There are two hardcore professionals who reside in the superstar we know as Salman Khan. While Salman the actor is arguably a man of few words, Salman the producer is a force of nature, as we discover in an exclusive chat!
You hold comedies very dear to your heart? Has this genre become a sort of a comfort zone for you and Arbaaz and Sohail?
I believe that any film that has a story to tell, that can pique your curiosity deserves to be told. The only time you should make a film is when you have something to say. It could be an emotional story, a drama, a revenge saga or anything out of the box. I have done comedies that have not done well. Andaaz Apna Apna wasn’t a hit, neither was Hello Brother. These became cult films when they got the satellite rights. This is a genre that interests children and the slightly older, fun generation. So it is an easy watch.
A lot of humour also stems from an unusual casting of Nawaz opposite Amy Jackson. Was that a selling point?
It is a freaky, weird casting. What was even weirder was Amy romancing Nawaz in the film. Nawaz, in his wildest imagination, couldn’t believe that he was actually working with Amy. Imagine locking Nawaz and Amy in a room for three days. Chances are both of them will come out in the same condition in which you had left them (laughs).
You have maintained that as an actor you like to do entertaining films. Are the parameters same as a producer?
Exactly the same because it’s all about people going to the theatres and liking what they watch. The judgement day for a film is when it releases and people go and watch it. Today, there are a whole lot of people who were once desperately trying to make films but were unable to do so; they ended up becoming critics. They want to pass judgement on films before they even release. You hold special trials and screenings for them and all it takes is one tweet to show how powerful they are. At the end of the day, what we do are paid jobs. So I don’t think anyone has the right to have an opinion on somebody’s sweat and blood. The person who goes into the theatre, the fans are the only people who have the right to say “humko achchi lagi ya buri lagi”.
From the time you entered films to now, the competition has become fierce. Freaky Ali itself will be competing with Katrina’s Baar Baar Dekho. Your thoughts?
Marketing films now has become more and more difficult. But I think there is enough space for these kind of films because they aren’t the same genres. But if a Salman, Shah Rukh, Aamir or an Akshay film comes out, we do not have the amount of theatres to do justice to them. I also believe that overpromoting a film doesn’t do it justice. Having said that one has to keep up with the times. I keep a track of the latest posters and trailers and remind my staff to think out of the box. The digital space has definitely helped. You can watch them instantly and share trailers and posters on a massive scale. I think is the best way to promote your film is to do it digitally. This is what we tried in Sultan as well; I just did a few TV shows, and one press conference, which took us through the whole film.