I don’t cater to intellectuals: Salman Khan on making family films with ‘simplicity’

NEW DELHI: Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is all heart when it comes to his massive fan following that has only grown since his debut as a leading man in the 1989’s hit musical romance “Maine Pyar Kiya”.
The actor, whose popularity cuts across all walks of life, is synonymous with honouring his “commitment” of releasing at least one film on the festival of Eid every year.
This time, as the country grapples with the deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, he is sticking to his promise and bringing “Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai” right into the comfort of the audience’s homes.
“The people who have watched ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, they loved me, and they kept on loving me, and they kept on loving their husbands and their children, and their children kept on loving me.
“From that one fan became a family and then another unit. I’m lucky and grateful that fans have been very loyal. So, from grandparents to parents to grandchildren, I have that (following),” Salman Khan said in response to a question during a Zoom roundtable interview on Monday night from Mumbai.
Slated to start streaming on multiple platforms, including OTT and DTH services, on May 13, “Radhe” features the actor as an encounter specialist tackling drug menace in Mumbai.
The upcoming film, which reunites Salman Khan with his “Wanted” director Prabhudheva, is in the same vein as the 2009 actioner which was a major hit.
“‘Wanted didn’t change anything, the film that changed everything for me was ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’. ‘Wanted’ was a hit film, an action film. Before that also there were enough of such films. What has changed is the population of the country… Even in my movies, I make sure there is everything for everyone,” he added.
While his larger-than-life films, best enjoyed at the slowly disappearing single-screen theatres, are apt to be described as ‘the Salman Khan genre’, Salman Khan – the actor has some acclaimed performances to his credit in critically-successful films like “Khamoshi: The Musical”, “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”, “Phir Milenge” and “Bajirangi Bhaijaan”.
The star, however, believes in retaining the “simplicity” in his films and cater to the family audience rather than trying too hard to impress the “intellectuals”.
“We never know what will work, what won’t. We keep it to the simple stuff. Good versus bad, fun, humour. Maybe the intellectuals would not appreciate that but I’m no intellectual and I don’t cater to intellectuals. If they can’t understand simplicity, they are not intellectuals to me,” he said.
Sharing an anecdote of his niece Ayat Sharma, Salman Khan said the 16-month-old is listening to “Seeti Maar”, one of the songs from “Radhe”, on repeat mode.
The actor said he doesn’t know the reason behind the connect people have with him.
“Ayat is only listening to ‘Seeti Maar’. Her next favourite is ‘Zoom Zoom’. She is eating (while listening) to ‘Seeti Maar’, she is dancing and trying to get the lyrics of ‘Seeti Maar’. I just don’t know what that connect is.”
Some media reports billed “Radhe” as the sequel to “Wanted”, but Salman Khan clarified that the film is a new story and the only similarities it has with the blockbuster is the name of the character and his intention to stick to his commitment.
“It’s full-on entertainment, good music, superb action, very good plot and there is that one ‘commitment’ thing and that is the commitment to achhai (goodness), where he says that he will finish this drug scene and clean the city and go after the bad guys.”
Like most of his entertainers, “Radhe” will se the 55-year-old actor performing some high-octane action sequences.
Salman Khan said even though he still enjoys doing action, it is “getting more and more difficult”.
“Now, I don’t know if the action is more difficult or it’s difficult for me. But I’m still at it. I believe that till the time you can do action, you can romance. And I like to (do) romance, so I’m doing action. And people like to see action and romance, so that is what I aimed on,” he added.
The upcoming movie is another addition to his ever-growing list of cop dramas after “Garv: Pride and Honour”, “Wanted” and “Dabangg” franchise.
Salman Khan quipped that he is “running out of professions” to play on screen.
“I’m playing a cop in ‘Dabangg’, ‘Radhe’, in my next film ‘Antim’, I’m playing a RAW agent in ‘Tiger 3’. So, I’m repeating the professions in different manners.”
Asked if there was a role he would like to play in future, the star said he simply goes with the flow.
“Whatever comes to me, whatever I think is fine at that point of time. I did want to do ‘Andaz Apna Apna 2’ but that script has never come about so that me and Aamir (Khan) could do it,” he shared.
Also starring Disha Patani, Randeep Hooda, Jackie Shroff and Gautam Gulati, “Radhe” will release on the pay-per-view broadcast platform Zee Plex as well.
Backed by Salman Khan Films and Reel Life Production Private Limited, the film is produced by Salma Khan and Sohail Khan. (AGENCIES)