Megastar Shah Rukh Khan has regretted he is yet to receive a national film award while none of his movies has ever made it to events such as the Kolkata International Film Festival, which, however, showcased the trailer of the actor’s upcoming movie Zero at the opening ceremony on Saturday.
The hugely popular actor, addressing the opening ceremony at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, said he was invited to film festivals either to dance or say some nice words welcoming people, and not for any intellectual deliberations.
“I have done 70 films so far, but the only reason film festivals call me is either to dance or come and just speak about welcoming the delegates, and being nice to people, and not do anything intellectual.
“Reason for that is I am not very intelligent. And I am not very smart,” he said, in an apparently zestful tone while speaking at the opening ceremony of the country’s second oldest film festival attended by a crowd of over ten thousand.
However, SRK said, he has become “smarter” and more “intellectual” after getting to know Kolkata while spearheading the Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders for 12 years.
“And the 12 years that I have been in Kolkata with a cricket team, Kolkata Knight Riders, I am becoming smarter. And I am becoming much more intellectual, spending time in Bengal, with all the wonderful stalwarts of cinema, and all the people I keep meeting.
“So, maybe, in the next ten years, there will come a time, when one of my film will get selected for an international festival of this kind of rating. It’s really unfortunate and sad, I have never got a national award,” he said, soon after receiving a crystal trophy from the organisers of the KIFF.
“The only award is what I got today, that KIFF, that Mamatadi (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) so sweetly gave me. It’s a special crystal award,” he said, to a tumultuous applause, as Banerjee seemed visibly pleased.
Khan then sought Banerjee’s permission to “behave a little cheaply” and screen the trailer of Zero.
“So I want to seek Mamatadi’s permission and behave a little cheaply, if that’s all right, because if you have a younger brother like me, there is full freedom to behave as you wish to.
“So I know that none of my films will be ever, ever, ever, ever, ever played in a festival. They don’t deserve too, maybe. But I have got a trailer of my film Zero, so I want to request Mamatadi.”
The Bollywood Badsshah then switched to a cocktail of Bengali and Hindi.
“Mamatadi hamaar film to na bhalobasi, (Mamata di, my fllm may not be loved), accha nehin hai mera picture, mera picture festival me ayaege anhin, mere ko trailer dekhane ka permission hain, do tin minute, dekhaun? (my films are not good, my films will not be screened in festivals, can I have your permission to show the trailer for two-three minutes)?
The trailer was greeted with huge cheers and shouts of “Shah Rukh, Shah Rukh” from the film buffs.
SRK also playfully pulled Banerjee’s leg, by referring to Mumbai Film superstar Amitabh Bachchan – seated in the dais – being asked to inaugurate the festival year after year and deliver the keynote speech.
“Mamata di is extremely smart and beautiful. What she has done is she made sure that the biggest two jobs should be given to the great Mr Amitabh Bachchan, and myself.
“But the intelligent job of coming and talking here and making a point that makes the festival come alive, she has kept it to Mr Bachchan. And the tomfoolery she has left to me.
“The last time she told me, tum baas Bangla sikhke aa jao, do char line bolo, aur ghar chale jao (the last time she told me, you learn some Bengali, say two-three lines, and go home)”.