Q.1. What do you think about the music of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi ? Which is your favourite track from the film?
I think whenever I am normally asked this question what I think about the music of the film – I would like to really answer that I don t think about the music of the film because music is not to be thought about – music is to be heard, enjoyed and felt. Also, I am a little tone deaf about music I don t really know great music but as a lay man I do understand that all the songs sound cool of my film of other films, and this is what happened to me when I heard the music of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. I heard it in installments because Adi is secretive about his music, so the first song I heard was Haule Haule and maybe its like love at first sight or love at first hear… so Haule Haule is my favourite song. I think Salim-Sulaiman have excelled, they are wonderful music directors but for Haule Haule they have gone beyond and I think Jaideep’s lyrics both have merged together – it’s a modern sounding song with amazingly earthy lyrics – it reminds me a bit of the Chak De India song Kuch Kariye Kuch Kariye . I don’t know somehow it’s not similar at all but Haule Haule is sweeter, is kinder and little geekier that says some really nice things.
My second most favorite song is the title track Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai but to be honest I think the beauty of the music of this film will lie when you see the film because it flows seamlessly.It has four songs visually in the film and when I saw the movie, the best thing I liked is that the songs don’t stop the movie, they don’t just come as an item, they take the story forward, each one of them actually and that’s why perhaps they are not how typically a song is picturized like. Haule Haule is picturized in three shots, it’s very interesting – and visually, I think the most attractive song is Phir Milenge Chalte Chalte – it’s very attractive to the audience because I am doing a lot of different getups, it’s very attractive to me because I had five beautiful women dancing with me, so it was really nice. You get a new comer to act with you and then you have five fantastically, sexy and attractive ladies dancing with you, so that was nice and visually it’s like really big and huge and Shiamak has excelled himself in this song – so on and on great music. There are some people in London I hear they like Dance Pe Chance because it’s got this English – Hindi kind of teaching you how to dance kind of music. Anushka
has danced very well on it, I have tried to keep up – I have an excuse, I am not a good dancer and even in the film I am supposed to be a bad dancer, so it works well for me but overall I think the music is really nice really befitting this kind of film.
Q.2. What was it that helped you decide to do this film?
When I am working with Yash Raj Films there are no decisions that I can take, as a matter of fact there are no decisions they can also take, we don t work on decisions – we just do it. We don’t even work together, we just love each other – we just go ahead and say OK Yashji, what film are you making or Yashji will call me Tu kya kar raha hai and I will say Kuch nahin and he will say Chal aaja picture kar le . Adi also called me in January and said, I have written a film . I said, ‘Good for you’. I thought he is producing another film and he said I have written it for you and I will make you hear it and you tell me, I said OK and I heard it and said it’s very nice and he said we are doing it after 3 months. So there is never any decisions to be made when you are working with Yash Raj Films – atleast my relationship is like this. There are some few people in the film industry that I don’t take any decisions, I think neither do they. It’s just that sometimes both of us, whether it’s Adi and me, or Yashji and me, or even for Karan and Farah, we say OK let’s do a film and we just go and tell a story. So I can’t say there is one thing that makes me decide to do this film except for the fact that I love Adi very much and I have only one thing as an elder to tell him that before he finishes making films, he should have directed 30 films. He’s about 10 years too late and this is his third film – I think by now he should have been doing his seventh film. Then he would have had six Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ’s) – right now he’s just going to have three of them.
Q.3. Can you tell us something about the character you play.
Surinder Sahni is someone that I have played before – it’s an ordinary person. I have always said this and I will repeat it even if it’s a repeat that Adi and I think that we are quite responsible for creating this young urban yuppy hero type called Raj when we did Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. I wouldn’t like to take the whole credit but give it to Adi, but that kind of cinema and that kind of character we brought were good at heart, golden hearted… but really cool on top. Perhaps could be misunderstood and I think over the years as we have grown, we realized that we don’t even need to dress him up well, I think
we decided that we have normally tried to sell you the model of a car with the beauty of its lines and say – Oh, it’s got a fantastic bonnet, it’s got fused lighting and it’s got this rooftop, it’s a convertible but basically what counts in a car is the engine. This time I think Adi and me decided that we are going to bare the engine and put it in front of the people and say if it doesn’t look very attractive it doesn’t have smooth lines, it’s not a convertible but this is what runs the car. So, Surinder Sahni to me is the engine of most of the characters that perhaps Adi and I have done together. He is what he
would look like from inside – maybe not very attractive, maybe little simple, but Surinder Sahni runs this character. So I wouldn’t call Surinder Sahni a character, actually, I would call him the soul of lot of characters that Adi has written for me and other actors also.
Q.4. What was it like working with Anushka Sharma who is making her debut?
