Entertainment – A mini-series on Shahrukh Khan’s life
MUMBAI: Shah Rukh Khan’s favourite coffee stop is a small place at Mayfair in London. A city he says he loves one hell of a lot. As he picks up his
own shoe to check for his size to buy another pair of Dolce and Gabbana soccer shoes, plays football with Aryan, Suhana and their friends in a park, jumps into a hand rickshaw on a hunch, walks in Hyde Park, enjoys a cosy lunch with wife, and close friends, joins the hordes at Madame Tussauds in London, SRK is talking unscripted, for the first time. This is “Living with a Superstar”, a mini series for which the cameras of Discovery’s Travel & Living have been following him across the globe.
“I thought I lead a boring, simple, normal life and that is in fact what I told the Discovery guys, but they had the faith and the budgets to follow me everywhere and capture me for over a year,” says SRK. From London to South Africa and Cape Town during the IPL and the US for “My Name is Khan” to Mannat and more is what is on offer…no one gets closer he says.
As for being uncomfortable, he has just one line, “I live for the cameras!” For SRK, this series was also an opportunity to connect directly, as he says “too many words have been used attributing me with much from manipulative to commercial to much more. I am as manipulative as anybody else, nothing more or less. Very few people really know what I am, how I hurt or how kind I am or anything for that matter,” he insists.
In fact, he says he has not touched the editing that the show has done so a ‘politically incorrect’ statement like “I can understand how MJ liked kids, in fact, I like the company of kids more than adults,” says SRK in the very first episode. Ask him later does he regret it? “No.” In spite of meeting more than 85,000 people a year (by his own admission), giving more interviews across the globe about himself and his work than he can possibly remember, the curiosity about the star only grows—specially about knowing more about his personal space.
Tomes have been written, documentaries have been done and he himself is also in the process of penning his own book but as he says, “I believe— tell people so much, that they don’t know the real you,” he says. A sip of his favourite black coffee, leaning back in white leather covered chair which enables him to move smoothly between his work space and ‘living room’, in his swank, new DC van due to the thin tracks fitted below, SRK holds forth on why he thinks this series is not about prying or intruding into his private space.
The fact, that the show has been directed by old friend and also Red Chillies Idiot Box head, Samar Khan, played a huge part in putting the star at ease and also gave the Discovery team the much needed access. Close to 18 months ago, across coffee, cheese and conversation, Rahul Johri, Sr VP and GM, India Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, Red Chillies Idiot Box Head Samar Khan and Raj Gopalakrishnan, CEO Blue Mango Films thought that doing a show with SRK on his life would be a great idea.
“This is the biggest show by scale that we have done out of India and it was pure gut,” says Johri. Big, according to industry sources means close to the budget of a medium scale movie of Rs 10-20 crore. Though unwilling to confirm the budget, Johri is confident that of breaking even on the ten part weekly series, seeing the response the show has generated in the advertising circles.
“This was not a show which went into a bidding war, or we could never have been able to compete,” says Johri honestly. For Johri, there is more to come in the same vein, though maybe not Bollywood necessarily.
For SRK, he would be interested in watching the lives of people like Lata Mangeshkar, AR Rahman and Amitabh Bachchan among others
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