Part 1 – Taj Mohammed Khan
In the first of this five part series, Shah Rukh Khan pays tribute to his father as the “most important hero of my life”.
Named as one of the youngest freedom fighters for India at the time, Taj Mohammed Khan played an integral part in Shah Rukh’s life until he died of throat cancer when the Bollywood star was just 15.
Shah Rukh talks about all the lessons his father taught him; kindness, patience, humour and that “it is not special to be special, it is special to be ordinary.”
The Bollywood star also credits his father as the reason he entered the industry. Shah Rukh says the great Dilip Kumar was his dad’s favourite actor and that’s why he decided to play the role of Devdas in the remake, a role originally played by Dilip Kumar.
He also talks about how he wants to be like his dad; a gentleman, a good father and someone with a lot of strength.
The actor explains how he misses his father, “the stories can go on and on about my father, and I can spend a whole lifetime talking about my dad. And tell you how he has had such a major impression on my life and I really do miss him.”.
Part 2 – Dhyan Chand
Dhyan Chand was an Indian field hockey player, considered as one of the greatest players of all time. Born in August 1905, he died aged 74 in 1979. In this 5 part series on his all time heroes, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan talks about how the three times Olympian inspired him in life.
The actor reveals what he’s learnt from Dhyan’s accomplishments. “Success is not something that can be passed on. The greatest of people, the most successful of people perhaps will never be able to teach their children or their colleagues, to be as successful as they were.”
Even though the Bollywood star didn’t get to meet him in life, he fondly remembers sitting under a statue of his idol at the national stadium in New Delhi while he was growing up. Shah Rukh recalls that’s where his interest in learning more about the great Dhyan Chand began.
He goes onto explain he decided to play the role of hockey coach Kabir Khan in the film Chak De! India because he wanted the world to share his passion for the game.
Finally, Shah Rukh discusses how Dhyan’s inspiration stretches wider than sport, saying “just in case you can’t achieve success in the field you want to, there are always going to be opportunities which will allow you do so later on. So don’t give up.”.
Part 3 – Amitabh Bachchan
The third programme in this exclusive series for BBC Asian Network, Shah Rukh Khan celebrates one of Bollywood’s most popular icons, Amitabh Bachchan. Born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh on 11 October 1942, Amitabh has acted in hundreds of films during an astonishing film career spanning over four decades. He is considered one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema.
Shah Rukh describes him as “a hero to millions and billions” and recalls that one of his greatest achievements was when he “was able to stand in the same frame (as Bachchan), breathe the same air and that I got to work with him.”
The Bollywood super star talks about some of his favourite Amitabh films including Amar Akbar Anthony, Shakti, Satte Pe Satta and Lawaaris. He remembers meeting his hero while he was growing up and how Shah Rukh’s aunt knew this tall actor with intense eyes “would become one of the greatest things Indian cinema has ever seen.”
He explains how Amitabh has had a remarkable influence on his life and how he feels privileged to know him. Shah Rukh Khan says the longevity of Amitabh’s career is outstanding, saying “he just goes on and on because he’s one of the few things which is completely against the idiom that good things don’t last, he is the good thing. There is no ending to this.”
Shah Rukh also praises Amitabh’s professionalism and his sheer hard work, remembering the experiences he had on films like Mohabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. He says Amitabh is a perfectionist and always strives to be great.
He lovingly mimicks Amitabh’s voice and refers to him as the coolest guy on the planet. “He is one of the finest finest people, finest actors, and a great human being to have come into my life.”.
Part 4 – Leading Ladies
In the fourth part of Shah Rukh Khan’s Heroes, the star credits the leading ladies of his films. He says he is lucky to have worked with three generations of actresses, it’s been “a great learning experience” and that the “heroines have made me the star that I am.”
In a male-dominated industry, he reveals that he thinks the actresses deserve the most credit and how he’s been inspired by them throughout his career – from instilling more confidence in him as an actor to teaching him dancing techniques on set.
He talks about female stars like Sridevi, “the most beautiful” Madhuri Dixit and “the ever happy and smiling” Juhi Chawla, who were a little senior to him when he shared screen space with them. He reveals that he keeps in touch with all of them and that his children are friends with theirs.
He goes on to talk about the next generation of actresses including “the absolutely gorgeous Miss World Aishwarya Rai, my friend and co-actor of many films Kajol, Rani Mukherjee who has the most beautiful eyes in the world, Preity Zinta who’s the best buddy anyone can have and Kareena Kapoor who has always given me too much respect”.
He also credits the leading ladies from the younger generation like “Priyanka Chopra who has always told me that she’s a big fan, Deepika Padukone who made me feel that I can still play a loverboy and Katrina Kaif who I’m working with recently.”
He reminisces about when he had to dress as a woman for the film Duplicate and how difficult it was in the make-up, wigs and false eyelashes – so difficult that he ended up in hospital for two days after filming!
He credits the actresses’ professionalism, hard work and humble nature and explains how he has built the greatest of relationships with many of them.
Part 5 – The Ordinary Man
In the final programme of this unique series, Shah Rukh Khan dedicates his last show to the ordinary man – “a man who is normal, like you and I.”
Revisiting his father’s view that it is special to be down-to-earth, Shah Rukh talks about the hard work he believes he has invested to cover up his lack of talent. He reveals he has the same fear of failure today as when he started working in Indian cinema.
He talks about his faith in God and how he truly believes himself to be an ordinary man – doing things exactly like normal men.
Shah Rukh shares a story of a common man who lives in Mumbai, India. We hear about a typical day in this man’s life; making his own food, travelling to work in an overcrowded train and the need for him to come home and make his wife happy and mother comfortable with little to spend on life’s luxuries.
He says “it’s not the cost of the shirt or jacket that you wear, it’s just how much you enjoy wearing it”, explaining that ordinary people are heroes because they enjoy life despite the world’s issues.
Source: BBC Asian NetworkViews :813