Salman Khan: As actors, we want to grow and get inspired by the characters we play – Times of India
In a career spanning decades and with a filmography of about 130 plus films, what prompted you to back Antim: The Final Truth, the remake of the Marathi film Mulshi Pattern?
I had a different character in mind back then. I knew I could pull it off in the plot of this film. This character was in my mind for some time and I knew that this was a plot where I could fit it in really well. I needed to play something like this — he puts up with a lot, and silently so, but he has a strong mind and gets what he intends to. I felt that the character in Mulshi Pattern already had that spark, but it was not very long. I liked the plot, and I knew we could put the character I had in mind into it. We changed the screenplay and worked out everything, and then, it became a big film. Pravin Tarde had his limits in terms of production, etc. Mahesh and I knew we would do this, and we would do it the way we had to. The character of the police officer and Rahul’s character (played by Aayush) were lending themselves to an impactful screenplay. Mahesh and I discussed this, and then the script was prepared in no time. Antim is about two characters — one is older and the other is younger. Although they face similar circumstances, they choose different paths — one takes the right path and the other the wrong one. One has nobody and the other loses everyone he had. When I had seen Mulshi Pattern for the first time, I had told the makers that the police officer’s role needed to be extended. It could have been much longer. After we’ve reworked everything the way we envisioned it, they’re now two different films.
Mahesh Manjrekar was not the initial choice to direct the movie. In a conversation with us, he revealed that when he came on board, he got you to agree to do certain things the way he would like to see it…
He has a certain way of telling his stories, and that is the reason he was brought on board. He was staying with me at the farm when we started discussing the film. Things started flowing and then I told him, ‘Bhai, aaja tu hi kar le.’ We both were clear that the film will neither go idhar nor will it go udhar. It happens with me that if you make a very realistic film, it looks like chhoti picture banayi hai. We have to keep everything in mind. Aayush went into a new zone after LoveYatri. I saw how he changed himself to play the part in Antim. I could see that he was really interested. We go to watch movies to get that larger-than-life feeling, that adrenaline rush and as actors, we want to grow, be better people and get inspired by the characters we play. I’ve done films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Phir Milenge and Tubelight, where I have played these intense characters. Even Tere Naam… these films had heroism of another kind. If you don’t give your blood and sweat to a film, the audience won’t enjoy it.
While facing the camera, Aayush and you were on the opposite sides of the fence. Off-camera, was there ever a time you were worried watching him push himself hard?
I just told him to be very careful. I told him that his portrayal of the character should be a combination of being realistic, yet it should be larger than life. He understood what I said. I did my bit, and he did his. The result is out there for everyone to see.
It’s tradition to have your father Salim Khan watch every movie that involves your family and you. What did he think of Antim?
When we showed him the rushes, he just said, ‘Acchi picture hai.’ He put it out very simply. He saw the entire film and liked it very much. The thing with my father is that he doesn’t shy away from saying what he has to say and what he feels.
You spoke about getting that adrenaline rush watching movies in theatres. When was the last time you watched a film on the big screen and what kind of films do you really like?
I watched a film in a theatre close to my house just before the lockdown. I enjoy any and everything that cinema has to offer. I even enjoy watching some of my bad films because I know the hard work that has gone into those movies. When I watch them, I know what not to make, and in those films also, there are good points that I make a note of, which can be put to use later. When I watch films, I know what could have been corrected, added or removed for it to have turned out to be a better movie. My mind starts working on the plot level.
That’s the kind of vision that directors often work with. Is direction on your mind, too?
That is what I wanted to be when I was young and when I came into the movies.
Then, why didn’t you pursue it?
You wouldn’t have had Salman Khan, the actor, no? (laughs!) Not now, but someday I will direct. We have scripts right now that we are producing. We’re involved with them deeply. These days with the kind of rehearsals and readings and preparation, you know what the director is going to shoot and bring to the table. If that doesn’t happen, we go back and rework. Over the years, since Maine Pyar Kiya, I have been writing a lot of stories that are penned in such a way that they can be turned into a script in a matter of weeks. We are going to make some of them now.
In the time to come, you’ll be seen revisiting your characters in Kick and Tiger Zinda Hai with their sequels. With considerable time gaps between the first and the subsequent movies in the series, how do you approach the roles?
I believe these characters have grown. They are only more fun, more mature, bigger, stronger and with more layers — even Dabangg, for that matter. The Chulbul Pandey you will see in Dabangg 4 soon will be very different from the one you saw in the first outing. His character, like all the other characters, has evolved with time and will continue to do so.
For all the latest entertainment News Click Here