Salman and Shah Rukh speak about their Pathaan union
Almost 25 years ago, on Diwali day 1998, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, the latter in a prolonged special appearance, created box-office history with that year’s biggest hit, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.
And now, Yash Raj Films’ Pathaan is now a historic blockbuster, and audiences have loved how the YRF Spy Universe got two super-spies, Salman Khan as Tiger and Shah Rukh Khan as Pathaan, in the film!
The two Khans speak up for the first time about how thrilled they were to be back on screen, how Aditya Chopra floored them with the concept for their reunion to happen and how brilliantly Siddharth Anand directed and presented them.
Says Salman, “For Shah Rukh and I to come together on the big screen, it always needed a special film and I’m glad Pathaan is that film. When we did Karan Arjun too, it was a blockbuster and now, Pathaan, which is part of YRF’s Spy Universe, has also turned out to be a blockbuster. I’m aware that audiences love to see us together on screen and I’m happy that they have given us so much love in Pathaan. I was floored when Adi narrated the sequence to me and told me about his vision to bring us together on screen again.”
He adds, “His (Adi’s) intention was to play to the gallery and give our fans and audiences what they wanted to see from us. Given how closely Adi has known Shah Rukh and me, he truly managed to capture how we are as personalities in the scenes. This is why people have loved us as a team. Also the way Sidharth executed the sequence and presented us was just brilliant. I’m happy for Shah Rukh and YRF for all the records that Pathaan is achieving. It is a huge win for Indian cinema that we are able to bring people back to the theatres after the pandemic.”
Shah Rukh adds, “Trust me when I say this, Salman and I have always wanted to act together, but we were waiting for the right film and the right script, because we both knew that there would be incredible excitement to see us on screen. But we would have to deliver that promise to audiences because they love us so much. If not, they would have been mighty dejected and that wouldn’t have worked for the project. Matlab fans ka sawaal hai, chhoti script pe nahin chodh sakte types (It’s a matter of pleasing fans, so we cannot leave things to small scripts)!”
He adds, “So, when Adi told me about the idea to bring the two super spies from YRF’s Spy Universe, Tiger and Pathaan, to do some kickass action scenes together, which I’m hoping many people have seen by now, I instantly jumped at it because the idea was to deliver the promise of seeing Salman and I on the big screen. I’m delighted that people have loved seeing us together in Pathaan.”
He goes on, “I know it was a long wait for fans to see us like this on screen and I’m glad that we have delivered a film that they are thoroughly enjoying. Besides this, it’s too much fun with Bhai on sets. I had missed being with him on screen so it all turned out as it should…and that Tiger scarf I am keeping as a momento!”
Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan will soon be seen this Diwali in Tiger 3, with Pathaan in a cameo. And for the last 20-plus years, the two have been seen more often with one or the other in brief cameos.
SRK also had an extended special appearance in Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega in 2000, featuring Salman Khan. In SRK’s home production (another hit), Om Shanti Om, Salman had done a cameo as himself. The two then had a fallout, and after they patched up, they came together twice, in Salman’s home production Tubelight (with SRK in a cameo) and SRK’s home production, Zero (with Salman’s guest appearance).
The friendship between the two dates back to the early 1990s, when Salman was already a (new) star, while Shah Rukh Khan was struggling and stayed at the house of Salman’s father, writer Salim Khan, for a while.