I am paranoid about switching on the TV: Shah Rukh Khan
By Hindustan Times
Shah Rukh Khan says he’s sick of controversies. So much so that the 47-year-old actor, who was in Delhi on Thursday, reveals that he’s decided to stay away from reading or watching news. Here’s more of SRK’s plainspeak.
How do you deal with never-ending controversies, be it an article you wrote or link-up rumours with Priyanka Chopra?
I am very sensitive about my self-respect, even though it may not come across as such, especially when it comes to how my children and family see me. I get six newspapers at home, including yours, but I don’t read even one of them now. I’ve become scared to open a newspaper to see what’s written about me. I am also paranoid about switching the TV on, as I don’t know what they are going to telecast about me. I am wary of attending press conferences, as I know someone is going to ask something and I am going to say the two words which I hate: ‘No Comments’. At home, we are scared of sitting as a family, watching TV. Many a times, my son, daughter, wife or sister switch off the TV as soon as they see some news related to me, thinking it must be some rubbish. It is sad.
Have you decided that now onwards you’ll talk or tweet only about films as everything else gets sensationalised?
‘Sensationalised’ is an understatement. These days it is actually a cool word. We need to understand what information we are giving out. Will it be sifted and understood correctly? And also, how technological tools like Twitter can be interpreted and misused. Now after this comment, may be, people will say I am anti social media. I am not. We are just over informed. Everybody wants to send the plane in the air without bothering to see if it will land properly or not. It’s unfortunate for people like me who genuinely want to express or have a discussion beyond 140 characters.
Do you think film stars are soft targets for culture terrorism?
Let me say this: If people spend enough time with film stars, they’ll realise we are some of the most secular, the smartest, the brightest, the hardest working brains in the film industry. And right now I am just talking about actors and actresses, not even going to directors and producers who are bigger geniuses. It takes a lot of brains to sing and dance and to make a 100 crore film. Yet we take all this with an attitude ki chalo jo sochna hai soch lo.
‘I don’t need publicity like this’
Are you going to lecture at the Harvard University, as reports have started doing the rounds that you are braving yourself for yet another controversy?
I have the invitation letter from them but I am shooting. I have not committed or uncommitted to it yet, but yes, we are talking about it. As for controversies, people seem more interested in the peripherals of life rather than life itself. And they are living off the news, which stems from someone who is a public figure. I am not bothered. I don’t call up anyone and make a complaint. People say that I played the victim card last time or did something to seek publicity…it’s very insulting. I am not like that. The day I’ll seek publicity, I won’t be working. I am who I am because of the personality and life I lead. It tramples my ego to even hear that I do all this for publicity, but people won’t realise.
Do you ever worry about losing brand endorsements?
I shudder to think of the day when I’m not associated with Tag Heuer, not in terms of money or ambassadorship or publicity, but because of the equation I’ve had with the brand for over a decade. And the fun stuff they make me do, like launching the Link Lady collection with four beautiful women — Saina Nehwal, Pia Singh, Sara Pilot and Ritu Beri.
Is international rapper Akon coming up with a new version of your team Kolkata Knight Riders’ anthem Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re, in IPL season 6?
Akon is a good friend. He has already done two songs for me. How many more songs should he be doing for me? So far we have never discussed it, but if he does something like this, it will be a moment of joy.
Like last year, will we see anything new with the team this time as well?
The new stuff this time would be to win the IPL trophy again, rest everything else is incidental. KKR is a team that has lost awfully. It’s a team with character, which had controversies around it, unfortunately, because of me owning it. People have belittled us for not knowing cricket. Not withstanding the Wankhede incident as that is not what my team stands for. That’s what I stand for, we have been able to become winners. I still don’t think it’s a great achievement as I have put everything behind — the good and the bad, including the trophy. We will have a fresh and gentle start to win it all over again. And, whether Akon’s song happens or not, new jerseys are there or not, cheerleaders look beautiful or not, SRK’s marketing turns out fantastic or bad, is secondary.