Shah Rukh Khan was in absolute top form in a live session on Monday in which Team Pathaan addressed the media on the massive success of their film. “The film was shot during Covid. Everybody has shown so much kindness to the film. We are extremely grateful to the audience. We thank you (audience) on behalf of our team for bringing life back to the big screen,” SRK said. Pathaan, which released on January 25, has made Rs 542 crore gross worldwide in five days. Shah Rukh Khan, who plays the title role, spoke to the media with co-stars Deepika Padukone and John Abraham and director Siddharth Anand.
Pathaan is Shah Rukh Khan’s first lead role since 2018’s Zero. Of the four years that have passed, SRK said he did not work for a couple of years and spent them with his family. “One to two years I did not work. But I could spend time with my family and friends. I could watch my kids – Aryan, Suhana, AbRam – grow up,” he said.
In typical SRK style, the 57-year-old superstar offered a light take on the poor performance of some his releases previous to Pathaan. “I started thinking of alternate business. I started learning to cook, thought I will start a restaurant named Red Chillies Eatery,” he said.
Shah Rukh Khan, who is a “good singer,” per Deepika Padukone, sang a snatch of song for each of his Pathaan colleagues. For Deepika, he sang a couple of lines from Ankhon Meri Teri from Om Shanti Om (their first film together and also the actress’ debut); for John, SRK sang Dhoom Machale and for Siddharth Anand, a line from Salaam Namaste – John Abraham starred in the first Dhoom film, Siddharth directed Salaam Namaste.
Deepika Padukone received some of Shah Rukh Khan’s warmest words. “You know me and Deepika just need an excuse to romance, to hug, to kiss. So any question you ask me, I will just kiss Deepika Padukone’s hand and that will be the answer,” SRK said.
Deepika, asked about Pathaan‘s box office crores, said, “I don’t think we set out to break records, we set out to make a film with love and right intentions and most importantly, we had a good time. This is what Shah Rukh taught me on my very first movie.”
Shah Rukh Khan also spoke about his Sunday ritual in which he makes an appearance on the terrace of his Mumbai home Mannat and waves to the fans who gather outside. “”I was told when something doesn’t work, go to those who love you. I am very fortunate that I have millions who give me love. When I am happy, I come to my balcony, when I am sad, I come to the balcony,” he said, adding an SRK flourish – “I am fortunate to have been given a permanent balcony ticket.”
Given Pathaan‘s monster box office earnings, could there be a second film in the works? “If they (producer Aditya Chopra and director Siddharth Anand) want to make a sequel with me it will be my honour,” Shah Rukh Khan said, joking that he will grow his hair even longer – his character in the film sports long unkempt locks. “You have to earn a Shah Rukh Khan film,” Siddharth said in reply, saying he had fulfilled a personal dream and also learnt that directing SRK is a huge responsibility. “If by any chance a Shah Rukh Khan film fails then it’s the director’s responsibility,” Siddharth said, explaining that SRK gives the director everything that he’s asked to.
Pathaan has followed an unconventional marketing strategy – this is the first time the cast have addressed the media. Traditionally, releases are heralded by a blitz of media interviews – Drishyam 2 bucked this trend and so did Pathaan, reaping rich dividends.