June 7, 2001,
The changing face of Shahrukh Khan
“Male models yet to gain recognition”
The changing face of Shahrukh Khan
HE started out playing the monkey god, Hanuman, in street plays as a child. When he grew up, he was seen performing on the professional stage at Delhi. Next, he became a TV star with serials like ‘Circus’ and ‘Fauji’ making him a household name.
On big screen also, Shahrukh Khan has gone through a process of metamorphosis. Beginning with negative roles in films like ‘Baazigar’ and ‘Darr’, he moved to doing comedy (‘Chamatkar’, ‘Yes Boss’...) and eventually settled down to playing the run-of-the-mill romantic hero.
Critics have often accused Shahrukh of being constrained by "five set expressions" and yet, he has been able to outshine much more talented and better-looking actors in Mumbai. What is more, in less than a decade, he has grown from a successful star to a major producer, with films like ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’, ‘Asoka the Great’ and now, ‘Devdas’ under his belt.
"I am no longer the guy who came to Mumbai in search of work nine years ago," conceded the star in a widely televised talk show recently. "I was brash and impulsive, ready to take my chances then. Today, I have responsibilities. I need to weigh my options and pick the guys my size. I know I am very big!"
Funnily enough, Shahrukh’s fans have detected changes in his sartorial tastes through various phases of his career. Initially, in films like ‘Dil Aashna Hai’, ‘Deewana’ and ‘King Uncle’, it was sheer energy that took him through, despite his dishevelled hair, baggy trousers and very often, ill-fitting T-shirts.
"When we first met, I remember he had this uncombed hair and a loose gait, wearing a shapeless white shirt and faded blue jeans," recalls old friend and producer Viveck Vaswani. "He looked extremely casual about his clothes. He would wear just about anything anyone gave him, except organzas."
The success of ‘Baazigar’ made Shahrukh consider creating an image for himself, resulting in those ghastly padded-shouldered suits worn without a shirt in ‘Ram Jaane’. In fact, so popular was this look that he repeated it in that eminently forgettable ‘English Babu Desi Mem’, only that now he also wore a vest.
The next transformation came with ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, his first film as a romantic hero. Fashion designer Manish Malhotra stepped in to give him an unforgettable look, matching hand-picked clothes with accessories. The pendants Shahrukh wore with black threads became a rage with college-going crowd.
‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ followed and those loose outfits were discarded in favour of body-hugging lycra T-shirts and perfect fit jeans. Remarks designer Shabina Khan, who made him that silver shirt for ‘Badshah’: "One can go wild with Shahrukh’s clothes, perhaps more than you could with Ajay Devgan or Salman Khan."
But with Karan Johar’s ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, Shahrukh had to turn younger and more vibrant in bright reds, blues, oranges and yellows. As he grew older in the second half of the film, he turned out in well-cut suits in pastel shades. "Few people can carry off a suit the way Shahrukh does", observes Malhotra.
By then, Shahrukh had become quite a clothes-horse. He became classier and even his hairstyle, for the first time, turned truly adventurous. For his production, ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’, he opted for a shorter and much neater crop than the floppy, unkempt hairstyle he had sported for years.
In his recent ‘Mohabbatein’, the teenybopper wardrobe was replaced by sophisticated white T-shirts and cotton shirts, worn with matching khakis and a sweater slung casually over the shoulders for added drama. Shahrukh himself consulted several men’s magazines and designers for the right effect.
And how, as he prances about with body-clinging polo necks in ‘One Two Ka Four’, the making of an androgynous Shahrukh Khan is obvious. Off-screen too, he has become highly self-conscious. He looks fair, prim and proper and projects a leaner frame, thanks to his current obsession for body sculpting.
“Male models yet to gain recognition”
AS far as models go, Indian men are as good as their female counterparts, but have not got their fair share of recognition because contests for male models are not given the footage that female beauty contests get, says Rajat Raina, a well-known model who became an overnight sensation after the success of ‘Kuki Kuki’, a video based on Bali Brahmbhatt's music album.
