The visuals overtook emotions in Hero: Salman Khan

Salman Khan talks about the reasons his latest production fell short of expectations


Salman Khan is gearing up to host the upcoming season of Bigg Boss with the tag line double trouble. When asked what would he like to double in his life he says all the positives. As for troubles, though he would like to cut them by half, he says they are a way of keeping him grounded and real. While the success of Bajrangi Bhaijaan must have more than doubled his happiness, the less than expected collections of his latest production Hero, must have troubled him. Here, the superstar talks about the intention behind making the film and why it didn’t live up to the mark.

You have been saying Bigg Boss Season 9 is mine. Can you give nine reasons for doing the show?
I’d rather give you reasons for not doing the show! One, it adds another 13 people in my life and listening to their problems affects me. Then, there are controversies of the show. Too much noise, too much colour, and too much of my energy goes into it. The long hours of shoot — from 4.30 pm to 2 am. The travel to the location — it’s a 24-hour thing; it’s exhausting.

What brings you back to the show then?
Only one reason and that is the format. If people who go in, come out much better, nothing like it. I do get tired after three months of hosting, but because of the long association with the team and the huge connect with the contestants, I start missing it. I actually want to do something else with the channel, which I will do later.

Have you started training for your role as a wrestler in Sultan?
Yes, we will start shooting in November, but I need to prepare for the role. I am doing different kinds of strength training — wrestling and mixed martial arts. It’s difficult and really painful.

What about Hero? Are you happy with the response?
The film has done well for itself. Our main intention was to launch Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty, which we have achieved. Both of them are safe.

Considering the way you went all out and promoted the film, the numbers don’t seem to have lived up to expectations. 
We made Rs36-38 crores. As producers, we did whatever we could do, we did not leave any stone unturned, but sometimes it clicks, sometimes it doesn’t.

The music was fabulous, action was outstanding – even the way it was shot – the casting of the girl and boy was fantastic. It had the plot of Subhash Ghai-Jackie Shroff’s Hero. It was a simple love story. What else do you need in a romantic film? However, many people said the first half was good, but second half, they felt story nahi hai. There was action, romance, drama – one can’t do more than that. For whatever reasons – it’s their choice – the Mumbai and Delhi multiplexes didn’t get the audiences. They felt purani Hero hai, same cheez hai. If those metros had come in, we would have been rocking.

As a producer, you did your best. Do you think you should have looked into the direction as well?
(Laughs) Nikhil (Advani) has done his best. First, I was busy with Bajrangi Bhaijaan and laterPrem Ratan Dhan Payo. By the time I got the material… I sat on the edit. I should have been overseeing it from before, seen the rushes because small, small things have been missed. It’s nobody’s fault, though. If it is anybody’s, it’s mine because I had taken the responsibility towards Sooraj and Athiya. I should have been a hands-on producer, but I left it to Nikhil, who is good. However, in trying to make the film look good, he lost that earthy charm. The visuals overtook the emotions. But we will definitely work again.

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