I have met a lot of stars in the course of my career, but there is still something surreal about sitting in front of Shahrukh Khan, in his makeup van, as he makes his phone calls, mattifies his face for the next shot and rifles through the wardrobe, discarding some clothes and approving of others...definitely surreal, and very, very special.
SRK's intelligence literally radiates off him in waves...he is not one for frivolous answers or brainless interviews. Ask him something that's too superfluous, and he will patiently explain to you why its not a good idea to print something so "childish"...he tells me he is too old for believing in New Year resolutions, and that at the age of 40 there is little about women that he can claim to not understand. Is there anything that he thinks women should understand about men?? Honest to a fault, he says that he is not a "man's man", but he does hear his friends cribbing about how their women don't allow them to just hang out with their men friends, shoot some pool, guzzle some beers...but, of course, since some men exploit this freedom when its given to them, maybe women are smart to keep them on a short rope. So says SRK :)
He wants to know what we are doing pegging him for a sexy photo shoot...why not someone younger?? Good question. Why do women continue to swoon over this 40-year-old actor with two kids and a marriage that has already lasted almost two decades?? I don't know, and I don't care. Bottom line is that SRK has an appeal that just seems to increase with time...and its not the kind of respect that women have for Amitabh Bachchan. SRK is the ultimate romantic, the ultimate fantasy...the guy everyone thinks of as the perfect boyfriend or husband. He is glamour and superstardom and the boy-next-door rolled into one. The characters he plays all seem so real, so accessible that the dream seems worth striving for.
But is this what SRK is like in real life? Is he truly perfect? I don't know, and I don't care...all I know is that when he holds a door open for you, when he gets up and carries over a chair for you and when he casually puts his hand on your shoulder or touches your hand to emphasise a point that he is trying to make, its a totally fabulous experience. I am a cynic...I tend to take most stars with a pinch of salt now, but this is not an interview I am going to forget in a hurry.