"Beauty contests like Femina Miss India groom participants right from the first stage and are on a par with any international beauty contest, which rarely happens in the case of contests for men," says Rajat who was in the city to participate in a fashion show organised by Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology at SAS Nagar.
Rajat who is well-known in the world of modelling, has a string of prestigious assignments to his credit, from Woodlands to Pepsi to Allen Solly to Gold Flakes. Armed with a diploma in video editing from Switzerland, Rajat is all set to try his luck with video albums, both behind the camera as well in front of it.
"One always has to diversify line as modelling as a career has a short life-span," says Rajat. "You might have a good physique and great face but when it comes to bagging modelling assignments, it depends on whether your looks suits the product or not," he adds.
This good-looking Gemini from Delhi is a health freak who spends most of his time in the gym. How does he pass his time when he is not walking the ramps or pumping the irons? "Playing computer games," he replies.
"I like to take life as it comes," says Rajat. "Working in the movies is a distant possibility but right now I am satisfied doing ramp shows and commercials," he adds. Though Rajat finds doing commercials financially more rewarding, it is the ramp which holds more appeal for him.
"Fashion shows give you a chance to be in direct touch with the audience which is a short-cut to fame," says Rajat. "Though models are puppets in the hands of the choreographer, facing a large audience is itself quite challenging. Besides one gets instant feedback during these shows," he adds.
Rajat feels that anyone aspiring to be a model should first complete his studies as a career in modelling is short lived and unpredictable. "Luck plays a major role in this profession. You have to be at the right place at the right time to be successful here," he adds.
Down the drain...nearly
Mustachioed heart-throb Omar Sharif landed in troubled waters recently during the shooting of an untitled film in New York. The 67-year-old actor miraculously escaped drowning in a scene where 1,50,000 gallons of water were used to recreate the sewers of Paris. Sharif gasped for air as water rushed into his lungs, all the time waving frantically for help. For a couple of minutes the cameras continued rolling, with the crew thinking he was turning in an Oscar-winning performance! But suddenly the chilling truth dawned as the Egyptian-born performer’s reflexes began weakening and he started losing buoyancy. When he was finally bailed out Sharif was barely conscious and had to be rushed to the hospital from where he was discharged after a couple of hours. Later he told friends: "When I saw the rushes I realised it looked like one hell of a good piece of acting. The kind I hadn’t done since my ‘Lawrence Of Arabia’ days!"
Guess who’s the richest guy in Hollywood. According to the grapevine, it’s Jack Nicholson, the malevolent Joker of ‘Batman’. Proof of this was at hand recently when he bought a 5,000-acre ranch in Oregon where he plans to spend his old age. The ranch has two four-bedroom bungalows, two swimming pools, four lakes and a nine-hole golf course plus 10 guesthouses. The cost of this sprawling property? Fifty million dollars! Confides an old friend: "Considering his fortune, this is just loose change!"
Art from the heart
As a virtually unknown star in ‘Steel Magnolias’, Julia Roberts set the screen ablaze and won an Oscar nomination in 1989. A year later she went one up with her stunning role in ‘Pretty Woman’ which got her another nomination. And this year ‘Erin Brockovich’ got her the coveted Oscar. In any role she does, Julia manages to put her character on an emotional rollercoaster — bathtub bubbly one minute, downcast the next. When she did the role of a street hooker in ‘Pretty Woman’ for weeks she prowled the streets of Los Angeles’ sleazy red-light areas in a tight mini skirt and skimpy top which hid just her bare essentials. For ‘Erin Brockovich’ she shacked up with the real Erin Brockovich to get to know the person she was enacting. "Believe me it’s like doing a doctorate. You have to get into the skin of the character and have to get every nuance and every expression right." Which is why the Oscar committee stands up and takes note where Julia Roberts is concerned.
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |