By Hindustan Times
Last year, a huge buzz was created with reports that actor Shah Rukh Khan might play a role in Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s Xtrme City. But when Shah Rukh refused to confirm it, the news died down.
Now, after several months, the actor says he’s keyed up about the project and is keen to meet Scorsese. “I had been very caught up with RA.One, Don 2 and then I straightaway got into Yashji’s film. So, I could not take any time off for Xtrme City. I haven’t spoken to anyone for a long time (regarding the project). A couple of days back though, I was informed that I need to send an email (about the film),” says Shah Rukh. He adds, “Yes, maybe when I am in the US next time without facing many problems (laughs), I plan to go and meet Mr Scorsese to see what development has happened to it. I haven’t been in touch with Mr Scorsese. But I am sure it will be an interesting film whenever we start it. It’s not a project that you can start immediately without thorough preparation,” he says.
To be produced by the multiple Oscar-winning Scorsese, Xtrme City is to be directed by screenwriter Paul Schrader of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull fame. The film is a cross-cultural thriller, a tale about two men from radically different worlds. While SRK is likely to essay the role of an underworld gangster, makers are trying to rope in Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio to play a New York cop. SRK’s friend Mushtaq Sheikh has co-written the script of the film.
SRK also confirms plans to make a sequel to his last year’s RA.One. “Yes, I want to make RA.One 2. I believe that our company has the best VFX unit in India. It would be a big waste if we don’t utilise it to push the parameters of what we do in India.
At this point, I don’t have a story but last night, I was sitting in my new office and thought, ‘we have to make it (sequel).’ So inshallah, once I come up with the story that can take it (story) forward, I will take it up,” says the actor.
Excerpts from interview:
Have you thought about a RA.One sequel in detail?
Many people didn’t seem to like RA.One (laughs). I am a very resilient and a tough person in terms of wanting to do certain things. It’s difficult to make such films. They are very expensive and involve a lot of hard work. But I believe in the adage, ‘no pain, no gain.’ Surely, I need to make it.
These days, you seem to be very busy...
Yes. I am working on other films. I will finish Yashji’s (Chopra) film and then take a small break with my kids. And maybe, five-six months later, I will start work on other projects.
But you personally never talk about your films?
I never talk about my films beforehand, only when they are releasing. There are so many fools who talk about my films in print. I have always believed that I have a very personal relationship with my work. I discuss it very openly. But lately, I have noticed that there are so many comments on the films I am making. It makes me think, ‘Okay, since they know, let them talk about it. I will talk only when my film is ready.’
Are you bothered when you hear rumours about your films?
Every day I hear, ‘ye cast hain, usne usko nikal diya aur picture delay ho gaya’ (this is the cast, this person has been dropped from the film and it is delayed). And I find it all very stupid. It’s very pious, important and difficult work for us. This is what I do for a living. When people talk about it frivolously, I am like, ‘Let me make my film. When I am ready with it, I will tell people about it.’ It’s important to make a film first and then tell people about it.
We heard you are toning up for Chennai Express...
Right now, we are in the pre-production stage. And I have always had a toned body. With Rohit Shetty’s film, which seems like an out-and-out comedy, it’s very unlikely that I will tone up my body. I don’t want to clarify each and everything that has been written.
You are also working with Farah (Khan) again?
Yes. I will start pre-production on the film from next month onwards. Due to the IPL, I haven’t had the time to work on it. But Farah has been very busy with that project. Inshallah, it will start as soon as we feel that it’s ready for production.
Is there a film called A for Apple, B for Ball that you are going to act in?
That’s right. A friend of mine has written the script of the film. He was my senior in Jamia Milia college (Delhi). I found the story very interesting. It’s a very well-written script, but I am also working on it. What happens, sometimes, is that you like the basic idea, but you need to work on it and put in all the production arrangements (before starting it). Actually, we are shifting to a new office. So we needed to take a break for a few months because we started work on two-three films.
On a different note, do you feel bad about the constant controversies surrounding your visits to the US?
It’s my decision to go to a particular place. And if they (US authorities) have certain rules, regulations or a particular system and process, then there’s nothing to feel bad about. Who the hell am I to suggest that these systems and processes should function in a different way? I can’t tell them not to catch the same person every time. It’s all right. If I talk about it, people feel I am trying to garner stupid publicity. If I decide to go to a place, I have to follow their rules and regulations. I should be ready for it or make a few calls before I go. I will do it the next time. It’s not something that bothers me. Instead, it bothers people around me.
Your IPL team is doing very well this year...
When it’s a game that involves teamwork, the entire unit needs to come together. Plus, this time around, we have made the strength of the team smaller. So everyone knows they have a chance to play. But most importantly, I think it’s the spirit and combination that’s looking good. Gautam (Gambhir) is a big force along with others such as Brendon McCullum and Jacques Kallis. And the inclusion of Sunil Narine, which Gautam suggested, brought steady balance to the team.
Is it true that Tag Heuer is designing a watch especially for Yashji’s film?
Yes. I just asked them to give me a watch for the film. If I have to wear one in a film, I would rather wear something from this brand. I have done that in my previous films also, such as Don 2 or RA.One. Sometimes they even design special stuff for us if they have a similar prototype. For Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, they got me a watch made in the 1920-30s because my character, Suri, wasn’t supposed to wear a heavy-duty watch.