Shah Rukh Khan, the undisputed King of Bollywood has always shied away from controversial statements. And he tends to keep it that way.
However, in a tete-a-tete with the Economic Times, the actor opened up about gender pay gap, working in Hollywood, his foray into direction and his vast Bollywood career.
When asked if he believes that the female actors are getting their due in Indian film industry, Khan quipped, “It’s a male-dominated industry. You can’t shirk it away or ignore it.”
“I would love it to be different. There should be no disparity. A male actor and a female actor should get the same fees. Why is it different, I don’t know,” commented the 52-year-old actor. “But I would also add that no actor – male or female – should over-estimate their performance. No individual, be it director or actor, should burden the film’s expense by charging an amount that goes beyond the performance of the film’s opening weekend. ”
One would have expected the global icon, who has worked in over 80 Bollywood films, to have starred in one or two Hollywood ventures, much like his colleagues.
Shockingly, the Dilwale star revealed that he is yet to be offered any project. However, Khan believes if it’s bound to happen, it will – all in good time.
“They have to look at me; I can’t look at them. It started with Om Puriji and now Priyanka, Irrfan and so many others are doing it. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is getting some films. Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) has done some, Anupam Kher too and it’s wonderful,” he said.
“But I have never been offered an opportunity. I don’t even know if I am good enough to do it – I think my English is a little weak,” quipped Khan.
“I’d like Tom Cruise to say one day that ‘I’ve been given a chance in a Hindi film’. Man, that will be wonderful. Christopher Nolan would say that there is a producer in India who wants him to make a film. Insha Allah, that will happen,” he continued.
After a triumphant career as an actor, will Khan ever foray into direction? Well, he believes that it’s not his cup of tea.
“I’m lonely enough as an actor. The director’s job is the loneliest in film-making as they are the only ones who know what their film is speaking,” he asserted.
“So perhaps I’m not ready for that kind of loneliness as yet. If I am to direct, then I have to write as well, which will take me a couple of years. I’ve been trying to write a book for the last 20 years and I haven’t finished that,” the actor added.
“I’m a little lazy and it will be difficult to really (be a director), but in small ways, I do participate in designing the action. I don’t know how to say ‘okay’ to something. I always feel it can be better – I have trouble letting go. A director’s job of just saying okay and moving on stresses me; how does this person know it’s okay? I will keep on doing things and until I get to understand that it is okay to say okay, I’ll not be a director,” Khan concluded.
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.