He’s the proverbial chocolate cream star next door who makes a million nubile hearts beat faster. Post the action thriller, Luck, Imran Khan returns to the big screen with Sonam Kapoor in I Hate Luv Storys (IHLS).
But he’s not taking a break just yet and is currently shooting in Mauritius with Deepika Padukone for Break Ke Baad. “I’m enjoying my schedule in Mauritius. I know the place like the back of my hand,” says the young actor in a telephonic interview with Hyderabad Times. Excerpts
Your fans seem to prefer seeing you in teeny bopper films ...
I’m aware of the fact that the success I received is due to that particular fan base who loved Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. As an actor you have to keep your fans happy and satisfied from time to time with such films. When they buy a movie ticket, I want them to feel I’m a good investment.
So is the actor in you creatively satisfied while you try to do movies to please the fans?
See, one can’t always do movies to please their fan base or do films solely for creative satisfaction. Right now, my career is in such a place that I absolutely need to find a balance between the two. I can’t possibly make films only for creative and intellectual satisfaction. I can make a home movie to satisfy that aspect of it. In the movie biz it’s important to do different stuff time and again. Post Jaane Tu ... I did Kidnap and Luck, unfortunately they didn’t work out. No problem. Now I’m doing something different again. I think I’m in the process of finding a balance.
Are you returning to a genre that’s in your comfort zone in your next films?
As an actor you don’t really look at comfort zones, because it’s your job to do something different every time. After Kidnap and Luck, I was physically and emotionally drained. They were heavy films. That’s when I decided on doing something which was fun and I signed IHLS. I play a cheeky character and the film overall is a cheeky one. But yes, I’m happy to be doing something which is light, breezy and fun.
You have mostly worked with young and new directors in all of your films
It’s not a conscious decision. It just happens that all my films have first-time directors or young filmmakers. But having worked with them, I’ve realised it’s so much fun. Our wavelengths match and our tastes and thought processes are the same. It makes the working relationship very smooth. When I do a film, I want to enjoy the process of film making. Having worked with Abbas (Tyrewala), Punit (Malhotra) or Soham, I have been able to do that and as young people, these directors push you creatively, which I think is great. It’s not like I don’t see myself working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali or Ashutosh Gowarikar. But there’s still time for that.
You come from the young crop of actors who have given Indian cinema a different look and dimension
The transformation takes place every once a while in Indian cinema. But the change is not just driven by one or two actors. There are so many young directors in the industry with fresh and novel ideas; there are producers who want to invest in films like these and actors who believe in the script. The industry has its watershed moments where new blood is pumped in. Shah Rukh, Aamir and Salman ushered in a different era in cinema. Now it’s happening with people like me, Ranbir (Kapoor) and Abhay (Deol).
Talking about Ranbir, seems like almost everyone from the industry wants to sign you guys together for a film.
When Ranbir and I hosted the Filmfare Awards in 2009, it was a huge hit. Everyone in the film industry was talking about it. Even the audience loved the pairing. I’m aware of the expectations that people have from the two of us. Keeping that in mind, we are looking at doing a film together only when we find the appropriate script. Unfortunately, right now there is nothing that excites us.
What about your pairing with your female co-stars? How conscious are you about that?
See, I don’t believe in the concept of jodis per se. For sometime now, unconventional pairing has worked well at the BO. But yes, I am conscious about who my co-star is to the extent that she suits the role and can act. That’s all.
How important is it to be known as a bankable star?
I think it’s extremely important, even for me. A producer pays the star his fee to guarantee an opening at the BO. Friday, Saturday and Sunday totally depends on the star. Monday onwards it’s the script that will take the film forward. So if the producer, director or even technician can earn well from the film, thanks to the star, then there is no beating you.
You’ve always been very open about your relationship with Avantika ...
Today, people don’t really care if an actor is in a relationship or not. Look at the top actors of our industry. SRK and Aamir have been married for the longest time and have kids as well, but the audience loves them. Hrithik Roshan is the sexiest man in Indian cinema and he too has been married for a long time. I don’t believe in hiding my relationship status.
So when’s the wedding?
Not this year for sure because I don’t have the time. My schedule is totally packed. Though Avantika and I haven’t locked in on a date as yet, but in all probability we’ll get married next year. See, I want to have the time in hand to enjoy my wedding and get involved in the whole preparation.