Shah Rukh Khan is all set to return to the big screen with ‘Pathaan’, his first film in a starring role in over four years. In a new featurette for the movie, Shah Rukh spoke about his co-stars Deepika Padukone and John Abraham, and jokingly admitted that ‘it’s been a long time since (he) has entertained people with a good film.’
He said that Pathaan is a good movie that has been made with love by a lot of talented people, and that he hopes people watch it on the big screen ‘two or three times’ before catching it on streaming. He said that it checks all the boxes of big screen entertainment, and described his character as an ‘easy guy’ who ‘very single-mindedly thinks of India as his mother’.
Shah Rukh plays a spy in the film, and he said in the video that he has always wanted to be an action hero. In fact, that was his goal when he came to Mumbai to become an actor over three decades ago. But he went on to become the country’s foremost romantic hero instead.
It was fortunate to have a veteran action star like John Abraham on board, Shah Rukh said, because John would offer valuable insights into performing fight scenes. John plays the villain in the film, and Shah Rukh said that he was hesitant about fighting him on screen because he wasn’t sure if it would look believable that a star of SRK’s stature was getting beaten up. John described Shah Rukh as a ‘national treasure’, and said to him, “I will not hurt you, I can’t.”
But Shah Rukh encouraged him to, and described him as a ‘gentle giant’. “It took a lot of convincing to tell him that it’s okay, you can punch me, I won’t get hurt. But he’s so proficient in action, he really helped me look nicer, in body language. Many a times, he would say, ‘Shah bhai, do it like this’. It was very kind of him. If you’re doing an action film, and you have John with you, there’s a lot to learn. Being the star that he is, and the respect that he has for me, the way the film has gone smoothly, it’s a big challenge for someone like him. I hope, genuinely, that when Pathaan comes out, the most liked character is John’s. I really wish for this. Because it takes a lot of guts to do what he has done, as an actor, as a star.”
Shah Rukh was equally effusive about Deepika. He said, “You need someone of the stature of Deepika to be able to pull off a song sequence like Besharam Rang and then you know, to be able to do action, where she takes a guy and pulls him right over herself and beats him, she’s tough enough to do that too. That kind of a combination could have only been achieved with someone like Deepika. It’s a quite a layered character for an action film heroine so to say.”
‘Pathaan’ is Shah Rukh’s first film of 2023, and he’ll follow it up with Atlee’s Jawan and Rajkumar Hirani’s Dunki. Directed by Siddharth Anand, the film is a part of Yash Raj Films’ spy universe, which also includes the Tiger movies and War. Pathaan will be released on January 25 in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
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