Brushing aside all the rumours about being snub and peeved with the media, Shahrukh Khan was all game and cracking jokes with his co-actor Deepika Padukone while they came down for the shooting song sequences in Munnar for their upcoming Rohit Shetty film Chennai Express. After a tiring and hectic day of shoot in the exotic locales of Munnar, both Shahrukh and Deepika shared their excitement to be in Munnar. The shoot had to be stopped for a few days due to the heavy downpour. “Though we were sad for Rohit as the rains were delaying the shoot, Deepika and me were secretly happy and enjoying the rain in Munnar. It was so beautiful to wander in the tea estates during the heavenly season,” quips Shahrukh who was dressed in a black blazer and a round neck shirt with torn blue jeans. His co-actor Deepika agrees with Shahrukh and says,“The two weeks spent in Munnar was amazing. All the nostalgic memories comes back because this is the first place I visited in Kerala as a child with my family.”
Regarding the movie, Chennai Express, Shahrukh, fondly called SRK, says, “Chennai Express is a romantic comedy. It falls in the genre of films that can be called as a ‘Rohit Shetty film’ where there is love, action and comedy on a large scale. And it is completely an entertainer film that I am doing post Om Shanti Om.”
The actor says Chennai Express is a universal story that speaks about love. He says quite romantically, “The clothes change, the slangs change, the lifestyle of the people change in our country for every 500 km...we have more than 1,600 languages. With all this diverse factors, there arises a kind of regionalism. But despite this factor, the people of our country live together and eat together happily. And it happens because of love. So in the movie the protagonist is put in a part of the country which is alien to him. His lady love who is a South-Indian helps him to overcome the cultural and linguistic barriers.”
The movie is expected to release on August 8. “Only if post-production works get delayed, will there be change in dates but surely it will release by August end,” adds SRK.
It is for the first time that Shahrukh is joining hands with Rohit Shetty, the man behind the Golmaal series, Hindi Singham and Bol Bachchan. Sharing his experience with Rohit, he says, “It was fantastic to work with a director who is diligent and makes his actors too work hard with him. And bringing out a humourous commercial flick that is not filled with cheap comedies is hard. He makes movies that can be enjoyed equally by both family and youngsters. He is sweet and considerate...welcoming and flexible on ideas. It is sure we will miss all this fun once the shoot for the film gets over.”
In the film elegant and gorgeous looking Deepika Padukone is donning the role of a pukka South-Indian girl. Being born and brought up in Bangalore, she is elated to play the character. “Finally I’m glad that somebody from the industry has made use of my South-Indian lineage. I am playing a character of a South-Indian girl and have acted out as South-Indian as possible. In order to be fit for the character, I have tried changing my body language, accent that I speak in the film and other small things. I am proud of the fact that my parents brought me up in South-India because that’s why I am standing here with Chennai Express,” says Deepika who was clad in a sheer black halter neck dress and t-strap sandals.
Incidentally this is not for the first time Shahrukh is visiting Kerala. He recollects his visits to Alleppey, Thekkady and Kozhikode. “I remember the days of the shooting for a song in Dil Se, where I had no costumes and had to wear Manisha’s sari instead. One thing that I love about Kerala is its oil massages with not so covering dress,” says SRK gaily. “Also once Mohanlalji took me on a boat and when we came under a bridge I saw hundreds cheering us...I found huge amount of love here. And recently I discovered that there is a fan club for me here. And its all the more surprising to find that the members are not youngsters but seniors who see me like a son,” he adds.
When asked whether he would like to associate with Mollywood industry, he says, “Malayalam films are known for their content and it is a big honour to work here but unfortunately I do not know Malayalam. And the only two words I know are peru (name) and vayasu (age). If there is a role which needs to speak only these two words then count me in for it,” says Shahrukh.
Asked about his recent announcement on the appearance of his film’s leading lady’s name first, he says, “Almost all my heroines are taller than me so their names should come first in the titles. But jokes apart, initially the idea of having the heroine’s name first was just a thought. I know it’s not going to change the world and is not a movement. But why not? Even at award functions, why is best actor first and not best actress? It’s a belief; you have to believe and think they’re equal, than just talk about it. When I’m producing a film, the actresses name will definitely come first and I’m sure people will never really mind. And in America they address female lead as actor not actresses,” he says.
Both Shahrukh and Deepika sounds excited when they they speak about the food of Kerala, the most loved aspect of the state. “I love Kerala food and my catering department is Deepika,” says Shahrukh. “I love Kerala food and every time I like to taste something new from the Kerala cuisine. And among the spread fish molly and appam are our favourite,” Deepika adds.