Sallu moves up the seniority ladder

As Anil Kapoor moves out of the Shah Rukh-Aamir bracket after introducing his daughter's debut, Salman Khan takes the position that has been vacated by him

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Published: Sat 29 Sep 2007, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:51 PM

AFTER SANJAY Dutt, he is Bollywood's favourite bad boy. And yet, trying times fail to faze Salman Khan almost always. From the plush interiors of his Bandra home he was pushed into the harsh realities of prison life. But Salman refuses to let that pull him down. At the launch of the music of Saawariya, his first public appearance since serving jail time, he was his usual cheerful self. The Sanjay Leela Bhansali film has Salman in an important role. Also starring in the film are Anil Kapoor's daughter Sonam and Rishi Kapoor's son Ranbir. After Saawariya, Salman will be seen next in Subhash Ghai's Yuvraj and Boney Kapoor's Wanted Dead Or Alive. A tête-à-tête with the hotheaded actor for some quick sound bytes:

The last time you worked with Sanjay Leela Bhansali was Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. What was it like touching base with him again?

I think Sanjay took me on because both Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan refused the role. (Laughs) Well, Sanjay is a great director and has a vision. I am very happy to have worked with him again. He came to me saying that it won't take too long to shoot my portions but it took 50 days. And I enjoyed every bit of it. About the film, it would be my biggest in terms of production value. It's a huge movie and very well made.

It seems Anil Kapoor cried when Sonam was introduced.

He cried because now with Sonam being launched, he has to move out of the Shah Rukh-Aamir bracket. And since that position has been vacated, I think I will enter that club now. (Smiles ) Anil is looking younger by the day.

Tell us about your role in the film.

That's a surprise. I can't talk about it yet. You will have to see the film to know more. Believe me you will love it.

Are the sets of the film grand?

The sets of the film are grand and everyone can see it. It's all Sanjay's vision. If you see any animated film, I don't think it can compare to Sanjay's. It's superb and is a visual delight. The romance and visuals combine to leave an impression.

How do you like the music?

I love the music. It's great. Each of Sanjay's films has brilliant music except Black which had no songs at all. But it did have a great background score by Monto Sharma. And now he has done a great job with Saawariya. And Risha sang the song wonderfully well on-stage. She puts in so much energy in her song that I thought she would fall down!

What do you have to say about Ranbir and Sonam?

So far, everybody has been successful in their families. I don't see any reason why they would not be successful. I think both are phenomenal and I hope everybody finds them good too. I wish they become big stars. Sanjay is a fantastic director and he brings out the best out in anyone. We all know that both Ranbir and Sonam were his assistants when he was working on Black and after that Sanjay also did a year-long workshop with them. That should give everyone an idea of how good they are.

There are a lot of new actors coming into the industry. Do you feel insecure?

Not at all. Why should I? In fact, I feel good as I move up the seniority ladder. When I came into the industry Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol and Anil Kapoor were around and they still are. All these youngsters make me feel younger.

What is your advice to these youngsters?

They need to be honest with their work. The rest will follow.

Shah Rukh's sporting six-pack abs these days. Any comment?

I have gifted away my six-pack to him and he gave me his belly. But I will work out his belly and get my six packs back. Well, he is looking great!

Why don't you promote your films the way SRK does?

It's a good thing he does. I am trying to learn from him.

At a function, you referred to the media as the jury. Is it true?

Media is the jury who give out their verdicts even before the film releases. They predict if an actor is a superstar or a cult figure. (Smiles)

It's Ramzan time. Are you fasting? Any messages for those who are?

Be patient, fast and wait for Eid. Wish you all a very happy Eid. I do fast, but not through the month. I do it as many days as I can.

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