22nd February 2003
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Salman Khan
5th September 2002



Salman Khan waxes lyrical about younger brother Sohail as yet another member of the 'Khan-daan' is unleashed on the film world as Maine Dil Tujkho Diya releases.

How do you feel seeing your younger brother embark on his debut film as an actor?
We've gone from when he's five years of age and he's hero worshipping me, to being 25 years of age and me hero-worshipping him. What I've seen is, people grow in name and people grow in fame, but very few people grow as human beings, but this guy has never had a problem with that because since he was five years old he's always been the most amazing human being that I've ever come across. He's the most amazing younger brother.

Your brother began his career in films as a director and directed you in a couple of films. How did you feel about taking direction from your younger brother?
I had no problem with him directing me because we made some amazing movies like Hello Brother which I loved actually, because that movie was like a family film that only we understood. The people who live in Bandra who know us, they knew our humour so there it did 100%. But other than that it was a big disaster. Now he's threatened me that if he doesn't make it as an actor, he's going to go back to direction, so please save me from another Hello Brother. See that he does really, really well and that he doesn’t have to direct again ever after this movie. That he's like a huge success and an icon and he would rule for the next few decades because I'm going to be there till the end and he will need me if he doesn't do well as an actor. I pray and beg of you that he becomes the biggest star and that he's a lot bigger than me and … who else is there?

Do you fear that your brother might one day eclipse you in the star stakes?
You know, I was at a very awkward age - thirteen, fourteen, growing a moustache and he was the cutest baby ever. And I thought all the auntie's and young girls always gave him all the attention, so I was always wary of this man. Thank god that he gave me this open space for all these ten, twelve years when he didn't want to be an actor. I hope the people that go to the first few showings of the movie, love it, just as much as they love me. Of late I've not been doing very well. I've not been very successful in my career, which is a lie, but I'm sure this guy is going to do well.

Your films really haven't done so well of late. How do you come to terms with films that have failed at the box office?
I was not very good at studies, I always used to bunk classes all the time so my teachers used to beat the hell out of me. Today they use that and they say 'Oh, Salman Khan? We beat him to death. We always spanked him and he's got marks from the cane and stuff. ' Which they take pride in saying and I absolutely love that because if they hadn't have done that to me I wouldn't be here where I am today. They checked me. I do make mistakes, but I don't repeat them.

Your brother has said that no matter how successful he becomes he doesn't want to surpass you or Arbaaz. Do you feel that he will be able to emerge from your shadow?
Don't worry about him being in my shadow. Worry about me being in his shadow from now on. I'm just going to pack up and live off him. That's what I'm going to do. He's going to support me for the rest of my life because I don't want to work that much any more. Why? Because I'm not getting that much work. You guys don't like me anymore.

But you still have a big fan base in the UK?
There's India. There's a lot of places in India. After that there's America. There's a lot of places in America. Dubai, Pakistan, Bangladesh. There are a lot of fans in the UK. Thanks very much. But please try and encourage the fans in your neighbouring countries so that I can receive the same response there.

Indian films are a melee of music, dance, romance and action. What makes this film different from the rest?
All of those things, because it's a different kind of guy doing the same old thing.

What's the best song in the movie?
This is the real test for whether the song will be a big hit. Sohail's son. He's about a year-and-a-half old and he sings 'Toda sa pyar hua hai, thoda hai baki.' He knows 'Tun tana tun tun tun tara.' These two songs are all he knows, so Salman chachoo is cool and so is Papai, that's what he calls Sohail.

How do you feel about nudity in Indian cinema?
When we were children and we used to watch English movies with our parents, anywhere there was a love scene or a kissing scene we used to fast forward it. We used to try to watch it and they would try to watch it, but we couldn't see it together. So what happened, this thing came into my head that whenever you see my movies, everyone from grandparents to grandchildren should be able to see my movies very comfortably. So the women don't expose. I expose. I hope the rest of the industry will have the good sense not to do that stuff because it's very awkward for parents to see their own children on screen, their own daughter in short skirts and stuff like that. It's not our culture.

What advice did you give to your brother as he launches himself as an actor?
You know, this is one family where money doesn't mean a thing. And every time I say that this guy turns around and says 'you can say that because you have it.' But I remember the times when my Dad was not doing very well and yet there were still a hundred people eating at home. That's what I tell him. Never feel insecure. When you start feeling insecure then you go off balance. Be confident, not arrogant, and yet be vulnerable. He knows that I love him, so he's cool.

How do you think Sohail is going to be received by the public?
He's going to be really good. I never say that if people ask me about my own films. I'll say 'It's a nice film, it's doing good.' But I'll never say that 'This film is amazing. ' Not for me and not for Arbaaz. I might say that for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun. But I never said that about my other films, because I never believed in those films. I had to buy my own house, so I did those other films , but I realised one thing; that some of my fans who absolutely love me end up spending money to see stuff that's not so good. I don't do that now. I want to do the right films now.

Interview by Poonam Joshi

Also read our exclusive chat with co star Sameera Reddy

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