates empty seats. “I am very keen to please audiences as a performer; the audience who buys tickets and comes to watch us. This is not just for my films, but also for my stage shows as well. As performers, we hope that there is a packed audience every time because empty seats aren’t really a source of encouragement,” says the actor.
Interestingly, the Da Bang Tour, which is on its second leg, now sees Salman performing popular numbers from his films. “I will perform all the best songs in my career from the beginning of my journey till Tiger Zinda Hai. We chose Delhi for the India leg of the tour and will be performing in a lot of major cities in India after that,” he explains. Salman is quite positive about the future of his latest film, a sequel of Ek Tha Tiger, which released just this Friday. “Whenever there is a sequel of a film coming up, it has to be bigger than the preceding film. If you see the scale of the film as was evident in the trailer itself, Tiger Zinda Hai is larger than Ek Tha Tiger. It is a complete entertainer and we have a sensible script as well. People have loved the songs and the trailer and responded well to it. When Katrina (Kaif) was with me on Bigg Boss, she told me that the song Swag Se Swagat already has over 50 million likes. I was not aware of it till she told me so. We showed the other romantic song also on Bigg Boss 11 and it has got a good response too. Tiger Zinda Hai is a very large film and for the first time you get to see this kind of an action in Hindi cinema,” says Salman.
So given the option of fights and romance what would he prefer? “It is always good to romance, it is good to fight, but it is much better to romance,” laughs the actor. His acts on screen belie his age, but the actor is turning 52 this month. So, what are plans for his birthday? “What do you want to do?” he guffaws, giving us a glimpse of ever the childlike persona he is.
— Sanskriti Media