Rajkumar Santoshi and Salman Khan have a special bond. While the duo have worked together in the 1994 cult comedy, Andaaz Apna Apna, Salman has done a guest appearance for his ‘Raj Ji’ in two films – the Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif starrer Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani and the Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D’Cruz fronted Phata Poster Nikhla Hero. In 2016, Rajkumar Santoshi was in talks with Salman for 2 films, an original rooted entertainer tentatively titled Daanveer and also the official adaptation of An Ode To My Father, which eventually was made by Ali Abbas Zafar as Bharat. In an exclusive candid chat with Pinkvilla, Rajkumar Santoshi opened up about his bond with Salman Khan.
Salman Khan will stand by the side of every person in need
The director goes ahead to add that Salman can blend himself into any genre. “He can do Andaaz Apna Apna and even Lahore: 1947. But he often get’s stuck in his image. I don’t want Salman to be Salman, I want him to be the character. Like in Andaaz Apna Apna, we find Prem in it and not Salman. That’s my attempt. Even when I made film with Sunny Deol, he was the character and not himself,” Rajkumar Santoshi explains. The filmmaker, known for classics like Ghayal, Khakhee, Ghatak, Damini, Legend of Bhagat Singh and Andaaz Apna Apna to name some, however admits that being a superstar comes with own set of challenges.
Salman Khan should not be Salman Khan in all films
“He is a superstar, but he should not be Salman Khan in all films. Look at Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Sultan and Tere Naam. He often scores big when he plays a character. Yes, maintaining an image is important but he has the Tiger Franchise for that. Now, I wish he does some subjects which challenge the actor in him,” he admits. Being close to Salman, is Rajkumar Santoshi planning to make a feature film with him anytime soon? He answers, “I have discussed 2-3 ideas with Salman and will take them forward at the right time. My family is a Salman Khan loyalist and every day, they remind me to meet Salman and make a film with him. Salman often meets me with so much love. I am ready to make a film with him and just waiting to get a go ahead. I look forward to make a very good film with Saman Khan.”
Salman aside, Rajkumar Santoshi is also in talks for a film with Aamir Khan. “Aamir is a very good friend of mine and I really respect him as an actor and a person. He sticks to the roots and really likes me. There’s a story, there’s a subject which I have developed for Aamir. I was going to meet him around the time of Laal Singh Chaddha release, but he has announced a break right now. I will narrate him the story when we meet and try to end his break. I will try and get him back on the film set soon,” he says.
Watch the full interview with Rajkumar Santoshi below, as we discussed his soon to be released Gandhi Godse, the drawbacks of Hindi film industry in today’s time and his 8 year break from direction. Watch this insightful conversation below: