After a recent incident, some Mumbai photographers decided not to shoot you.
If somebody is going to create a ruckus, I am going to say, ‘Jao yahan se. Jinko nahi rehna, bahar jao (Go away…go out if you don’t want to be here). Don’t disturb.’ That is what it was.
Have you become guarded about what photographers capture on camera?Anything you say can be twisted. Someone will run pictures of me where I’m pointing at something, and run a story saying, ‘Yeh dekhiye Salman Khan ka gussa (Look, Salman’s getting angry).’ And I know these photos; where they are from. Another time, Sangeeta (Bijlani) and I were going for a film, and this photographer was following her. I said, ‘Chhod na, jaana hai andar (We’ve got to go inside).’ He only said, ‘Haan bhai.’ Later, someone ran those images and said, ‘Isne photographer ko dhakka mara (He pushed the photographer)’.
There is a perception that you’re intimidating.See, my eyes are very big. So even if I’m just looking at people straight, they think I’m angry. Then I do this (squints), and then they think I’m being mean… I can’t keep laughing all the time.
Okay, so maybe people think you’re always stern.
I give the most relaxed interviews. I let them ask me just about anything. Why are they [people] scared of me?
On a different note, are you excited about your upcoming film, Kick?I enjoy the process of film-making. But I don’t enjoy talking about it. I’ve done a film because I liked it. When I say it’s a kick-a** film, or that it’s the best film of my career, somebody is believing that… And when somebody sees the film, he might feel ‘Nahi yaar, woh jhoot bol raha tha (He was lying).’ I understand spreading awareness about the film, and the music, to make people aware the film is releasing on July 25 (Kick’s release date). But then, suddenly I feel I’m selling a film, I’m forcing people with my star power to go see it. I don’t like that.
Your line from the film, ‘dil mein aata hoon…’, seems to have caught on well.This is the way Sajid (Nadiadwala, director) thinks of me.
How was it working with Jacqueline Fernandez? Amazing. She’s got superb energy. She deserves every bit of success. She deserved this a long time ago. The press killed her, people killed her. They were mean to her... But she’s survived all that, and people are appreciating her. And I’ve always thought that she’s a really good girl; very talented and hard-working.
Since Kick is an action film, and you’ve done action scenes over the years, how much have you seen things change?
It has become larger-than-life, yet more believable. It’s at par with Hollywood films now. Earlier, we used to do a lot of [dangerous] stunts. We’ve jumped from three-storied buildings. There used to be three layers of beer boxes and, on that, there used to be a thick cushion. I used to think, ‘What if I miss the cushion?’ Sometimes, I even went through the box and hit the ground. I’ve even seen how stuntmen used to cut their face [on glass], get injured. Now, we have cables that we use to jump. They’ve made it safer.
When news came out that you’ve quit smoking, it got everyone talking.
When did I ever smoke? When did I ever drink? The way they talk about me drinking and stuff like that…you cannot be in this shape if you’re drinking. It’s common sense. You do enjoy a drink, but not like you’re getting smashed every night. You cannot, just cannot do it. I’ve got four pack [abs], straight, clean. And at this age,it’s the most difficult thing… Plus, I’m still looking for that guy who introduced me to smoking. I’ll tell you what, I used to have a problem with the photographers earlier as well. They used to take pictures of me smoking, and then show them to people. Aisa mat karo (don’t do this). That’s because the cigarette looks damn good in my hand…. See, it’s a habit that’s very hard to give up. I quit two-and-a-half years ago. I smoke once in a while, but it doesn’t come back to me. Thank god!