Friday, June 14, 2024

‘Playing villain one of the greatest highs’


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Mumbai: Years ago his portrayal of negative characters in films like Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam had brought acclaim to Shah Rukh Khan, who is now back again with such a role in Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2: the King is Back.

It started with Abbas-Mustan thriller Baazigar in which SRK played a negative role.

Yash Chopra’s Darr (1993), a psychological thriller, was the story of an obsessive lover played by Shah Rukh, to get his lady love Juhi Chawla, who was already married to another man.

A similar storyline in Anjaam had the actor play a bad guy opposite Madhuri Dixit in the female lead.

Baazigar and Darr took his career to new heights and established him as an acclaimed actor in Bollywood. Ask him if the negative characters are liked and memorable, Shahrukh says, “Evil or devil, black or little grey characters, be it in books, stories, films or television, have some sort of an attraction. I started with theatre and there was nothing like a heroic character. There was a central character or an important character. I have played good and bad on stage. When I joined films I got a chance to play these characters again.”

“Now, after 15-20 years, I got a chance to play a negative character in Don. There is a justification for the character to be negative, to be bad. I enjoy doing it. I am in no way glorifying negative characters. These are stories and characters. But as an actor, it is one of the greatest highs to play a villain,” he said. Don 2 is the squel to Farhan Akhtar’s 2006 film, Don: The Chase Begins Again, which itself was a remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Don.

Also starring Priyanka Chopra, Om Puri, Lara Dutta and Kunal Kapoor, Don 2 releases on December 23. Ask him if he is bothered about the negative impact of such roles on the audience, Shahrukh says, “I do consider that many a times. I think an actor will always have this thought. For us, this is our job, but the results of our regular job can be negative or positive, or both. Having worked for so many years, I know there are kids and youngsters and all others out there watching our movies, enjoying it.”

“But when I see the documentaries on poverty, things happening on the streets of India, terrorism, attacks in Iraq or things that are happening around the world in terms of drugs syndicate, I feel, in the real world, we have enough badness for the people to get impressed by.

“We try to focus on these things through our films or characters in a controlled environment of our films. Films and characters should not be taken to heart and home and be followed,” he said.

“Most of the films that we do in India are of goodness, hope and aspirations. Sometimes, we do make edgy films and on the commercial parameters Don is a bit of an edgy movie. And I would like to clarify that we are responsible people and we too, are always worried that they don’t take after the bad things, films and characters that we portray in order to entertain them,” he added. (PTI)


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