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Tiger Zinda Hai, which releases this Friday, is a sequel to his hit espionage thriller Ek Tha Tiger. It has all the ingredients that go into a Dabangg Khan film — high-octane action sequences, romance, and emotion. Most importantly, the movie brings him back in his macho larger-than-life avatar, which is much-needed after his previous outing as the slow-witted man-child in Tubelight failed. Now, Salman vows that he is done with different kind of cinema. Interestingly, all his forthcoming films are sequels of tried-and-tested hits. Excerpts from our chat with the one-man industry...

Why did it take so long to come up with a sequel to Ek Tha Tiger?
The recall value of Ek Tha Tiger (ETT), Dabangg, and Wanted is so strong that it is easy to pull off a sequel, but that’s only if your script is better than the first one. Sequels should not be like proposals; they should have something definitive to convey. Until such time, you should not touch it. The sequel of ETT has taken five years, though it could have been made earlier. It’s not as if there were four-five scripts (and nothing happened), they came up with only one script and that was it. The first thing I heard about the sequel was its title. When they told me it was going to be called Tiger Zinda Hai (TZH), I said done!

Kabir Khan directed ETT, but Ali Abbas Zafar is helming TZH...
(Cuts in) Yes, the first thing I told Ali was that Kabir had invested a year-and-a-half and given two-and-a-half hours screen time to Ek Tha Tiger. He had set the characters so well — Tiger, Zoya, and Chinoy. All Ali had to do was to take it to the next level. He had to not only make a film completely different from Sultan, but also make Tiger bigger. I told him ‘you have to get the plot right, the mission right, everything else — romance, gaane-waane ho jayenge’. Everything has to be there and on a larger scale. He said, he has the best plot ever and everything fell into place.

You are reuniting with Katrina Kaif five years after Ek Tha Tiger. How is it working with her now?
Katrina is the most hard-working girl that I have come across. She is sincere, dedicated and sharp. Sometimes people are so beautiful that you don’t give them credit for their work. That’s what has happened with Katrina. Her beauty takes away from her work. While, sometimes with those who are not so great looking, you say, ‘kya kaam kiya hai’. People who are really good looking on screen, you say star hai.  For this film, I don’t see anyone other than Katrina fitting in. She trained for her action sequences for four hours every single day.

Your last release Tubelight in which you played a man-child did not do well. Looks like your fans don’t appreciate you moving away from your image...
Yes, I got to know that in the last film. But I have known this earlier because of Kyun Ki and Tere Naam. However, when the script of this film (Tubelight) came to me, this was my reading of the film — I thought times have changed. People want to see me in something different — they say ‘you take your stardom seriously’. Now, I have realised that my fans want to see me in the same kind of cinema that I have been doing. So, that is exactly what they are going to get. Starting with Tiger Zinda Hai, Bharat, Race 3, Dabangg 3 and the Kick sequel, I will give my fans exactly what they expect of me. Frankly, even I like doing these kind of films. In fact, I like watching these kind of films. Films like Tubelight, I can watch on TV — badi emotional hai ruladeti hai. Main kyun jaaon theatre rone ke liye? Emotions will always be there — our films don’t work without them. But if the entire film is so emotional ki theatre ke bahar nikalte hi your eyes are swollen, I wouldn’t want to go there.

But Tere Naam did well..
Yes, the first half did well because the character was superb. So, they tried Kyun Ki after that, but I told them there was no emotion in this, ‘You are making a depressing film’, and that’s what happened. Similarly after Bajrangi Bhaijaan, they thought we should do something with emotions and Tubelight happened jaha pe bhai peet rahe hai. Woh accha nahi laga fans ko. But when you see these films on TV, you will like them. When Andaz Apna Apna released it didn’t do well, but when it is shown on TV nobody changes the channel, same thing with Hello Brother. These films still get high TRPS on TV. When you see Tubelight at home you will love it.

What went wrong with Tubelight according to you?
The release date was not right. On a festive release date (Eid) you should give a festive film only, and not make people cry in the theatre. My fans were trying to find moments where they can celebrate, throw coins and do dhamaal masti. But they didn’t get that! The film did well, but in my standards it was a disaster. Meri dua hai ke har ek ki aisi disaster ho!

