Salman has gone on record to say that he would promote your film if you asked him to.
(Laughs) I was with him two hours ago and we were discussing that. I know even when he is promoting Saawariya, he will promote OSO. I don't have to ask him.
Your take on Saawariya?
See, there are too many friends involved in that film, and I know Sanjay very well. Though I don't know what kind of a relationship Farah and Sanjay share…
Didn't Sanjay complain to you about Farah?
But even Farah complained about Sanjay…I think they share a love-hate relationship. I think I should not get between them because I got to know Sanjay and Farah a little after they'd gotten to know each other. They will continue to have issues and problems. I am not a part of it. I am fond of both of them. If he tells me to promote Saawariya, I will.
Did you expect Chak De India! to become a cult film?
When I do a film, I think it's the best film in the world. I thought it would do very well but it has done even better than I thought. To be very honest, it surprised me like DDLJ did. It might not run for 10 years but business-wise, it might be even bigger. In today's times, if you run for eight or nine weeks, it's big. And I think it has done X amount of crores business so it is the biggest hit of the year. But for me, it's done business that's 200 times more, in terms of creativity. I always felt but have never said it -my wife and friends have - that my career has been really nice but there was one film lacking - a film that said that I could genuinely act great. Chak De India! became that film. But you had Swades! (Laughs) Oh, I think I did great in Duplicate also. I think this sort of puts it to rest. It completes my career. I can do this, and I can do that. I think this proves that I am a good enough actor to be where I am. And it makes matters easier for me that to beat the best film this year, I have to beat my own film. I don't have to compete with A, B or C hero. I am competing with myself.
Were you upset with Sajid Nadiadwala for leaving out OSO trailers from the Heyy Babyy prints?
Oh no, I don't get upset about these things. I think if my trailer is in any film, it does the film good, and not vice versa (laughs). For some reason, our promos didn't come in Heyy Babyy and it's no big deal. Not as an actor, but as a producer, I feel that my film doesn't really need to be promoted through some other film. I'll promote my own film.
You didn't charge anything for doing the song in Heyy Babyy, did you?
(Laughs) I have not charged for my full-length films; what am I going to charge for just a song?
Name one such film.
I don't have a price for a film. I tell my producers and directors that when you finish the film, pay me whatever you deem fit. I don't even look at the envelope.
You don't have a fixed price?
Not for the last 15 years. Actually, maybe I did that for the first two years. If you really ask me, Adi (Chopra) paid me extra money for Chak De India! I was shooting and suddenly the executive producer came and handed me an envelope saying, 'Shah Rukh, Adi has sent you a thank-you note.' I was surprised because Adi had been with me till three in the morning. I thought I'd said something - you sometimes get emotional with friends - and maybe he'd sent a note about that. When I opened it, it was a thank-you note with a cheque. I was surprised. Then I called Adi and said he didn't have to do this. And he said, 'You don't have to get sentimental with me, so shuddup.' I think every producer I've worked with has shown an immense amount of grace.
So you're saying money doesn't matter to you?
To be really honest, when someone like Yash Chopra pays you an X amount, considering the kind of things he's done for me as an actor, you say, 'You've given me a good film; you've given me 200 crores.' A hit is more important to me than money. I think I must be the lowest paid actor.
C'mon, get serious!
Honest to God. I don't know what kind of money people think I charge. My price is about three-and-a-half crore rupees. That's how much I got for Chak De India! Even if you give me 100 crores, you cannot make a film with me if your story is not good.
Every Shah Rukh Khan release is like an event. Does that scare you?
I know! It doesn't scare me but it makes me awed. 200 films come in a year - some do well, some don't and everybody forgets them. But my films become like life and death, man! I am like, what's this? I don't do five films a year. I've done two. Suddenly it's like 50 per cent success or failure. It's like half your year's work has gone wrong, if the film goes wrong.
You are very close to the Gandhi family. If they asked you, would you campaign for them?
They won't ask me.
I don't know…. I want to ask Rahul (Gandhi) to act in my film. It's as stupid as that. They are my friends; they've known me long enough, so it's not something they don't know about. It's not like they don't know my kids are called so and so. So they do know that I am apolitical by thought. I'm willing to campaign for any political party commercially. Like an ad. Just give me lots of money. But they won't be able to afford me. It would be too expensive. They won't be able to run it (the campaign) for a year; maybe just a month.
But actors do get asked to campaign for political parties all the time.
Actors who have a bent mind about politics probably do that. I don't, so I won't.