He is unbreakable, he is super-macho and he can take on an army of goons and still come out unscathed. But guess what? Salman Khan is as vulnerable as anybody else, when wearing a langot, at least! That’s what the star of Yash Raj Films’ Sultan confessed at the trailer launch of the film on Tuesday. Khan was in a happy mood at the event, held at Reliance MediaWorks in Film City. Joined by the film’s leading lady Anushka Sharma and director Ali Abbas Zafar, he fielded questions from the media and shared some anecdotes from the film’s shoot. Here’s what the film’s team had to say:
Salman Khan on most difficult task
The most difficult part was wearing a langot! Now I understand what actresses go through when they have to wear a swimsuit. When I was told I had to wear alangot, I thought, ‘I can do that.’ But when I arrived for the shoot, there was a 5,000-strong crowd and I was like, ‘No way am I doing this!’ While I was walking out of the vanity van, I was in tears… I felt violated. I had never been ashamed to remove my shirt but this was the most difficult thing and thank God, people got used to it.
Salman Khan on expectations from Sultan
As actors, we gave our best and I hope this is the biggest hit of our lives. Ali has given his life for this film. If this works, it would be great and if it doesn’t, I will move on with my next film but Ali has Yash Raj with him, they will not leave him.
Salman Khan on challenges
I am struggling with myself all the time as I constantly try to up my standards. I don’t have the time to look back and I try and take baby steps. I am trying to eliminate my mistakes and building on my strengths.
Salman Khan on shooting in real locations
It is always better to shoot at real locations. Regardless of how good a set is, it is never the same as shooting at a real location. But it is also difficult to shoot at real locations… you need lots of police security and other factors too have to be considered.
Salman Khan on Ali Abbas Zafar
When Ali narrated the story to me, I thought I could do it but when we started shooting, I had real wrestlers, not fighters, opposite me. Most of the shots in the film are real including those with the wrestlers and mixed marital arts, and there are no cables. When they lift you and put you back on the ground, it used to hurt as they weigh 120-130 kilos so that was the most difficult part. A wrestler trains for 2-3 hours in the morning and another 2-3 hours in the evening. Then, there was training for MMA, and 6-7 hours of shooting every day, non-stop, fighting non-stop. All this took a toll.
Salman Khan on his character
He (Sultan) is a simple man who has no ambition but he falls in love with a feisty girl, who is also a wrestler. He is a nobody but he believes he will be happy when he marries her. That doesn’t happen because she is very head-strong. She then misunderstands him after which the film is all about Sultan… how he goes downhill and then how he comes back with the help of the woman he loves. Sultan is about how the woman he loves is responsible for making him, then breaking him and eventually it is because of her that he starts making it big in life again.
Anushka Sharma on her role
When Adi (Aditya Chopra) offered me the role, I was a little doubtful and I asked him whether I could really play a wrestler, given my weight. But he said he thought I could do it. When I met Ali, I learnt so much about wrestling and I realised that there are various categories, even weight categories. That’s how I was chosen. I learnt the art and did all my stunts myself. I told Ali I didn’t want a body double. Since I had learnt so much about wrestling, I preferred doing it all by myself.
Anushka Sharma on working with Salman Khan
Salman is such a refreshing person to work with. He is unfazed by what is happening around him. When you work with a person like him, you feel refreshed. He is blessed to have so many people around him who love him. For wrestling, you cannot use wires and cables. It’s very real as it is a contact sport. Hats off to him for doing this film at this point in his career. He’s always pushing himself so that’s amazing and I respect that a lot.
Ali Abbas Zafar on the film
When I wrote the script, I told Adi that I wanted no one but Salman to do the film because only he could do justice to it. As soon as he agreed, we started working on the pre-production and finished the shoot. As for Anushka, she is a brilliant performer and is outstanding in this film.