Do you feel you can find a middle path and do films like Dear Zindagi and Secret Superstar where Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan respectively had small but strong roles?
I have not gotten any film like that. Earlier, in some films I have done guest appearance and all, but it didn’t work. My take on this is when the audience is spending Rs 650 or Rs 950 on a ticket, they should get to see what they are going to see. If the whole publicity is going to be in my name, and I am there only for 25 minutes, it doesn’t make any sense to me. If I am in a film I should be there the way people expect me to, otherwise don’t publicise it as my film!

You were to co-produce Kesari with Karan Johar, but you backed out. Why?
Karan has his home production and I have mine. He had come to me long back with the project, but he did all the work from casting to everything. I thought just adding my name was not right.

There are reports that your brother Sohail Khan wants to make a sequel to Partner. Is that happening?
I am not aware of it. We did talk about it some time ago, though. However, Sohail and I are working on another film, Sher Khan, next year. I have started working a little harder and more than I was earlier, now. Fans want to see more of you. Usually I do two films a year, plus I am seen on TV where they get to see their star free of cost hosting shows.

Will you be hosting 10 Ka Dum next year?
Yes. That’s where they will get to see the real me.

What about Bigg Boss. Will you be hosting that also?
There will be 10 Ka Dum, then Bigg Boss, then 10 Ka Dum (laughs).

Comedies are doing well lately, Golmaal Again was a huge hit. Will we see you doing a comedy any time soon?
Yes, the genre is doing very well and I would love to do a comedy, something like Ready. A family comedy where Anees Bazmee meets Sooraj Barjatya!
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in Movies by All Time best! (302k points)

10 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer

Man i had goosebumps reading the line
I thought times have changed. People want to see me in something different — they say ‘you take your stardom seriously’. Now, I have realised that my fans want to see me in the same kind of cinema that I have been doing. So, that is exactly what they are going to get. Starting with Tiger Zinda Hai, Bharat, Race 3, Dabangg 3 and the Kick sequel, I will give my fans exactly what they expect of me.
He won't repeat the tubelight mistake again but
The only doubt here is bharat

by Executive Producer (67.6k points)
selected by

Agreed everybody loved bajrangi which isn't a typical salman film still its his highest grosser
So audience want something new but that new shouldn't be tubelight


He didn't mean same action image. He meant larger than life where his fans can celebrate him on screen. Even Bajrangi Bhaijaan offered enough such moments including his intro.

Tubelight didn't had any of it. Even his intro was way too subtle when audience want that thrilling experience when Salman appears on the screen for the first time.

This is where Ali understood the pulse of the audience. Sultan's intro was as expected. Even Kabir perfectly got it executed in both ETT & BB, sadly that slow-motion horse riding with Sohail immediately followed by Naach Meri Jaan was extremely subtle for the fans & audience. Jai Ho was the thanda intro of Salman before Tubelight coz even Ready had the hit Character Dheela song. When you give the audience that thrilling intro back to back since 2010, Tubelight was bound to face that instant no no.

Atleast Salman did Tubelight. Whatever be the box office verdict.


@ssk...."He won't repeat the tubelight mistake again but
The only doubt here is bharat"

tubelight didnt work ... the only reason was..... salman khan played the same role he played in kyun ki.... which again... didn't work... while both movies were not bad.

bharat.... is larger than life movie.... it is same movie which bajrangi bhaijaan was.... only thing diffrerent is... salman khan's character won't be naive ... like bajrangi bhaijaan's character....

@roman.... it will have war scenes , stamped scenes, evacuation scenes, chaos scenes.... that kind of action.... it will not be any hand to hand combat... no scene in the movie will be like that...

@ssk ..... bharat is something bollywood used to make in 60s, and 70s..... this kind of cinema is lost..... like with mother india (bharat will have shit load of same elements like that movie ... mother india.... struggle of family,, survival...rejection from society .... no food... no guardian.... ) and other similar movies.... rooted. its potential is unprecedented.... if made well ..its potential will dwarf bajrangi bhaijaan.


