If it's the right chair, it doesn't take too long to get comfortable in it. ~Robert De Niro
"I read everything including the laundry list that comes at my home. When I used to stay in a hotel and couldn't find a book to read I used to read the instructions on how to escape in case of a fire. I love reading and like to read almost every book. I need to read before I sleep" ~@iamsrk
"I read everything including the laundry list that comes at my home. When I used to stay in a hotel and couldn't find a book to read I used to read the instructions on how to escape in case of a fire. I love reading and like to read almost every book. I need to read before I sleep" ~@iamsrk
SHAH RUKH KHAN...YALE CHUBB FELLOW...SO PROUD OF YOU MY SHAH, *ILU*~ "World...Move over you’re standing on my oxygen tube.... I need to breathe~" #YALESRK... @iamsrk~
Sunday, February 24, 2013
She walks through the door startling him, he looks up. For a little while they stare at each other. Then she says, “You look tired, it looks like it’s been a busy day.” He replies, "Yeah..you have been busy too." Can you tell me what happened?
She replies, "Maybe someday..."
Then he asks her, "Did I lose you? Did I?"
She walks up to him and hugs him. Then she answers, “I have known you all my life and even then I only knew half of you… the promise of you. But these past few days, you have fulfilled your promise. How could you ever lose me?
He tightly hugs her tears rolling down his eyes, he kisses her forehead.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
My last vacation from work was over and I had taken a seemingly easy job in my first case as a fledgling private investigator, attempting to track down the missing father of a client Liz Schumer from Berlin who had gone to India for a week’s vacation and was never seen again. It was a successful effort with unanticipated consequences. I had bought a house in a quaint area of town in Stuttgart, Germany and was settling in well. Although the home was a little too big for me alone, I enjoyed the Victorian view. My friends and family had warned me about the dangers of living alone and in a foreign country but I assured them I would be fine as I had everything locked at night and there was good security.
Everyone in my little community seemed nice and the next door neighbors had welcomed me with a Rote Grütze (red fruit pudding) and several bottles of Liebfraumilch (which literally translates to cheap sweet wine), all in all life wasn’t too bad. I had even found out where the closest theatre was and would occasionally take myself to watch the latest movies. As days went by I heard several stories circulating about some drug kingpin known as DON who was originally from India that had broken the morale of his associates by infiltrating the gang with an alias and then taking advantage of his associates’ enmity. Apparently he was so shrewd and so merciless that he had earned a title as king of the underworld undisputed. The police in his pursuit had unknowingly hired him and he ruthlessly had used this to his advantage and set his former associates to battle with the police as he escaped much to everyone’s bewilderment leaving no traces of his evidence or his whereabouts. Word on the streets was that Don had conquered the Asian underworld and was bored so he had set his sights on European domination and was probably already in some European country infiltrating the European underworld but of course he had to get past all the mafia and law enforcement agencies. But at this point it was anybody’s guess. He could be anywhere, who knew??? The evening news always brought a segment on the most wanted fugitives to date and so I decided to check it out and sure enough there was Don’s image being flashed several times along with other wanted criminals. Amongst the other things I had heard about him was that he always got what he wanted women, money, and the law and if he wanted you dead then you were toast. Certainly, in his own country lots of crime lords bowed down to him and were scared of him.
Somehow I had warmed up to these wild stories about him and grown fond of his persona. I was a good girl, religious, well educated with a great job at a private investigation firm. Most importantly; I was obedient to my elders/parents growing up but couldn’t help liking his bad side...what was wrong with me? Huh! Could not bother myself with such doubts I had suddenly developed a thing for this man, criminal, fugitive, murderer, bank robber, drug lord... wanted in ten or more countries but I couldn’t care less. My fondness for him seemed to be more than his crimes. I must have dozed off because suddenly I woke up worried and scared. For some reason, I thought that I had heard something in the house. As I held the covers against my body, I considered calling the police. However, I reconsidered wondering what the police might say. My house was one of the best protected homes in town. So I took the courage and slipped into my slippers. Slowly I walked to the door and listened. It was quiet; there was nothing there to hear. I opened the door and stepped into the hallway.
“Hello?” I almost whispered.
Nobody answered as I had hoped. I sighed, leaned against the wall and giggled. I couldn’t believe I was dumb enough to think that someone would be in my high secure home. As I turned around and went back into my room, a dark shadow grabbed me throwing me on the bed. I turned around and tried to move more onto the bed while trying to adjust to the dark, I wondered what the stranger wanted. Was he going to hurt me, rape or kill me?
I couldn’t think straight and didn’t know what to do next. The dark shadow came closer, leaning over me.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said softly, “Am not here to hurt you”.
As I tried to focus on the man in the room, the smell of his cologne hit me and it instantly turned me on and I started feeling warm but fear took over as he stroked my face. He then turned to the little lamp that was located on the nightstand and turned it on. I moved back not believing what I saw. There in my room was DON, the fugitive and convict that had escaped prison!! Why had he chosen my home? Why not someone else who had more to offer to him. We both stared at each other dumbfounded not knowing how to react, even act toward each other.
After what seemed like hours, Don started talking.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said once again, “I won’t hurt you”.
“How do I know you are speaking the truth?” I asked.
“Just take my word for it. If I had been here to hurt you Larv, I would already have
done so.” Wait! He knew my nickname..."LarveeK" and he had even sweetly shortened it.
I looked at DON and moved my eyes over his body. He slowly removed the cap and trench coat he was wearing. He was even more beautiful than the portrait on television. At 5’9” he looked tall and I seemed to have to look up onto him. What really stood out was his hazel eyes, the angular face with a uniquely shaped nose and black silky hair tied in a pony tail. His age 46 years old as stated on the news didn’t do him any justice as he looked a lot younger. All in all, I thought he looked quite handsome and sexy...a beautifully crafted Masterpiece...
“What do you want?” I asked.
Don hung his head stepped over to the bed and sat down.
“Please let me stay here for tonight,” he begged.
“Why would I do that?”
He looked up and explained to me that he couldn’t handle life in prison anymore. He had been considering escape for quite some time but had never done so. This time had been different. He had seen an opportunity to flee and had taken that chance. He just wanted freedom for one night and then turn himself back in. Life as a fugitive was not easy. He would be on the run without knowing where to go. He couldn’t go back home as authorities knew where he would be. He had lived that life fifteen years ago and didn’t want to go that road again. He just wanted one night of freedom and as we started talking and getting comfortable with each other, I walked to the bathroom which was attached to my bedroom, turned on the water in the hot tub and motioned for Don to come over. He paused for a brief moment but eventually got up and walked toward me.
“I figured you could use a warm hot bath”, I said looking shy.
Don smiled and nodded.
“I sure can,” he said, “I feel like a wet dog.”
We both started laughing as Don slowly undressed himself. I looked down. He obviously wasn’t troubled that I was in the room nor did he seem shy or worried to uncover his body. Maybe he just didn’t care after all those years in prison. As he turned around he noticed me looking at him.
“I’m sorry,” he said as he reached for a towel to wrap around his waist.
“It’s okay,” I said as I was leaving the bathroom...
Oh God! I was so confused. Here was this convict who had escaped from prison and all I could do was sit there and think. My brain told me to pick up the phone and call the police. However my heart told me something different. I knew what Don had done in the past and what he might still be doing, but I was so overwhelmed with his looks that I didn’t care. The thought of him maybe wanting to kill me too never came up. Somehow he had given me his word and I trusted him. I positioned myself on the left side of the bed and stared at the ceiling. As I closed my eyes I still could see his body. He was slender and tall and I couldn’t help thinking about the beauty of his manhood and his whole aura. I sighed and felt aroused by the image that was stuck in my head. Although I was still somewhat frightened, I knew I wanted him and amazingly it wasn’t just sexual. I was falling in love with him...that quick?? I asked myself...Did he really have such powers? I had never fallen in love with a guy before. As a matter of fact I always thought most men were idiots and they just weren’t worth my time. So it came as a surprise even to me that all this was happening in an evening, a strange one to say the least.
After what seemed like ages Don opened the door. Again he had the towel wrapped around his waist. I sat up and looked at him. In some way he knew what I was thinking and crawled in bed next to me. The smell of his clean body intoxicated me and I felt my heart skip a beat. He started to talk, joking around. I couldn’t help but laugh with his silly humor and once in a while I would touch his arm. The funniest and cutest thing is when he took the remote and turned the TV on to the cartoon channel and as he giggled to a “Tom & Jerry” episode; I wondered if there were such criminals like him around in the world...I mean whoever heard of a murderous sociopath with a liking to Looney Toons??? Yet here he was to take me and I seemed to have no objection...I must have zoned out into my thoughts because then he suddenly startled me back to reality. He had grabbed my hand and pulled me towards him forcefully, I almost lost my balance. Looking up at him he had this smirk almost evil grin on his face...his eyes widened at my surprised look. He asked in a husky but sensual voice, “Are you afraid of me?” I quickly answered no! Knowing I was a little afraid of him not because he was a criminal but because deep down I admired him, even loved him. He gently lifted me towards the middle of the bed and I started wondering if he did this with every woman he met or broke into their house. Was he going to toy with me first? My thought was interrupted with him kissing me and before I realized it, I was completely at his mercy. Things must have moved amazingly fast and sweetly because the next thing I heard was his whisper in my ear, “You’re someone I will have to come back for again and again and just don’t share this with anyone” pointing on my chest. He kissed my forehead and I in turn kissed his nose and each one of his eyes and answered... “the feeling is mutual love because I will always be here for you dead or alive...”
We both felt emotionally and physically drained and as I watched him nod off while still in his arms my thoughts lingered again. My mind seemed so calm and for a convict, Don was a sweet and loving guy. I had enjoyed every piece of his being, his body. I knew it would be hard to let him go. Although Don had a bad name to him, to me he had shown the real loving and caring Don who didn’t want anything else than give me what I wanted. He had proven to me that he had a soft side to him too by holding me close, gently touching my body and loving me...
The sun was shining through the window. I could feel the warmth on my face. I moved over and slid my hands over to the other side of the bed. Opening my eyes slowly I noticed a note on the pillow which read, “Thank you for the wonderful night. You have given me the hope to love again...my wild cat...I will be back for you.”
I started crying and wasn’t sure if it was from sadness or joy. Either way, it was a fact...Don was gone but I knew then no matter where I went he would find me and was always going to be with me!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Johnny Depp as young reporter Paul Kemp in The Rum Diary, based on a Hunter S. Thompson novel.
The Rum Diary star on his love of Europe, flying by private jet and why he can't stop smoking...Article by Decca Aitkenhead:
In the weeks leading up to this interview, I began to think there must be some law that makes it illegal not to love Johnny Depp. Everyone melts into a puddle at the mention of his name. Men go even loopier than women – and the higher men rank on the cool-ometer of fame, the more in love with Depp they seem to be. Keith Richards, Brad Pitt, Marilyn Manson, the Gallagher brothers – the dudes all adore Johnny – while this month's GQ anoints him "the world's coolest actor". The director of Withnail & I was only talked out of retirement to make Depp's latest movie "because it was for Johnny", and recently Ricky Gervais was swooning in this paper: "His emails are like poetry. He's made of bohemia."What can Depp do to inspire all of this? I wasn't sure that the chance to try to find out would ever actually happen. The mythology surrounding Depp casts him as a sort of Scarlet Pimpernel of Hollywood, so notoriously elusive that one director who flew to London and spent days searching for him observed that the secret to signing Depp "is finding him". He loathes the media, once threatened the paparazzi with a plank, and at one memorable Cannes film festival cancelled all his interviews and refused to get out of bed. But after a long and involved game of on-off, on-off, on-again ping pong, last Friday the door to a discreet London hotel suite swings open, and there he is, hanging out of the window smoking.
Depp looks like he should be in Bon Jovi, or behind a stall selling Zippos in Camden market. The shirt is extravagantly ripped, the jewellery is heavily goth, the glasses are tinted and the tattoos wrap around him like climbing ivy. His voice loiters somewhere between a drawl and a growl – a deep Kentucky slurry of mumbles – but punctuated by surprise bursts of Queen's English, with the odd anglicism ("take a gander at this") thrown in, making him sound like Tom Waits auditioning for My Fair Lady.
At 48, Depp's face remains, if no longer quite ethereal, then still breathtakingly beautiful – creamy smooth, freakishly symmetrical, with a thick chop of chocolate hair untroubled by any trace of grey. The actor has spent most of his career trying to abdicate from the position of Hollywood sex symbol, but there appears to be nothing he can do about the tenacity of his beauty. And yet, the very first thing out of his mouth – once he's stubbed the fag out – gives a pretty good idea of how he would prefer to be seen, and how he sees himself.
"In Los Angeles, the hoity toities, the beautiful people, will sit on Sunset Strip and have their meal at these kind of fancy restaurants where no one can smoke – but you can inhale car fumes all you like." He shakes his head. "I mean, that to me says it all."
Smoking is a useful metaphor for Depp's self-image – renegade, European, rough around the edges. He did manage to give it up for two and a half years, and despite having to smoke in almost every scene of his new film, The Rum Diary. --"Just fake things, I think they're made of cured leather or something, they're really hideous, you light it and it smells like a tyre burning" he says... – it was only on the journey home that nicotine reclaimed him.
"One bang on [the director] Bruce Robinson's horrible little Café Crème cigar. One bang – yeah, one hit and it was over." Robinson, for his part, fell off the wagon while making The Rum Diary and began drinking again. "Yeah," Depp grins, "it was the gift we gave each other.
"I just said: 'Come on, give me a bang.' Bruce and I was in the plane, and I just said: 'Oh come on.' You know, we'd had a bit to drink – and …" He mimes taking a drag. On the plane? "On the plane, mmmm." I look puzzled. He looks momentarily bashful. "Well, it was a private plane. On a private plane you can smoke. It makes it an incredibly expensive habit, of course," he shrugs, "cos you can only smoke on a private plane."
Actually, he says, smoking's not the only reason he only ever flies private. "The commercial flight thing, it just gets a little weird when you're standing in line and suddenly you're not just a guy standing in line any more, you become sort of novelty boy."
Ever since Depp became a teen idol in the 80s TV series 21 Jump Street, the star has been at war with his own fame. An accidental actor, he came to LA in his teens hoping for a record deal for his rock band, but ended up doing telesales until he fell into acting, and before he knew it he was an international pin-up. Depp spent most of the 80s and 90s getting very drunk, going out with Kate Moss and Winona Ryder, brawling with photographers and generating more of the very publicity he found so oppressive. No amount of dark or quirky leftfield roles – Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Don Juan DeMarco – could get him out of the gossip columns.
"I mean, all those films didn't do well at the box office. But I still had paparazzi chasing my tail, so it was the weirdest thing in the world. Everywhere you went you were on display. It was always some kind of strange attack on the senses; I was never able to embrace it. So self-medication," meaning drink and drugs, "was just to be able to deal with it."
That strategy lasted until the birth of his daughter, Lily-Rose, in 1999, to the French actor and singer Vanessa Paradis which he credits with changing - even saving - his life. The couple retreated behind the walls of homes in Paris, the Bahamas and the south of France, had a son, Jack, now nine, and devoted themselves to a private family life, growing vegetables and tending vineyards, with Depp resurfacing only to make critically acclaimed, if commercially unspectacular, films. It sounds like an idyll of wholesome simplicity and artistic integrity. The only snag is "I just don't go out. I just don't go anywhere. Just don't leave home."
It's a strange profession where the prize for success is house arrest, isn't it? "It's a very privileged opportunity I've been given, obviously. You know, the benefits are certainly very good," he smiles. "But there is a trade-off, as with anything. Somebody's always going to bring you the bill. The invoice comes." And the bill is his liberty.
Depp might have been allowed to recover some of his freedom by now, were it not for one choice he made 10 years ago. It didn't just win him his first Oscar nomination; it has made him the highest-paid movie star of all time, earning $75m between June 2009 and June 2010 alone. Award-winning performances in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland and Sweeney Todd have secured his metamorphosis into box office gold – and all because of that one performance, as Captain Jack Sparrow in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film.
Did he anticipate what the part would do to his career? -- "Not really, no. Pirates was a film I did just like any other one, I made that choice the same way I made every other choice."
Knowing what he knows now, I wonder if he'd have thought twice before making it. --"I wouldn't change anything, no. Because I think I went into it innocently, and it became what it became. And now they want to tear me down. Instantly, as soon as I did Pirates II, they say: 'Oh, he's selling out.' What the fuck does that mean, selling out? What if I did Ed Wood II, is that selling out? I mean, it's not like I was ever looking to become franchise boy, I was never looking to become anything like that. I just latched on to a character I loved."
Becoming "franchise boy" has in fact done nothing to diminish Depp's credibility. But I'm not sure any of his films really account for his status as the world's coolest actor, or make much of a difference either way. It can't be down to his beauty alone either, or men wouldn't lose their heads around him. I think we get closer to an explanation when Depp talks about The Rum Diary, and his friendship with Hunter S. Thompson.The film is based on an unpublished novel Depp found in Thompson's basement in the 90s. Heavily autobiographical, it tells the story of a hard-drinking young reporter called Paul Kemp who goes to work for a paper in Puerto Rico in 1960, and becomes outraged by the corruption and devastation wreaked by American capitalism's arrival on the island. It turns into a tale of heroic journalistic integrity – but not, in truth, a good film.
The older, LSD-addled version of Hunter S. Thompson Depp played in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" was anarchic and funny and clever – whereas the younger incarnation as Kemp is naive, dreadfully earnest and takes himself and his notion of Being A Writer so seriously that only the most impressionable student journalist could watch without cringing. Yet to Depp, Kemp is the ultimate romantic hero – uncompromised, irony-free – and his idolisation of the writer becomes almost breathless.
"You know Hunter typed "The Great Gatsby?" He'd look at each page Fitzgerald wrote, and he copied it. The entire book. And more than once. Because he wanted to know what it felt like to write a masterpiece. He was so hungry, yeah. Innocent, and yearning." After Thompson saw Fear and Loathing, Depp was a bundle of nerves, and called him up to ask if he hated it. "God, no man," Thompson told him. "It was like an eerie trumpet call over a lost battlefield." Depp looks awestruck. "Those words just came out, and I thought, fucking hell, what a beautiful sentence." He repeats it slowly, lovingly: "An eerie trumpet call over a lost battlefield."
I think it's Depp's own innocence – expressed as indiscriminate adoration for those he admires – that might be what men respond to. It's an odd thing, but a star with a weakness for public hero worship seems to inspire deliriously wide-eyed hero worship in his fans. Depp is a famous enthusiast, with great taste – he loves Withnail & I, The Fast Show, Jack Kerouac, gonzo journalism, hard liquor, good wine and rock guitar. But then, so do a lot of the men in my local bar in Hackney. Only in today's Hollywood, where most heartthrobs are traditionally either too insecure or un-discerning to share these tastes with boyishly humble enthusiasm, do they confer the status of Jean-Paul Sartre crossed with James Dean.
Depp comes across as thoughtful, friendly and good fun. It would be very hard not to like him. But – and I realize this is tantamount to heresy – he is probably not the best actor in the world, for while no one can match him for kooky freakery, a straight and understated role like Kemp exposes his limitations. But he embodies a collective ideal of cool that touches men.
Early U.S box office returns suggest The Rum Diary may not break even – but he says he couldn't care less about the money. "No, God no, no. It's always a crap shoot, and really if you have that in your head while you're making a movie the process would become something very different. No, I couldn't give a rat's ass really, not really."
The publicity blitz in the past week might make cynics suggest otherwise. But the film is Depp's homage to Thompson, who died in 2005, and also the first release by Depp's own production company, which would account for his uncharacteristically energetic media campaign. "I believe that this film, regardless of what it makes in, you know, Wichita, Kansas, this week – which is probably about $13 – it doesn't make any difference. I believe that this film will have a shelf life. I think it will stick around and people will watch it and enjoy it." Does he suspect it will go down better in Europe than the US?
"Most definitely. It's something that will be more appreciated over here, I think. Cos it's – well, I think it's an intelligent film." He leaves a meaningful pause. "And a lot of times, outside the big cities in the States, they don't want that."
Depp's well-documented love affair with all things European has always had a hint of hero worship about it too. I ask if there's anything he doesn't like about Europe, and he thinks hard for a while. "No. Not that I can think of, no. It's a very old and beautiful culture, people know how to live. You know, here you have Sunday roast or the pub lunch, that kind of thing. It's comforting. We don't have that in our culture in the States. Sunday is football day, so it's chicken wings and pizza."
He got into hot water in 2003 for describing the U.S as "Dumb", having told another interviewer in 2000: "I want to be in the country where life is simple, and we don't have to worry about being mugged or approached by some guy selling crack on the street." Depp has been despairing of America's trashy culture and violence for as long as I can remember, and France is so central to his identity as a discerning sophisticate that I assumed he would never return to the US. So when I ask if he could ever imagine living there again, his reply comes as quite a surprise.
"Well, I kind of do. I'm between wherever I end up on location, and then the States."
What? Hang on a minute; why did he leave France? He makes a sour noise, part grunt, part hurrumph. "Cos France wanted a piece of me. They wanted me to become a permanent resident. Permanent residency status – which changes everything. They just want," and he mimes peeling off notes in his palm. "Dough (Money)"
If Depp spends more than 183 days in France, he explains indignantly, he'd have to start paying income tax. "I'm certainly not ready to give up my American citizenship. You don't have to give up your American citizenship," he adds sarcastically, but then he'd have to pay tax in both countries..."so you essentially work for free."
And all of a sudden, he sounds exactly like your average corporate Middle America multimillionaire – anti-government, anti-tax and apparently oblivious to the part these twin monstrous affronts might play in creating a country where he doesn't have to worry about being mugged by crack dealers on every street.
Maybe nobody – not even Depp himself – could ever live up to the heroic legend of Johnny Depp. So deep is our attachment to the mythology, though, I doubt anything he says or does will ever puncture it. Before I go, I ask if the celebrated story of him and Kate Moss ordering a bath filled with champagne in a hip Notting Hill hotel ever actually happened.
"I don't think we were even in that hotel," he smiles apologetically. "No, it's not true. I wish we had done it. But you know, I'm not the most extrovert person in the world. I'm not particularly ... I'm not ... I'm not ..." and he searches in vain for the word. "You know, at my very core I'm pretty shy. I just happen to have a weird job."
Find Full Original Guardian Article Link here:
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan climbs on to a wall of his house to greet fans who have gathered outside on his birthday in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Khan's Birthday (AP)
Fans greet Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, unseen, outside his house on his birthday in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011. Khan turned 46 Wednesday. (AP)
In a chat the day before his 46th birthday, Shah Rukh Khan refuses to look back, talking about the here and now - filmcraft vs collections, what keeps him going, and why jibes and sniping about him and his work are like nazarbattoos, keeping ill luck away!
When talking about the flak KKR took in the initial IPL, you'd said that the team just needs to win for the sniping to stop - that "success has the quality that it eradicates all personal and impersonal attacks". In your case, doesn't the reverse hold true? Haan yaar, yeh kuch kamaal hi ho gaya hai mere saath...
From a Shirish calling "Ra.One" a fizzled cracker to a Thackeray almost calling you a Pakistani loyalist, within a week - what did you do to trigger this? Both unimportant... let me say something sincerely. I hope it doesn't sound too rude. Successful people do things, and get over with it, and leave others to live their life off it. I DO them. And then I leave it to others to live their life off it.
It is so strange - if anyone takes my name, I have the ability to make them famous. Just by taking my name. And that's God's gift. My son asked me this the other day, 6 'o' clock in the morning he called me, and asked me, Papa, people say things about you. Don't you get angry? Don't you want to beat them up?
And I said no, your father is gifted with this. That if you want to be famous, you take your dad's name. And I said the only persons I don't want to be famous by taking my name are you and your sister. Let the rest of the world do that. And I truly mean that. I hope that comes true. I endorse so many people free (laughs)!
But surely statements such as Thackeray's must provoke you to respond? Sometimes I don't want to dignify things with answers. And it takes a huge amount of self-restraint, patience, control, and love for your own family, to keep quiet. And dignity, and perhaps the status that I have in the eyes of the people.
I was told by Amitji once - we were sitting backstage for a show - beta, jab stardom aati hai na, koi bhi aadmi aa kar tumko thappad mar kar chala jayega. Tum use kuch nahin keh sakte. Kyunki agar tumne kuch kaha, to tum ameer ho, gareeb pe apna dum daba rahe ho. Tumne sharab pi hui hai. Tum gundagardi kar rahe ho. Tum arrogant ho. Tum apne aap ko samjhte kya ho? He said these are the things they'll say. You have to keep quiet, put on your blinkers, keep walking.
And that is why successful people finally become a little reclusive. It's not the reclusion of loneliness; my reclusion is the reclusion of avoiding, of ignoring, of saying, let's move on.
Hemaji told me something like this long ago, when I was new. Somebody wrote an article which said that I'd said that Hemaji was not a good director - while I'd said nothing like that, but you know how press mein aata hai... so I was very scared and I said, ma'am, I didn't say anything like that. Hemaji told me see, this means, either I am very famous, or you are very famous. And my fame has sort of reduced now, so this means you've become famous, and now this will be part of your life.
The other night, I met her for the launch of her film, and she asked me - you remember na everything I said? And I said, yes, I remember everything.
So, yes, success makes people - people not related to you or to your field - like to take a dig at you. Sometimes I go to social networking sites for a while and I'm like, arre! Kaafi personal ho gaya!
Quite vicious, the online tenor can be, on a bad day. Yes, very. But then, I'm like, this is maybe a small dusty man in a small dusty room, taking out his angst, his loneliness, by taking someone's name, abusing him, and feeling happy that his achievement has been recorded. So then I feel I'm also a source of inspiration for them, even if in a strange, negative sense. God bless them.
There is no death of actors - stars, rather - who share your surname. But the "Nishan-e-Pakistan" sort of compliments are usually directed exclusively at you. Why's that? (Laughs) I know, I know what you mean. Maybe I'm too flamboyant. Maybe like my son, I don't answer back enough...
But why are you a target of angst across the range - from the guy in the dusty room to irked political leaders? I think I invoke radical passions in people - and that is why I am such a big star! I'll walk out with you just now, and you'll have men, women, of all nationalities, just hugging me. I think it is the same intensity on the other side, in those who don't like my face. And I will choose to believe in the hugs more than the hatred.
Just like Hyundai uses me, as a professional, a lot of people use me unprofessionally. I've become a free-for-all brand. I hope they come out with a rule that they can't use a person's name without paying him for it!
And the most irritating part of it is one word - opinion. You ask someone, how could you say this about him? And the answer is - it's an opinion. You're a dog - that's an opinion. You're an actor - that's also an opinion. You're a Muslim - that's an opinion. Anything can be twisted into an opinion. That's not good.
Ek "Trimurti" mein line thi - kabhi picture mein shoot hi nahin kari woh! - mujhe badi achhi lagti thi: "Jisko dekho mera baap banna chahta hai" (laughs). It's a strange thing. Jisko dekho mera baap banna chahta hai. Lekin theek hai. God bless them. So long as my children don't want to be my baap, it's ok!
"RA.One's" revenues have been the subject of much national debate the past week. Yeah... right now, as we sit down and talk, it is supposed to be the highest grosser, as of five days. The business is different - number of theatres, screens, audience going in big numbers... so obviously the reactions are also larger, more volatile.
The projectionists have also become part of the reactions - and they like to make projections telling you that agle din business itna achha nahin hoga.
Everybody has become hugely associated with the tangibility of this business. It is unfortunate that it is so; a film should ideally be allowed to breathe, to reach people at its own pace. That was the old style. But if you release it in the new style, like we have, with 5,000 theatres, which is the American way of doing it - and the right way - because there are no longer Silver or Golden jubilees, there's only a weekend or two of business. In the future, all big films will release in 5,000 theatres. In an earlier interview, you said that films and filmmakers are part of a strange art form which is only measured by the yardstick of commerce. And that dichotomy is one you have to live with... You have to live with it, yes, you have to. Earlier, the business of films was not discussed on every platform. Now, if I'm getting off the plane from LA, people come up to me and say, 'Sir, congratulations, what big figures!' Earlier they would come and say nice film, good role - now they talk about earnings. The applause is mixed with the jingling of coins, you have to hear both together.
It doesn't make me too happy. My heart doesn't crunch numbers. But my business partners are happy - mazaa aa gaya reactions. I'm like, ok... I think a film should be measured differently also.
Is it the media's obsession with you vs Salman that got translated into the almost hourly comparison of "RA.One" vs "Dabangg"? I don't think it's just the media, honestly. I think there is a section of people related to the trade who also talk in these terms. A trade person or a producer, he'll tell you it did well, but it didn't quite do as well as that one, or better than that one on the second day, or whatever...
I feel conversations are not viable anymore; it's just communication. And communication boils down to monosyllabic terms. Yes, no, ok, good, like, dislike, bye, 170 (crores). It is no longer ki kaisi lagi picture... Nobody converses. Reactions are like, wow, thumbs up, smiley.
New genres, new stories are like a new shoe for a day or two. And I've been in the business long enough to know ki yeh joota theek ho jayega. Now it'll swerve to the opposite - these figures are unheard of, etc, etc. I would not like to participate in either of these discussions, Day 1, Day 2, week... the messages I get are like, '7 crores on a Monday! Super duper!' The first four days are just about communication, then it comes to conversation about a film. Appreciating a film is like opening a wine... good wine needs a little breathing before you drink it.
On the point of commerce vs art: Wouldn't you be remembered for a role like "Chak De" even if that wouldn't be a movie that made a fraction of the money that "RA.One" is making? No, I don't think so, I don't think that's a case in point. I work for now. I don't work for two things - I don't work for posterity, and I don't work for prosperity. Some people work for prosperity. I've worked for that. But now I am prosperous, I am ok. And I don't work for posterity. Yaar main yeh kya nishaan chhod ke jaa raha hoon? Because posterity is not created by you; it's created by talk, by cinema, by life itself. If you're working for either of the two, you're on a shaky wicket. I work for NOW. I want to be untouched by this whole tangibility factor.
I was speaking to Lady Gaga, I had this long interview with her, and she said some very nice things. I really appreciated it because when I say those things, I sound as if I am philosophizing too much. But she was saying the same thing. If finally someone were to give her a choice between giving up her money, her stardom, all that she's earned, or give up singing, she'd choose not to give up singing. If someone were to give me the choice between giving up all my cars and my money and giving up acting, I'd say, yaar, acting karte rahenge, will let those go.
Maybe if you are as successful as I am today, you have that choice. Maybe that's not a choice one has in the first two years of one's career. But this is my reality today. I don't work for the prosperity; yes, it happens along the way, Mashallah, it's very good for the business. And I don't think about posterity. I will not think about posterity because I still haven't ended; I think my posterity will be when I sit down and start watching my own films, which I still don't do.
Never? Never, yaar. I can't watch my own films. I've kept that for old age - ki baith ke dekhoonga, kiya kyaa.
What is old age? Old age, for me? The way I'm going, about 140. That's what my friends say. I'm 46 now - so about a hundred to go!
Your dad was 50-something when he passed away. You've talked about thinking more of mortality, and of him, when you approach 50. Yes, then I did. But now I don't... because I am the healthiest I ever was right now. And I am also more relaxed. In a happier space as a person. To me it's no longer about wanting to have my finger in every aspect of life, like I used to be maybe 15 years ago.
But ya, it is strange to think that my son today is as old as I was when my father died. I do get reminded of that, ya. Not necessarily about mortality... but it's good to be reminded of that, too. Like Steve Jobs said, if you know finally you're going to die, there seems to be no risk in anything you do in life. He said this when he had cancer. I think our fear of mortality stops us from living life to the fullest. I am living my dreams - how many people get a chance to do that?
Lady Gaga tweeted a picture with you and said 'screw Hollywood!' That must have made you happy! Yeah! Actually all the reviews of my movie in Hollywood are like that. You should read the reviews in LA Times, New York Times... a journalist said to me, 'It's like we've been saying this for 8-10 years, suddenly, seeing "RA.One", we're telling Hollywood, dude, even technically they're here now - and the cost is one-hundredth of your films.' I think it's a sign of the times, whether it's Akon or Lady Gaga, they all want to come to India. In reverse, it took an Oscar for us to recognize the genius of a Resul.
As to Lady Gaga, she's a sweet lady, really, really upfront, honest. I spent three hours chatting with her. It was fantastic. Simple, down-to-earth middle-class girl... 'Simple' and 'middle-class' are not the first words that come to mind when you speak of Lady Gaga... An image. An image that's bordering on the bizarre. And it's just an image. Amazingly intellectual. A philosopher. She is very clear. As a person, she is so deep, she knows the philosophy of the world, she ad verbatim knows the philosophers... It was a great learning experience - and I say that about very few people, more so those who are 25 years old.
She said a great thing to me. She said, an artiste's personal life should not be discussed beyond a point, because it somehow blunts the art of the artiste. People start taking the art less seriously than the personality. She says my personality is me, my art is what you see - and they are two distinct, two clear thoughts. Seeing her on stage, you expect her to be this really wild, vivacious girl - she's actually a calm, normal person who says her most interesting pastime is cooking food for her father whenever she's in New York. Middle-class girl. She's very clear - I just want to sing.
It was a fantastic learning experience for me, and it was also stuff that I completely believe in. Whatever I am out here is for the people - I'll dance for you, I'll do a "Chammak Challo", I'll wear a tight suit and fly if that makes you happy. But in my personal life, I'm a deeper person. So when you say silly things about me... I have to disassociate and say, these guys don't even know me personally. So the comment is unfounded. This guy doesn't even know me. I was flipping through an article and somebody had written, 'This is the most expensive mid-life crisis of a person'. Why are you talking about my mid-life crisis? What do you know about my crisis? Or where I am? Talk about the film - that's what you're paid for. Review the film. Don't review my personal life. I don't sell my personal life to you. Talk about the actor, don't talk about the person.
When you make a personal remark about me, without knowing me, I have to take it like that - it's your own issues in life maybe, you're just putting it upon me because iske paas yeh sab kyun hai, hamare paas kyun nahin. I guess it's just that, finally.
Are you still an outsider in the system after all these years? Well, if you look at it, I'm an outsider, which my son won't be, so maybe he'll have it easier... but it's not that. I'm told that I may be coming across as rude. I'm not really very social.
Maybe it's because I don't bend. Maybe because even in the face of bad things, I'm smiling. It irks people sometimes. They're like, saala, akele yeh sab kaise kar leta hai? I do that because I sleep less, I work harder. Everyone finds a different reason for my success except the fact that I act. 'Yeh marketing guru hai yaar'. 'You know what, saale ki luck chal rahi hai'.
Luck chal rahi hai, for 20 years? Haan, saala, bees saal se luck hi chal rahi hai! It's 'Arre wohi kare ja raha hai, love stories karta rehta hai'. 'Gaane nikal jaate hain iske; gaane achhe mil jaate hain saale ko'. 'You know what, Muslim audience bahut pyaar karti hai isko.' 'Overseas! Overseas ki wajah se itna chalta hai.'
They find strange reasons for my success. But the real reason is - early to bed, early to rise, work my a** off, and advertize. It's as simple as that.
I am my one man walking talking team. I can handle 5-6 things at a time. I can handle a cricket team, I can handle production, I can set up a VFX studio, I can make the most expensive film in the country. I can still come and launch a kabaddi tournament in Bhatinda and deliver a speech at Adasia which everybody loved and still go back home and celebrate my birthday with my kids.
And I can play video games with them. And I'm not tired. And I'm everywhere.
But your being everywhere was a point of much talk in the run-up to "RA.One" - he's on every show, everywhere... And why not? An actor once told me - I won't name him - 'I don't like dancing at weddings'. I said, and how often have you been invited to dance at weddings? The answer: 'I'll never do it'. I said, pehle chance toh mile! If I'm invited, if I'm put on people's shoulders, if I'm asked to be on, from "KBC", to whatever programme - if I'm called, I like to do it, I'm ok. This is what I'm here for. I like doing that. You do that if you're called. Just because you're not invited, don't run down my party. I'm invited to every party. And I like to attend all of them. And I enjoy myself.
Life is beautiful. I am beautiful. And the few things around me that are not beautiful - I like to think of them as nazarbattoos - tils. Woh kehte hain na, tere chehre pe yeh jo kaala sa til hai, lagta hai daulat-e-husn pe darbaan bitha rakha hai. So yeh jo negative baatein karte hain mere baare me, yeh mere daulat-e-husn ke darbaan hain, mujhe nazar lagne se bachate hain.
You looked tired, run-down sometimes while being everywhere... I got tired. I fell sick, actually. I got a bronchitis attack but I couldn't stop, film ke premieres they. Then I was on antibiotics.
Superstars don't rest, do they? I sleep an average of 30-35 hours a week. Today I slept just an hour, but on the flight from LA, I slept for 16 hours straight. I guess it comes out to an average of 5 hours. I don't sleep very early anyway. I like that time at night. That's the only time I get to be with myself. No cars, no clothes, no films, nothing, just my thoughts. That's important. People think insomnia hai, but it's not that. I like that time - 2, 3am. You hear crickets, it's quiet. I like that time of the night.
For 20 years, when so much is asked of you, and you want to give it with happiness and love, you deserve that time by yourself. I just sit quietly, I do nothing. I'll write, or surf channels, or read a really silly book. That time, I feel, gets me ready for the next day, more than the sleep.
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CELEBRATING RA.ONE AND GAGA MANIA...ON THE EDGE OF GLORY...FILMS, LOVE WITH SHAH RUKH KHAN AND ARTISTIC INTELLIGENCE...@LADY GAGA...HAPPY 46th BIRTHDAY MY SHAH *ILU*~ (11/02/2011)
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I LOVE THIS SONG...FINALLY DON 2 AROUND THE CORNER~