At the moment he is undoubtedly the most powerful man in the industry. One of the biggest films of his career Ek Tha Tiger is up for release and his fans are waiting to see, with bated breath, if this spy thriller will break records – in this case, his own! Indeed, Salman Khan is his own biggest competitor when it comes to ruling the box office. And that’s precisely why Ek Tha Tiger is special for more reasons than one. For starters, it is his first venture with Yash Raj Films. Secondly, it brings him back with his ex flame Katrina Kaif about which reams have been written already. Lastly, it takes him out of his comfort zone of masala entertainers and puts him in a true-blue action avatar with extreme stunts backed by a solid script. With so much going on Masala! caught up with Salman even as he was preparing for a super hectic promotional round for his film.
You have never worked with the Yash Raj banner before. What made you say yes to ‘Ek Tha Tiger’?
My father, Salim Khan, has worked with Yashji (Yash Chopra) in the past. I guess it was time for me to collaborate with them since they found a great script for me. Besides, they are amazing people and this just isn’t my view on the banner but that of my colleagues who have worked with them, as well. This production house has always stood by people they have worked with. I have known Aditya Chopra for long, he is a great guy. He took his time and came to me with a very specific script which he felt was suited for me; it’s not something random.
So how would you sum up the experience?
They came to me with a fantastic script which I couldn’t refuse. Kabir Khan was directing the film and I have admired his work. Katrina Kaif is in the film and she is someone I have worked with and get along well with. All of this made the entire process very easy. To sum it up, it was an incredible experience because the film worked out as per plan and everything went off smoothly. I hope it goes down the same way when it releases.
Reports say the stunts performed in this film are very different from what you’ve done before. How physically challenging was it?
It was physical and tough but I managed. I believe some of the crazy stuff you do when you are a kid – the mischief and madness – continues in your adult life too. The simple masti (fun) progresses to jumping from stages and garages to standing on bikes or driving fast cars – it’s a long list but all of this has come handy! My bachpana (childishness) and youth (pauses)…Well my youth is still intact but my bachpana is something I have to be grateful for! I guess that’s the reason why I get signed on by filmmakers every year!
Your character in ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ is also quite different. How did you prepare for it?
It was very difficult preparing for a subject like this; especially since it had a lot of physical stuff. I won’t go into the details but yes there was a lot of preparation involved in getting the nuances of the character right.