@Nova thnx for clearing my doubts mate
Now i have great hopes from bharat

+3 votes

That’s the biggest reason of his success. He listens to his fans. SRK and HR both are guilty of ignoring their fans. TZH looks to be a treat for fans and neutrals alike

by Mega Star (226k points)
+2 votes

accept where you went wrong and learn from it.

SRK has a thing or two to understand from this interview.

by Assistant Director (53.9k points)
+2 votes

SRK - I will give my fans and audience everything except what they want..!!

by All Time best! (269k points)

CE was south type, not bhojpuri type :D :D

"Tandoori murgi hun yaar, gatka le saiyaan alcohol se" these are bhojpuri type lyrics, no points guessing from which movie these are from..!!


"Shawty I'm gonna getcha
You know I'm gonna getcha
Maybe I'll even letcha
Be my chamak chamak chalo"....these are nothing less than Tandoori murgi


Really..?? I mean really..?? :D :D not even close

BTW i would never defend if any song has lyrics like "Laundiya pataenge missed call se"


Logo ne pasand kiya, film mega blockbuster hai. Fir aapko itna taqleef kyu hai?

+1 vote

This is what I like about Salman as he knows his audience and works according to that.

by Production Accountant (27.5k points)
+1 vote

This is a damn good interview. The good thing is he takes his fans seriously & that's the biggest reason for his success.

by Camera Operator (8.4k points)
+1 vote

I think he is oversimplifying a bit here. Yes, TB didn't work, but I think it has more to do with the movie being bad than anything else. Yes, his fans want to see him in macho roles, but that doesn't mean they will not accept in anything else. Presented in a good way, audience will accept anything.

If it was just about macho roles then Jai Ho would have done a lot more, right? But the movie wasn't good, so it didn't do well.

The key to actually realising the issue is first of all accepting that the movie wasn't good. Are there some redeeming parts to it? Yes. But is it actually a good movie? No. It's a meandering, poorly executed movie that had potential, but ultimately failed. If he just accepts that TB wasn't good, then he is really on to the problem, and thus he could try to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

by Editor (82.0k points)
edited by
0 votes

These things are crystal clear from his interview
1- He won't do small scale movies or supporting roles like Srk and aamir did DZ and SS respectively
2- Bharat will be more like of Bajrangi bhaijaan with humour and action
3- He knows his high standards That's y calling Tubelight a disaster by his standard
4- He will not let any body to take him for granted from now onward
5- He knows what his fans exactly want from him

by Unit Manager (37.1k points)
–1 vote

We fans will also let you not go easily and continue to accept you till our last breath

by Producer (114k points)
–2 votes

Macho image hai to fans dekhane aayenge watna than than gopal.

Now Salman himself saying that. That means Salman is more dependent on specific type of character.

People were saying that Aamir is more dependent on content, but he has given ATBB with

Ghajini(Action, Mental disorder),
Dhoom 3(Action, and naive character),
3 idiots(Non macho, college student @ age of 45),
PK(again naive character)
Dangal(Macho but old age person)

Salman ko BB mein bhi action scene dalna padta hai jabki koi jaroorat nahi hai story ke hisab se.

He also said

I have not gotten any film like that. Earlier, in some films I have done guest appearance and all, but it didn’t work.

It means with small movie he failed more than SRK and Aamir, means fans his abandoned him faster than SRK and Aamir's fans. It means that SRK and Aamir fans are ready to pay large amount even for their small movies but Salman fans will not.

Let me know which was last Salman blockbuster which didn't have action scene ?

by Production Designer (12.0k points)
edited by

salman khan's specific roles range cover more range than aamir khan's versatility haha

aamir khan is life main kya 1000 life main bhe dabangg nahe kar sakta.....
aur ye jo genre tu nay invent kiye hain .... they are nothing more than convenience......

remind me again... how greatly aamir khan got accepted in his over the top character of Secret superstar.... ???


Look at Salman's blockbusters in different genres....
MPK - love story
Saajan - Musical
HAHK - Family drama
KA - Action
Dabang - Masala
Ready - Comedy
ETT - Action thriller
BB - Social Drama
Sultan - Sport.

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