I Know What I Am
He wanted to do a straightforward interview. Didn’t want any comments or
judgmental statements. “Lets do a Q and A session,” he laughed. Hard hitting? “No
Problem!” So this is how it went
Were you happy to be rated a sex symbol?
“I really don’t have a problem about being rated as anything. I know what I am and
the people close to me understand me. That’s all that counts.” “What is a sex
symbol? It is how a certain section of society sees you, right? So they view me as
sexy, huh? That is of no consequence. What is important here is being a symbol,
someone who’s reached a level that has people emulating him or her. That is a
responsibility and I am happy that I’ve made that much of a contribution that people
would like to copy me.”
Your life with this country’s most beautiful woman?
“I’m proud of her. I’m proud to be associated with her. My name linked with hers?
It’s a privilege. What more can anyone ask for a man?”
Why do you strip in every film?
(laughs ) “Because my producer, director, distributor and audience, all want to
have a good look at what they’re banking on. And I’ve worked very hard to get into
the shape you’re seeing. I don’t have a problem to show an arm, a leg and chest.
It’s fine by me. So why should it be a point of debate? I also act when my shirt is
know. Why not try and notice that as well!”.
You really did try and woo David Dhawan to take you in a number of his projects,
“Look, I loved the kind of films that David makes. They’re out and out hysterical
fantasies that have no pretensions or psuedo fundas in them. They are excellent
and complete entertainers. I was dying to work with him and I made sure he got to
know it. But now I want to make things clear. No amount of wining or dining, as you
put it, would’ve convinced David to take me if he didn’t feel I suited the role! He
was sure I could deliver if he gave me the opportunity to and that’s how it
People are forever talking about the charitable work you keep doing
“That’s an area I don’t really want to talk about, suffice to say that I enjoy doing
what I do and the quieter it is the better. Hey (he laughs), let at least one aspect
of my life be underplayed and private. Since the rest of my private life is so public,
at least there is something that keeps me feeling sane ”
What’s the film you really enjoyed doing?
“At the risk of sounding clichéd, I’ve enjoyed working in all my films, but truthfully
speaking, there is nothing to equal that feeling of watching yourself, with an
audience, in your first film! It’s magical. ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ was magical. Not knowing
whether the public was going to accept or reject you. Shaky Shaky Shaky till
people burst out of the cinema hall applauding. My God, that was fabulous!”
Any other films?
“Then doing scenes in ‘Khamoshi’, doing a film like ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ and realizing
you can be quite comic. Later on, working in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’. They have
all been wonderful experiences.”
What about your ‘Kahin Pyar Na Ho Jaye’ and ‘Chori Chori Chupke Chupke’?
“I was convinced that ‘Kahin Pyar Na Ho Jaye’ would be a well-accepted film.
Obviously, I was wrong. So in the case of ‘Chori Chori ’ I did not harboured any
expectations. That is one thing I’ve come to learn in this line. You cannot pre-empt
your movie being a hit. You can only hope it will do well. You cannot dictate your
Do you lead your life in the same manner? No expectations
“I’d love to, but the expectations just creep in unconsciously. Automatically when
people have expectations of you, you have the same for them.”
Don’t you want to marry and have a family?
“Sure, but don’t you think there’s a lot of time left for that stuff?”
Do you think so?
“Sure. I’m still a teenager man (laughs)!”