Aanand L Rai: I know how to win back Shah Rukh Khan's fans
Admitting that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's popularity has been affected due to his last dud, filmmaker Aanand L Rai is confident that dwarf drama will set things straight
Shah Rukh Khan and Aanand L Rai
"Khan saab and I hardly speak about anything beyond food and movies. He doesn't have a large appetite though, but, I think I will end up changing that about him. He will also bring about some or the other change in me," smiles director Aanand L Rai, as he speaks about his equation with Shah Rukh Khan, the leading man of his next. The yet untitled project, which sees Khan reuniting with leading ladies Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif, has been much in news for the fact that it sees the superstar in a truly never-seen-before role — Khan will be seen playing a dwarf in the drama.
This marks Rai's first collaboration with Khan and the director is glad that the actor gave a nod to his script. "He is the best actor I could have got for the film. He is the source of strength for all of us. And he asks us to chill and enjoy. He says ki khaatey peetey film ban jayegi."
As he speaks warmly about the actor, one can't help but broach the subject of the box-office failure of Shah Rukh Khan's last release, Jab Harry Met Sejal. Does that increase the pressure on him? "Not at all," he asserts, before adding, "I filter it out, and replace it with excitement. We are aware that his films haven't worked. It's there in front of us, we can't deny that. Box-office collections don't affect him as much. Bank account deposits is the last thing on his mind. What affects him is that he might be losing the love of people."
Having said that, Aanand L Rai is confident that his film will give the audience what they have been seeking from an SRK film. "With our film, I know I will rectify his relationship with the audience. I can sense what people are seeking. I will be honest to my craft and will work hard for my audience. I won't let the reactions to his last films cloud my head right now. I am here to deliver and I will do a damn good job of it. Right now, we are having fun at work and I won't let anything change that," he says, enthusiastically.
Ask him how Khan himself is coping with the negativity surrounding his films and Rai says, "Khan saab is a believer, an eternal optimist. He believes in people. Over the years, he trusted many filmmakers and got great returns. And then there are times when you don't get the expected returns. Such is life! He can't be blamed for the choices he made because they are straight out of his heart. He isn't a man of mathematics, he doesn't think about numbers. He is a pure soul, who will put his trust again on a great project and win his audience back."
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