Salman Khan says that his role as a RAW agent in Ek Tha Tiger is not unusual, but it’s high on style

On the third day of trying to ‘Catch The Tiger’ (a phrase used to promote Salman Khan’s upcoming film Ek Tha Tiger) we meet him barely managing to contain a jig.

The late night, however, has drained out the energy to do so, but the man saunters in, bringing with him his most agreeable mood and a joke on his lips. Tell him it’s the longest wait to see him and YashRaj Films collaborating on a movie, and he smiles.

“We may not have worked together, but they are one of the oldest production houses in the country. I have worked with their brothers (B.R. Films — Baghban) and all of them are devoted to filmmaking. My father (writer Salim Khan) has worked many years successfully with YashRaj behind him. It’s almost like they are family — Adi (Aditya Chopra) and Yashji (Yash Chopra) are fabulous people to work with. We just waited for a film to come along. It’s like not having worked with Karan (Johar, he only did a cameo in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai) even though our families go a long way. It happens,” he says.

A breakaway from his rustic / street-smart characters in films such as Wanted, Dabangg and Bodyguard, Salman is playing a suave RAW agent codenamed Tiger in Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger (ETT) that releases on August 15. But unlike under-the-cover RAW agents, Salman was briefed for the role thus — look as if you can shave off 10 baddies with a swing of the hand! “It’s not like Tiger is an unusual character, I didn’t have to pile on weight. My requirement for the role was to look fit enough to pull off what he can with style. RAW agents are rare in our population; they are trained to be sharp, intelligent, agile, and move like tigers. I aimed to make our Tiger look larger than life.”

Director Kabir Khan’s experience in this space and his strong script compelled Salman to sign for the film. “The best part about ETT is that it sounds great as a script. The action pieces of this movie are going to take it to a different level. For example, a romantic scene is being played on and all of a sudden action breaks in. That’s amazing! If Kabul Express and New York gave Kabir a good platform to show his directorial skills, ETT will be the film for which he will be known.”

Being a hero

About Katrina, he says: She’s a good actor, and this film required both me and her.” But being a hero doesn’t come easy, he says. “I feel anyone is a hero who does something nice without being embarrassed about it. Be it something as simple as offering his seat to a senior or removing gravel from the ground if it is not his ‘job’ to do so.”

Salman has recently been in the forefront of social campaigning, his last appeal being for Sarabjit Singh, serving a death row in Pakistan, to be released. He had tweeted, met Sarabjit’s family and spoken about the issue freely.

The actor, who is at the zenith of his career, says he just hopes to make good entertainers. He is even planning more films on the lines of Chillar Party, co-produced by his Salman Khan Being Human Productions. But after ETT, it is family time with Dabangg 2 (releasing Christmas 2012) produced and directed by Arbaaz Khan, and Sher Khan (reportedly a superhero film for children that’s releasing on Eid 2013) directed and produced by Sohail Khan.