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Day in the life of a superstar

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HARSHIKAA UDASI

Perfect dad, consummate businessman, successful actor… in Discovery Travel and Living's new show, King Khan opens up on his life like never before, writes HARSHIKAA UDASI

He is shooting for a particularly complex scene of “My Name Is Khan”. A church set has been erected in Mumbai, for the only shot taken in the country, and the actor is giving the emotionally-charged scene his all. He peers into the camera as Rizvan Khan, and even after director Karan Johar has declared ‘cut', Rizvan takes some time to snap back to Shah Rukh. “I always leave something of me in a film. Sometimes, it's there in just one scene, sometimes two or three. I have worked in 65 films till date. Even if I were leaving one per cent of me, that's 65 per cent gone,” he mulls.

This is just a scene out of the second episode on Discovery Travel & Living's new show “Living With A Superstar — Shah Rukh Khan”. The show takes audiences into the personal space and work life of the star.

The actor has opened up his life to the cameras for a documentary series on his lifestyle as a superstar, and it means access to his most personal spaces and special moments. “I'd like to tell people so much that they don't find out the truth,” he winks, adding: “Actually, I am very shy about sharing things with my family. I am strangely formal … If they are around, I can't even act. But, through this exercise, I felt I could convey to them how I felt. Also, I have often been called a number of things — business head, great father, manipulative guy… I wanted the world to see me and decide what I am like.” Also, with Red Chillies being co-producers and SRK's friend Samar Khan at the helm of affairs, the family was comfortable opening up to the cameras. SRK says he was initially hesitant. . “I am a simple, normal, honestly boring guy who's just been travelling a lot, thanks to reduced work because of my back injury. I guess the travel bit was interesting for the channel,” he explains.

As for what was off-limits for the show was mainly decided by wife Gauri. “They wouldn't shoot us while we were eating. Also, we've tried to keep the kids' lives private, not because I think they are too young to face the camera. But for these, I didn't keep any edit controls, though it was offered. If you are educated and well-bred, you instinctively know when not to intrude,” he adds.

About his life as a superstar, SRK has no airs. “I think that the strange part about stardom is that once everything is out about a star, people laugh it off. So, I know that this superstardom will go away one day, and, that day, I want some part of me to remain with me.” SRK is more candid than expected when it comes to his dry run in the Indian Premier League matches. “I am not here to make money out of the IPL. If that were the case, I would have just danced at one wedding and sealed it; I wouldn't have the stress of running a team. I am doing it for the passion of sports. I am a genuinely good hockey player.” Going forward, SRK has big ideas that he hopes will come to fruition — to build the best studio in India and also a VFX unit that can beat the best, internationally. Red Chillies VFX has a 130-member team, which he wishes to increase to 1,000 in the next few years. “I also have a band of young people whom I would like to see grow as directors, with me producing three or four films a year. Since I don't like to borrow money till at least 60 to 70 per cent of the film is complete, it will require a lot of financial sprucing up. I hope I need to act only in one of these films every year because, fortunately or unfortunately, my films get bigger even when we want to keep budgets low,” he shrugs.

Up close and personal

Does SRK get time to play with his kids? What's his favourite destination? What does his home, Mannat, look like from inside? Has anyone seen his Dubai home? The 10-part series, ‘Living With…', which premieres on February 26 (Fridays 9 p.m.) provides the answers. “He has such a huge following in Southeast Asia and Middle East and even the U.S. and Europe. We were sure we had to make this one,” says Rahul Johri, senior VP and GM – India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific. Vikram Channa, the man behind the series, says that being almost as loved as SRK since they were with him everywhere was a perk of the job.

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