On the Trail of Shah Rukh and KajolBy Lavina Melwani • Feb 5th, 2010 • Category: Cinema
Get your shoes on, grab your bags – we are going to meet Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol at a press conference at the plush offices of News Corp, the parent company of Fox Searchlight which is distributing the much anticipated Karan Johar blockbuster ‘My Name is Khan’. The film which has been shot in the US will have its premiere at the 60th annual Berlin International Film Festival and is set for a Feb 12 release.
It’s a cold day in Manhattan, so let’s walk a little faster to get out of the chilly temperature. In the lobby it’s a long, long line of press folks, photographers and TV anchors all waiting to be summoned for the darshan.
Slowly we inch our way to the elevators to the third floor to the offices which have a super gym and a cafeteria, on to the large conference room which is already getting packed with mainstream and desi press. Let’s grab some coffee, and squeeze into the second row, where some friends have made place for us.
And then along with some burly bodyguards, in walk Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. We’ve seen them so often on the big screen that it seems almost natural to greet them like old friends in real life. It seems a little surreal, though, to see the real Shah Rukh and Kajol sitting right in front of their big posters, looking very real, very accessible, just like regular people.
We see the promo of ‘My Name is Khan’ which I’m sure diehard fans have already watched many times over on YouTube. First some quick photo ops and then the two sit down and the questions are fired away.
They talk at length about ‘My Name is Khan’ and here for your watching pleasure is the video of the press conference, courtesy of Masalajunction.com. What can be better than getting the facts straight from Shah Rukh and Kajol in their own voices? And yes, Shah Rukh even sings a few lines for us all – and you realize he’s got a pretty good voice.
Audio of the My Name is Khan Press Conference: Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol Live
‘My Name is Khan’, with its offbeat storyline, popular actors and Karan Johar’s magic touch will be worth a watch – but it will also be a draw because of the much loved, on-screen chemistry between Shah Rukh and Kajol, who have been friends for over 17 years and have acted together in so many love stories.
“I think we’re friends and have been from the first film onwards,” says Kajol. “I think as we’ve done films together, as we’ve worked together, as we’ve talked together there’s an immense comfort level and I think that’s where your growth comes from, when you’ve been friends for so long, you’ve just been friends for so long you can’t define it.”
“It’s a very simple dynamic,” added Shah Rukh. “Kajol will agree with me. After the first film there has always been that desire in my heart and hers too and care that when we do a film I want her to be the best in the film and she wants me to be the best thing in the film – that kind of space and respect – I wish I could have it with everyone but it’s not the same. It exists only with Kajol, without ever wording it.”
Then he added flippantly, “We’re actually Siamese twins – we only separate ourselves for press conferences!”
As the press conference ends, you see what makes Shah Rukh so lovable to people – he’s totally relaxed, clasping outstretched hands, smiling as everyone tries to get a piece of him.
Shah Rukh is like the Taj Mahal – just as everyone wants a picture near that wonder of the world, everyone wants to get a mug shot with him. He obliges, even as his bodyguards get paranoid and try to do their job of guarding the Khan’s body.
(Glad this conference was not about world hunger or investigative reporting because when faced with Shah Rukh, even some of the press folks turn into over-enthusiastic fans!)
Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol were also at NASDAQ stock exchange in the heart of Times Square, the first Bollywood stars invited to ring the opening bell. As Shah Rukh tweeted before venturing forth: “Nasdaq will be fun. Have to make sure I reach on time, otherwise will end up being blamed for economic upheaval across the world too…ha ha.”