To be really honest, when I met Anushka I felt that she’s got an amazing amount of confidence. I think she has modeled before this on the ramp; she’s a very pretty girl, very conscientious which I notice is a common trait in the youth of today. All youngsters are very conscientious, very confident and they have a very clear cut thought process. They want to learn, but they have a mind of their own and this is an experience I really find very interesting in this phase of my career that I am working with youngster who come with an idea which is I would say – they speak the language of this generation, they have expressions of this generation. I think I am from a different generation and may be I am getting a little old fangled, maybe I am getting what people call stylized and mannerized in my acting, and maybe I am just getting repetitive in my acting. When I worked with Anushka it made me realize that there is a whole new world of enacting a scene. Anushka in a certain way has helped me a lot with this film. A lot of people asked me, did you direct Anushka because she’s a new comer? I think, without knowing, Anushka has directed me in the film because she gives a different expression and I am like listen I cannot be going
on to the set pattern of how I act. I need to react to this girl who’s so fresh and different. So as an actor, I would say she has kept me on my toes and I think she has done a wonderful job because we really needed a new character for this film. The film becomes believable for Suri and everybody else in the film because of Anushka. She holds the film together. She is in the certain sense the main protagonist. Actually, at the end of one scene, I went up to her and told her, ‘Thank you for making my film so beautiful’. I think these are the two things I can say about Anushka and wish her all the best. I feel responsible for her career because she is starting off with me. I hope she does a fantastic job. Thank you for teaching me how to act in a different way and keeping me on my toes, not just by virtue of being fresh and new, by being taller than me also. I truly from the bottom of my heart pray for her. I hope we have got this film right – Adi and myself – and it does really good for her and she does some amazing amount of work, so we can feel proud that we started her career on celluloid.
Q.5. This is your third film with Aditya Chopra – what was the experience working with him on Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi?
Adi is a very very old friend – we have known each other for I think around 14 to 15 years maybe. We share a very close rapport. We started working in Darr when he was the chief AD and somehow we started feeling that we think the same. Adi and I have a lot of things in common as people. I think we are both a little reclusive. My job being of an actor, I think have to come out and be in the open – but I would be a lot like Adi you know a little shy, reclusive, quiet – wanting to create new things. But strangely, because both of us are alike, we do realize the decency in letting each have his own space, so it’s really wonderful – professionally we respect each other. I call him ‘Sir’ on the sets. I respect what he does. I think he’s a little more intense than me and I am a little more funny than him. So that helps in making a film â€“ because, he brings the intensity like in ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and I think I bring the comedy in a film like in ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’. In this film, we have gone over the top. He has allowed me to be funny; I have allowed him to be intense. I think it’s a great mix when we come together and I respect him for his beliefs, he’s very earthy. ‘Thank you Adi’ for allowing me to be a part of your third dream and I hope I can continue to work very hard and hopefully try and be a part of your last dream too, whenever that may be, fifty-sixty years down the line. But I am like really blessed to have someone like Adi making films with me… and all three… so it’s a hundred percent record for me, and I am really very thankful.
Q.6. Your look in the film is very different and most talked about – can you tell us a bit about it?
The idea in the film, to give the two characters a different look, was obviously because they are two different characters and we wanted them to be extremely opposite. The first character is Surinder Sahni – we wanted him to be a very real kind of a person – middle class, or maybe lower middle class kind of a guy, having a fixed routine – perhaps to the extent of being boring, fixed in what he does. Doesn’t deviate and life is normal for him and he thinks this is how life should be and also wanted to give him a little bit of amusing quality without making him a caricature, or a comic and to get all that, I think a physical appearance was very very important. Especially also for the movement of the story, the look was very important, which you will get to know when you see the film. One fine day, I just sort of put some moustache and got some hair piece done and showed it to Adi and Adi said, this is the guy he should look like. It’s not just how weird I look, or funny I look, or geeky I look, or simple I look, but the simplicity of the character will permeate through the screen and you will say ‘Oh wow! In real life I am like this’. All of us become little weak when we are in love, all men hide this from their friends and
other men, but in front of women they are like chickens or hens and we just don’t ever say it. I think Surinder Sahni says it and it’s an internal voice of every man who’s actually quite baby like when it comes to the women he loves and Surinder Sahni is that persona, and within this whole look is the simplicity and the middle class-ness in the soul – it’s just honesty when it comes to a woman.
Q.7. What was your shoot experience like in Punjab?
I have done a lot of films in Punjab or different parts of Punjab. The people of Punjab are very lovable, hospitable and Punjabis always feed you well so you get great food, great hospitality and you get great locations. And you also get great great crowds, so we had lots of crowds there, which is the only issue when you are shooting. But, they are really well mannered and really nice. So as soon as you get them off your body, one thousand of them, they are really well mannered and good to you. Khalsa College was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever shot in. It has absolutely the most gorgeous
structure – I never thought Khalsa College is like this, I have always heard about it. It’s stunning – the beauty, the bigness, the expanse and all the arches and all the students, the principals there. I would say even on behalf of the YRF unit – Khalsa College really adds to the film, even though it comes in just a couple of scenes.
