Celebrating 29 years of Shah Rukh Khan: ‘Big star was born on June 25, 1992’, say SRK’s producers & directors

Updated on Jun 25, 2021 05:13 PM IST  |  614K
   
Celebrating 29 years of Shah Rukh Khan: ‘Big star was born on June 25, 1992’, say SRK’s producers & directors
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“A big star was born on June 25, 1992,” exclaims Guddu Dhanoa, the producer of Shah Rukh Khan’s debut film, Deewana.  It has been 29 years since the release of Deewana, and SRK continues to be in the hearts of millions across the globe. Khan’s close friend turned producer, Viveck Vaswani informs that it was a strategic launch for the actor to the world of show-biz. “Shah Rukh Khan was not launched with a film, but with a strategy,” Viveck shares. While SRK was in his happy space with the career on the TV, it was only after the death of his mother, Lateef Fatima Khan, that he decided to transition to the big screen medium of entertainment.

“I remember, he had come to my house after his mother’s funeral and asked me to launch him. I agreed, and then, we sat down to create Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman. We had the option of signing Anant Balani (director of Patthar Ke Phool), but Shah Rukh preferred Aziz Mirza,” he recalls, quick to add that they developed the concept and expected producer GP Sippy to come on board the film as a presenter. “But he first said no as he wanted me to make another film with Salman (Khan) and Raveena (Tandon) after Patthar Ke Phool. But I was committed to making a film with Shah Rukh.”

The idea behind the launch was to make Shah Rukh a sellable name in the market. “No one was going to buy a new film of a newcomer. I needed GP Sippy’s name so that the distributors buy a film coming from the combination of a hit film like Patthar Ke Phool. We had some mutual agreements and he eventually agreed to present the film. But that wasn’t enough as the idea was to give Shah Rukh a career and not just a film,” he sighs, quick to add that he took Shah Rukh to Rakesh Roshan for King Uncle, Rajiv Mehra for Chamatkar. “And then, out of the blue, a 50 percent complete film, Deewana was thrown into his lap because Armaan Kohli didn’t want to do the role.”

Guddu insists that it was director, Shekhar Kapur, who suggested him to get Shah Rukh Khan on board Deewana. “I remember, Shekhar (Kapur) and I were off to Madras and that’s when he asked me to try for Shah Rukh Khan in Deewana. I wasn’t aware of him, so he asked me to watch Fauji and Circus. I loved it, and then set up a meeting with Shah Rukh Khan in Delhi,” he recalls adding further, “We met at a hotel called Host in Connaught Place. The minute he walked into the restaurant, I knew he was my hero.”

I remember, Shekhar (Kapur) and I were off to Madras and that’s when he asked me to try for Shah Rukh Khan in Deewana. I wasn’t aware of him, so he asked me to watch Fauji and Circus. I loved it, and then set up a meeting with Shah Rukh Khan in Delhi...The minute he walked into the restaurant, I knew he was my hero
Guddu Dhanoa

Guddu was however surprised to discover that Shah Rukh Khan had no dates for his film. “I got the shock of my life when he said he doesn’t have dates. He had some 4 films in his kitty and was already a star before the release of Deewana,” he exults. So, how did Deewana happen? “I asked him to just hear the script once first and then proceed to the dates. He heard it and loved it. Luckily, a 35-day schedule of Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman was cancelled and, in that span, he completed shooting for Deewana. The film that he didn’t have dates for, ended up being his acting debut. Such is destiny,” Guddu answers.

As per Guddu, SRK was paid Rs 1.50 lakh for Deewana, and today, he is among the richest actors in the world. Vikram Mehrotra, the producer of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, on the other hand had signed Shah Rukh Khan on for a minimal sum of Rs 25 thousand. “We never discussed money,” he sets the record straight, quick to add that Shah Rukh Khan is Shah Rukh Khan today because of his passion for cinema. “His journey is full of hard-work and he is a damn good actor, and more importantly a good human being,” he says.

As per Vikram, Shah Rukh ranks Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa as the best film of his career even today. “He absolutely loves the film.” Sharing a trivia about the plot of this cult coming of age romantic comedy, Vikram informs that the director Kundan Shah had initially kept an open ending. “But, I felt, every story calls for a closure. After toying around with the idea of who should get the girl, he decided to go ahead with the end that you saw on the screen.”

Vijay Galani had released Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa in Bombay Territory and the producer informs that it was a very profitable venture. “I had released the film with Shah Rukh. We bought the film for Rs 16 lakh and the business was upwards of Rs 50 lakh,” he gushes, adding further that the distribution company back then was called GVR Combines, which stood for the three partners Gauri Khan, Vijay Galani and Ratan Jain. They released 3 more films in Bombay for SRK after Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa. Galani was also planning to make a film with SRK in the same span, however, the things didn’t materialize. “It was a story written by Anees Bazmee titled Radhe Shyam Sita Ram with Deepak Shivdasani as the director,” Galani shares, adding further that Shah Rukh Khan was already a star within a short span of time. “He was always clear on the fact that ‘I am the best’ and the confidence had made him a star. It reflected on screen and everyone in the industry knew that he would be a big star.”

