The magnificent and opulent Rajmahal theater, Bollywood Park, Dubai was chosen as the venue for King/Badshah of Bollywood Shahrukh Khan’s official promotion and press conference for his film Raees. People thronged to Bollywood Park, just for a chance to glimpse at the heartthrob of millions of people throughout the globe. The media was bubbling with excitement to exchange notes with the famed star, known to be a charmer who spins magic with his words. Buzzingtales couldn’t stop smiling as the Canadian media personnel remarked that he would scream like a five-year-old when Shahrukh enters the hall. Clearly, the King wielded power even before he entered the hall. Many feel it is his star power that rules more than his acting capabilities. But then how many can claim to possess the charisma that he has. The film is all about entertainment and if the king can touch your heart, make you smile and entertain then what else matters.
The Raees poster with a menacing SRK in his black kurta and shalwar, sporting a moustache and eyes lined with kohl graced the screen on the podium. The Badshah’s entry was preceded by the film’s director Rahul Dholakia, producer, Ritesh Sidhwani and the extremely talented Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Dressed informally in a casual fennel shirt, jeans, black sneakers and a sunglass the King appeared on the stage before an enlivened media audience. SRK radiated an easy charm and set out to floor the media with his explicit, thoughtful, humorous and witty answers.
Each question was answered attentively, with seamless poise and presence of mind that few can claim to have. The media was pleasantly surprised to witness the scintillating Jane-Jigar show and the beautiful Zalima song in Arabic.Once the press conference was over King Khan enthralled the audience waiting for him eagerly outside the Rajmahal Theatre. He even shook a leg and clicked selfies with 5 lucky winners of a contest that was run earlier at Bollywood Park.
Read through the question and answer session at the Press Conference and you will be convinced that the King is one of a kind orator.
Anchor: It sounds odd to welcome you to Dubai you are already the face of Visit Dubai?
SRK: Just coming to Dubai feels so warm and welcoming. Shooting films here, promoting Dubai, and being in Bollywood Parks is fantastic! I have more memories of hanging out here than anywhere else in the world. Thanks for making me feel at home, I will keep coming back. Every two-three months I keep bringing different guests ( pointing to the Raees Team).
Media: What preparation it took to play a small town villain (Don) ?
SRK: I like it when people are able to compartmentalize the characters I play. But I feel if one has directors of the caliber of Rahul and the write-up team, who have been preparing so long for the film, half your job is done. The language and body changes are few of the things I worked upon. The first few meetings with the director and creative team are very important. I stuck to the way they wanted me to portray the character. The power had to be exuded not by being all over the place but rather being self-contained and being restrained.
Media : How have you explored your mean side in Raees?
SRK: A of mine friend told me that I am good when I play a good role, but I am exceptionally good when I play bad. As actors, we like to play roles that have several layers to them. By playing a negative role we get to know what it is that drives them to do bad things. Cinema is a medium to express all facets of society. We are not glorifying negative aspect. Every person somewhere has a humane quality and we have tried to explore that in Raees. My character is someone who takes responsibility for his actions and looks after his people. There is an honesty and integrity in that too.
Media: When are you going to act in Malayalam films?
SRK: Malayalam cinema is the very pioneer of telling different stories. I got introduced to it when I worked with Gautami ji. Unfortunately, I am very bad with language so if there’s a role in Malayalam cinema where I am asked to act with my eyes, then I am game for it. I will be my honor to be a part of Malayalam cinema.
Media:Are you rich (Raees) because of your mind or heart?
SRK: As an actor or even a human being I feel one has to take responsibility for their actions. Honesty and integrity matter a lot. I am not talking about Honesty in terms of law but rather that which comes by taking responsibility for your actions no matter whatever the retribution is. Only time can tell if I am Raees by heart or mind, but as far as the movie is concerned I have done it from my heart. I believe in doing one film for the money, and to do one for the heart. Raees is that film that came from my heart.