Golden Temple: I think I am blessed that I could get access to a holy place like this. I could go and ‘teko matha’… I got the Kada, I got the Prashad, I prayed for my family, for the film, and everybody I know. As an actor, I do get to go to lot of beautiful places, but such a pious and wonderful place I could go to and the fact that I could spend that time as if it was stopped for us, though it wasn’t because all the shooting was done with real people moving around. They were really kind because everybody comes to think about Rab there, nobody is really there to think about a shooting, but I felt really nice having shot in the Golden Temple and it was a great experience spiritually and of course filming wise, it looks beautiful on screen.
Q.8. Any one memorable incident during the shoot of the film?
I think the most memorable part of this film making, to me atleast, was the first seven-eight days when I changed my look for
Surinder Sahni and I would be walking on the sets with nobody recognizing me. I got a taste of things to come thirty years
later, when I am no longer a star, that nobody will recognize me and I will miss it. I think that is the most memorable moment and I hope it never happens to me again ever, because not to be recognized after twenty years of such high recognition is something I wasn’t ready for. And not only that, my own make up person, who’s known me for twenty years, I would look at him to give me my make up equipment and he would just look through me. Nobody recognized me, including my own people, and I found that strangely eerie, surreal and shocking to say the least.
Q.9. What sets ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ apart from the other YRF films that you have been a part of?
I truly believe that ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ is a film that when Adi narrated it to me, I just felt that he’s being very courageous and brave. I never thought, with all due respect to Adi, who I believe can think of some really different kind of films he’s produced, different kinds of films he’s made, he’s never even thought of being part of like Dhoom, Kabul Express and Chak De India. He really wants to experiment with commercial cinema, hoping that it does well – but still tries to think different within that parameter. I never thought that for his own directorial venture, after eight years, he will think of a film like ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’. I didn’t believe him, I thought it’s a lie, but I think it’s truly brave of him to take three characters – make a whole film revolve round them, not be bothered that the baggage of ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ or ‘Mohabbatein’ weighs heavy on him, or the films we have done together whether it is Darr, Veer-Zaara, Dil To Pagal Hai, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Mohabbatien, Chak De India – we have done really some fine commercially viable and wonderfully different films also together, but not once did he think, and he said ‘No, we will make Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’. So I think the unique part of ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ from Yash Raj Films is that after many years Yash Raj Films is making another film which it really feels for. I think it is a film which they don’t want to make as a film; I think they just want to do as something they wish to experience. You reach a stage, I think Adi has reached a stage in his life where he just wants to make a film not for what commerce it will do – ‘inshaallah it will do well’, what critics will say, it’s just a story he wanted to tell. I think it’s an evolution of a director and a producer and that’s what sets ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ very very different from all the others. I think they have made some wonderful films – this will also be considered as one of the wonderful films that Yash Raj Films has made, but I think it will be considered an immensely different film for me and for Adi.
Q.10. An extraordinary romantic icon like you playing an ordinary man in a love story. Comment.
I joke a lot about my stardom â€“ of course I take it very seriously ,because it’s a job that I do and I have always said this that I am just an employee of the superstar that goes by the name of Shahrukh Khan – to be really honest, I have never thought ‘I am a Superstar’. I have never thought of myself as a romantic icon. I am just an employee of this romantic icon and I just need to work hard for my employer, this iconic romantic star or hero. I am basically very ordinary in the way I think, in the way I do things. It may not look from the outside, I live in a one lakh square feet house, I have got big cars, but these are all the trappings and peripherals that have come to me via the fact that I am an actor, but I come from a middle class background and educated lower middle class background and I have never lost touch with that. And as a matter of fact, to be really honest, some of these iconic romantic characters so to say get attached with my name I think are iconic, because deep down inside they have a very simple basic middle class attitude. Suri is what I really am. Maybe when I tell my children, my children say ‘but you don’t look like this’. Ya, maybe I don’t look like this, but maybe if I hadn’t become a star I would look like that. I would have a moustache and have a side parting. I used to have a side parting, so it’s not that I would look any different. But I would not wear keds on pants – I mean that’s one thing I would have not done, or may be I would have, I really don’t know. It’s not really too different from what I am. And my challenge as an actor is genuinely to make Surinder Sahni the new romantic icon. I want everybody not to love Raj anymore and say you know what – ‘We want to be Suri’. I think ‘Suri is beautiful’ and I think 99.9 percent of us walk like Suri, talk like Suri, and look like Suri.
Imagine, me with a moustache and a side hair, I would look like Suri, so it doesn’t make a difference deep down inside or atleast after shaving your moustache you can be a Rockstar. So that’s the whole attitude that I want. The whole romantic iconic status crown now to shift from Raj and Rahul, these really cool guys, on to ‘Surinder Sahni’, because he’s got a ‘good heart’.
Content source: Yash Raj Films