MUMBAI: He's had four back-to-back blockbusters and expectations from his next release Ek Tha Tiger are enormous, but Salman Khan appears quite oblivious to the pressure and says almost philosophically that whatever a film's fate, the audience is always right and must be entertained.
Following Wanted, Dabangg, Ready and Bodyguard, all of which crossed the Rs1 billion mark at the Bollywood box office, Salman is now ready with Ek Tha Tiger that releases August 15. He isn't nervous one bit because all he wants to do is to entertain.
"I don't feel the pressure. If a film doesn't do well, it doesn't do well. Let's see in the next film... If a film is a hit, it's a good film, it is a terrific film. But if it flops, it's a bad film. (Whatever it is), audience is always right," Salman, looking relaxed in a white T-shirt despite being under the weather, told IANS in an interview.
"When I hear the script, I just want to be entertained. I just want twists and turns so that the audience should have some kind of entertainment - be it in romance, action, drama or any kind of entertainment.
"When the audience comes out of the theatres, they must say 'Wow, what a film'," he said of what he considers his reward as an actor.
In his over two decade career, Salman has dabbled in all genres - romance, action and comedy. But right now, the 46-year-old, who is recovering from a flu, admits he doesn't know what will click with the audience.
"It is a very dangerous position to be in right now because with next film, I don't know what to do.
"If I take up action, it would be like 'Again action!' If I go for a romantic film, then it will be like 'How is it going to work?'. If a script comes up which has a larger-than-life character, then people will say 'Isko koi mar hi nahi sakta hain kya (Can no one beat him or what?)... It will get boring."
However, he only believes in following his heart and, more importantly, his passion for acting.
"It is the passion. It's my job. I like my job, it's my hobby and I enjoy doing it," he said. "There is always a gut feeling (that) the script sounds superb, and so we go for it."
Salman is the rare star who has reopened the doors for single screens in today's multiplex culture. But he says quite categorically that he doesn't believe in the masses and classes culture.
"I only believe that it is about being in your comfort zone. If you have a theatre near your house and you have been watching films there since childhood, you'll go there only. There is no question of mass or class. One can afford and one cannot afford multiplexes because single screen tickets are cheaper," he said.
He is also one of the few Bollywood actors to have revived the old charm of a theatre full of cheering, whistling and hooting audiences. He brushes it off, saying he's just plain lucky.
"I'm just a simple person. Logon ne sarr pe chada diya hai (People have made me a star). (I am) just being lucky. It's just that I am in the right place at the right times, and many a times I have been in the wrong place at a wrong time," said the actor.