Shah Rukh asked me, ‘Viveck, main negative role kar lu?’, I said ‘Bilkul. Let’s break stereotypes once and for all
Viveck Vaswani

Baazigar was a game-changer for Shah Rukh Khan and actually a film that put him on the path of superstardom. He broke all stereotypes with the Abbas Mustan directorial.  Viveck informs that the idea was to break the existing norms. “Shah Rukh asked me, ‘Viveck, main negative role kar lu?’, I said ‘Bilkul. Let’s break stereotypes once and for all,” Viveck smiles.

The producer, Ratan Jain, too has some interesting stories to share about casting Shah Rukh Khan as an anti-hero. “We tried for Salman Khan and Anil Kapoor, but things didn’t work out. There were some guys who wanted to do the film, but they didn’t fit the bill. Deewana had not released back then and we had the music rights of the film. I saw some portions and was very impressed with Shah Rukh. I then recommended him to my directors and we decided to move ahead,” Ratan Jain shares, as he goes down the memory lane.

“I first met him at the Sea Rock Hotel, at the pool side. I just told him the one-line idea and he confidently said, I will do the best, only I can do the best. He was so confident and everything was decided on the first meeting itself. He didn’t want a narration too as he had seen the film that inspired Baazigar - A Kiss Before Dying,” he adds. Though he is the richest actor in the industry, he was never mad after money. Ratan worked with SRK on films like Yes Boss, Josh, Badshah and Main Hoon Na, but according to the producer, not once did they discuss money. “Most of the time, he left things on me. He always asked me to pay what I thought would be good for him based on the market price. More than money, he was always passionate about cinema.”

While Baazigar was a runaway hit for Shah Rukh Khan, he followed up with two more anti-hero characters in Darr and Anjaam. Rahul Rawail, the director of Anjaam, believes that “Shah Rukh Khan is absolutely fantastic.” According to him, the love, and compassion for cinema resulted in his meteoric rise. “He was always a confident man. I remember, he was staying as a paying guest at Mount Marry in Bandra when I had gone to sign him for a film. I went up to his flat, and he was looking down from the window at a Bungalow that he now owns. People would give their right arm for that property and he told me, ‘you see that house in the front? I bought it yesterday.’ I was surprised and asked what he meant. And there came the reply, ‘I requested Bharat bhai (producer, Bharat Shah) to give me two years time and not sell this bungalow to anybody else. I promise, I will buy it’. And within those two years, he actually bought the house. His confidence was great,” Rahul Rawail exults.

Distributor Raj Bansal states that he has released most of Shah Rukh Khan blockbusters in Rajasthan. While the biggest money spinner for him was Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, he earned a lot of profit on films like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Kal Ho Na Ho. “I have seen him grow. I remember, he was in Jaipur shooting for Karan Arjun, when Karan Johar came to narrate Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. On hearing the narration, he said, ‘Apne Yash Johar Ji Ka Beta Ab Picture Direct Karega. I am doing the film’. We were very close since those days and I always felt, he is Lambi Race Ka Ghoda,” Raj Bansal shares.

I remember, he was staying as a paying guest at Mount Marry in Bandra when I had gone to sign him for a film. I went up to his flat, and he was looking down from the window at a Bungalow that he now owns. People would give their right arm for that property and he told me, ‘you see that house in the front? I bought it yesterday.’
Rahul Rawail

It was a rather unique launch for Shah Rukh in 1992, as the first film he signed on for was Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, the first time that he faced the camera when Rakesh Roshan called him for a song shoot in Kenya for King Uncle, the first official Mahurat shot of his career was Dil Aashna Hai and the first release for him was Deewana.  It has been 29 years since the time a man dreamt of making it big in the industry. Back then, most expected him to become a star, but very few might have predicted a Delhi boy to become the face of Indian cinema at the global level. Today, he is ranked among the biggest superstars that India has ever produced and as he once said, “The best is yet to come.”

Also Read| PATHAN EXCLUSIVE: Shah Rukh Khan vs John Abraham at Yash Raj Studios from April 2

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Comments
Anonymous : Everyone must love shah rukh khan. If you are not a fan of his acting, you must be a fan of his human. He just makes you feel allll warm inside. Not even fan XXXXXX
REPLY 2 2 months ago
Anonymous : And that's why we are his fan forever
REPLY 2 2 months ago
Anonymous : he is inspiration for all.
REPLY 2 2 months ago
Anonymous : Where there is a will there is a way.
REPLY 4 2 months ago
Anonymous : Britest star of acting world.
REPLY 3 2 months ago
Anonymous : Inspirational story
REPLY 5 2 months ago
Anonymous : What a nice article, indeed!
REPLY 5 2 months ago