The Indian film industry’s undeniable superstar, Shah Rukh Khan, engaged with audiences during an intimate discussion at the World Governments Summit 2024 in Dubai, where he shared his personal and professional journeys with celebrated journalist Richard Quest. The actor, famous not only for his unrivalled charisma but also his dedication to the craft, disclosed a unique pre-release ritual that exemplifies his connection to his work—an elaborate two-hour bath taken every Thursday before a film’s release.

Shah Rukh’s revelations shone a light on the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies a film’s entrance into the cinematic world, underscoring the unpredictability that even seasoned artists like him cannot escape. “Why do I wake up in the morning and start doing it all over again?” Shah Rukh pondered, reflecting on the unpredictability of box office successes and failures. The dichotomy of creating a film believed to be groundbreaking, only to be met with disappointment after release—or vice versa—is an inherent part of the filmmaking process for Khan.

“This Thursday evening ritual,” he noted smilingly, “is how I cleanse myself of all the creativity, effort, and emotion that has gone into the making of the film. It’s a purifying experience, a preparation to face whatever the next day brings.”

The conversation moved beyond rituals to encompass the ethos of perseverance and resilience that defines Shah Rukh Khan’s approach to his career. Whether reacting to the euphoria of a hit or the despondence of a flop, Khan’s philosophy remains unaltered: “Mondays are for trying to make better films always.” This perseverance not only illustrates his relentless commitment to his art but also to his audience, whom he credits with his unwavering motivation.

When Richard Quest playfully inquired if money was of no concern to the superstar, Khan responded with characteristic wit, “I need it. The bathing oils are expensive,” eliciting laughter from the audience.

The actor, whose name is synonymous with the Indian film industry across continents, also touched upon the topic of Hollywood offers—or the lack thereof. Despite his massive fame, he confessed that work from the West had never come his way. “Nobody believes me, but nobody has offered me any crossover work of substance,” he remarked candidly. Even ‘Slumdog Millionaire,’ which became an international sensation, was a project he chose to pass on, feeling the portrayal of the game show host didn’t align with his ongoing television role at the time.

As the session continued, Shah Rukh Khan delved deeper into his views on the allure of Hollywood. With humorous honesty, he admitted to enjoying conversations with notable figures from the American and English film industries, yet maintained that his primary duty lay in satisfying the audience that embraced him. The actor conveyed a sense of contentment with his accomplishments within Bollywood and an understanding of the unique connection he shares with his fans.

Refusing to spread himself too thin in pursuit of international acclaim, Khan’s priority remains anchored in his homeland—continuously striving to fulfill and surpass the expectations of the viewers who have supported his journey.

The address by Khan wasn’t just a recount of his superstardom but a candid exploration of an artist’s introspection, struggles, triumphs, and grounded philosophy, despite the dizzying heights of fame. His conversation at the World Governments Summit 2024 further cemented his status not just as a film icon, but also as a thinker with valuable insights on resilience, dedication, and the art of facing life’s unpredictable tides with a smile and a dash of humor.

By IPL Agent

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