|• Let’s start with your favourite decade, the 1970s. In 1970 you came from this extremely rich family and by 1971, they were paupers. How did this happen?
I was five years old in 1970 when my dad (actor-producer Kamran Khan) had a spate of hits. The films were not A-grade movies but he was doing very well in his own right. I remember we had the first Impala car. Sajid had just been born and I was this absolutely spoilt child. Then in 1971 he made a film called Aisa Bhi Hota Hai into which he put all his personal money and the film bombed on the opening Friday. I remember it because I had gone to the theatre on Friday very excitedly with my grandmother and the theatre was empty. By Monday people stopped coming to our house. It was like a funeral. Our house usually used to be full of people. But by Monday, it was empty. And then there were bad times for 15 years till 1985, when he died. It was a very hard time, especially for him.
• What are the good things you remember?
There are too many! I remember that everyday I had to go and buy a new record, by which I mean EPs or LPs. I was a spoilt child, so everyday, I was taken in the Impala car to Linking road, where there was this shop Twist and I would buy one. There used to be big parties in our house. Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra, Kalyanji bhai, Anandji bhai and people like that would attend.
• And the bad times?
The bad times lasted longer than the good times. And also I was much older then. I know it sounds very filmi, but like you saw in the 1970s’ films that things are being sold from the house… it was literally like that. The one time I was really upset was when my gramophone had to be sold. But that had to be done because there was no source of income. My father was a very proud man. The Impala was sold and he obviously wouldn’t travel by bus to go anywhere. So he would just be home, and then he started drinking. I think those were really bad times.
• Does your confidence stem from an ‘I will show the world’ attitude?
No, I don’t think so. I was not an angry, bitter person, but Sajid was. He had a very difficult time. He is five years younger than me and unfortunately he had been put in a very posh school. I went to a normal convent school but he was in a very posh school and being the poor child there was not helping. He used to be this very angry child and at one time we really thought that he was going to be a juvenile delinquent. So I am really very proud of what he does right now and he has really made something of his life. He used to go around scratching people’s cars saying ‘I don’t have a car so I will destroy this car’. He was really like this devil child. I didn’t grow up to be bitter. It was just something I had to cope with and look after Sajid too after my mom started working. Suddenly I was the responsible person of the house. By that time my mom had left my father.
I am still very insecure if I have not made a particular amount of money in a month. After a point, our house was run day-to-day. The people in our building would use our flat to play cards in. They would remove a kitty, and it would be some 30 bucks for the entire day. And that would be used to buy the milk and the grocery. And if for some reason they didn’t play that day, then those 30 bucks were not there. I remember we used to run the house on 30 bucks a day.
If all this had not happened to me I would not be who I am today. Maybe I would not have that determination to do something and be something in life. I remember in college I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I wanted to be somebody. There had to be something different about me. So I would probably go out of my way to make friends and please people. Maybe I took to dance because it made me feel special. I would go to a party or a social event and do my Michael Jackson moves and everybody would look at me. And I used to like that attention.
Salman Khan’s baby picture as revealed in one of the episodes of Farah Khan’s new show
• How has all this experience and wisdom helped you in the show?
When I was approached to do the show I knew it had to be a slice of life show. And it could not have been just another show where the stars come and plug their films or say all sorts of things that they themselves don’t believe in. It had to be something about their lives and which is very personal to them, something that nobody knows about them. Like do you know that the sexy glamourous Bipasha is the ghar ka beta. Some of her childhood experiences are quite amazing and she had tears in her eyes when she was speaking about it.
• Having said that, tell me something about you that nobody knows.
(Laughs) There are a lot of things that nobody knows and shouldn’t even know! I am a very domesticated housewife at heart. I listen to what my husband tells me. Not all the time, but I do respect what he says. Everyone thinks that I am this dominating creature and my poor husband must be henpecked but it’s completely the opposite. Whatever he says happens in the house, and how! I go outside and I shout and scream at people, but not in the house. In the house I’m a bheegi billi.
• Give me an example of one thing he has said…
Just the fact that he said our children should never be publicised; I respect that and I haven’t, despite having gotten so many opportunities to be on covers of magazines and papers. But because he is not comfortable with it, it will not happen. Till he says it’s okay to do it.
• Is SRK the most important man in your life?
He is one of the most important people in my life, regardless of man or woman. I think when you have babies; no one else stands a chance, not even the husband. The most important people in my life right now are Diva, Anya and Czar, then of course Shirish, Shah Rukh, Sajid.
• How has Shirish (Kunder) influenced your style of filmmaking?
I have become far more aesthetic. Even in editing. He is far more a visual director than I can ever hope to be. I am little boring on that front, I am a little straightforward.
Jaanemann was far ahead of its time. I think if it would release today, the audience would be ready for it. Like a Kaminey today that you either love or hate. There is a certain audience today that has seen world cinema and is ready for this new age cinema. I think the story was a bit old fashioned but it was presented in a snazzy way. He learnt a lot from it. His new scripts are just fabulous. The way he thinks of constructing a scene is something I can’t think of. He just thinks out of the box.
• You share a home and three kids, how much of your movies do you share.
Quite a lot. We are each others bouncing boards. Though some times my movies go over his head and he says, “I can’t understand what you are doing.” He tells me, “When I read it I am like what the hell but you do it with confidence.” He gives me all his scripts to read. Our movies will never be alike which I think is very healthy if we are going to be in the same profession.
• Any surprises on the show?
Lots. I didn’t know that Hrithik still does one hour of speech exercises every day. He is afraid that the stammer will come back if he doesn’t do it. Or the things he went through as a child. As a 10-year-old boy he would sit in his room for 36 hours and practice one line to tell his cook, that I want to eat this, without stammering. You get goose bumps when you hear all this.