Shah Rukh Khan is self-evasive on David Letterman's talk show: I tell everyone I am an employee of the myth of SRK
Shah Rukh Khan opens up about acting, parenthood and stardom on David Letterman's talk show My Next Guest
David Letterman's new talk show My Next Guest, attempts to understand the guests beyond what they do. One of the most-anticipated personalities on his show this season was Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. In his typical, candid charm, SRK (as he is fondly known), took on questions about acting, his relationship with parents, his take on fatherhood and his apparent inability to dance.
At the outset, Khan starts off with a modest statement about his widespread following of more than 3.5 billion people and says that very early on in his acting career he had realised that he did not have the skillset to become a successful actor. "I have been working 27 years in the business and halfway through that I realised I am not half as talented as I think I am, so if I cannot do it with skill and talent then I better get into the hearts of people and if they're loving me, let me just be nice and good about it."
The actor spoke honestly about his parents and the profound influence his mother had on his life as a person as well as an actor. Having lost his father to cancer at the tender age of 15, SRK confesses that he chose to employ his theory on death when his mother gave in to the same illness a few years later. Sitting next to his mother's ICU bed, the actor claims he told her that he would be the worst son possible — he would not treat his elder sister well, would purposely not do anything in life and take up drinking early — thinking that these statements on his ill behaviour would pull back his mother from her journey to nirvana. "But it did not work," says Shah Rukh.
Recollecting another incident of how his mother was crucial in developing his love for the movies, SRK recollects his first experience before visiting a theatre. His mother (in an attempt to hone the actor's Hindi) asked him to spell 10 vernacular words correctly, after which she would take him to watch his first film at the cinema hall. "I got nine words correct, but the tenth one I cheated because I did not know it." Letterman interjects saying, "Does this startling confession not affect your 3.5 billion followers. I think the numbers are dropping." SRK smoothly replies, "No, but as the Americans do, I'll apologise publicly and you can forgive me."
Talking about his mass popularity and dedicated love of fans, the actor chooses to be most self-evasive. He says that he feels alien to this intangible concept of the superstar status. "I always tell everyone I am an employee of the myth of Shah Rukh Khan," says the actor.
Having begun his journey in Delhi with small acting portions in the Ramleela, Letterman points out how his 1990s blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge has screened uninterruptedly at the Maratha Mandir (in Mumbai) for 20 years. "We (director Aditya Chopra and lead actress Kajol) were just a bunch of kids who made something we really liked. But we had a lot of fun doing it."
The actor even reveals that having Aryan, Suhana, and Abram as children has made him gentler, kinder, more compassionate, and "very very anxious." "I hate discussing boyfriend issues with her (Suhana). Though I give her sound advice, in my head I just want to tell her to ask the person to get out of his life," he jokes.
My Next Guest with David Letterman streams on Netflix.
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