The Chase is on Again in ‘Don 2’

Parimal M. Rohit: How would you characterize Don? Is he the anti-hero — the man we love to hate?

Shah Rukh Khan: I thought of Don as someone who comes from a dark space with a background that may not be very known or describable. Obviously it is an agitated or disturbed background. He’s not a hero; he’s a villain. To have a bad guy sequel — I don’t think it’s ever been done before.

PMR: Another thing that is rarely done is long hair flowing from your scalp. Tell us about your look in Don 2…

SRK: The long hair happened because … (of) where is Don five years later. He’s run away from the police. The tattoo … we just felt something on the shoulder is too (cliché). So we thought, what is something that he likes to hide? His identity when he is on the run.

PMR: So you have a bit of a bad boy thing going on. Give us some more insight on Don. What makes him so intriguing to warrant a return five years after the first film?

SRK: That’s one thing about Don. He’s immensely pompous. He speaks of himself in the third person. It’s quite sweetly self-obsessive. Don always likes to go back to danger. He always believes he can outwit Vardhaan (Mr. Irani). Somewhere he knows that Vardhaan is a transparent bad guy, predictably bad, that he’s going to try to kill (Don). I think (Don) enjoys the fact that Vardhaan thinks he is a step ahead of him, but Don knows that’s not possible.”

PMR: But what about Roma? What is your relationship like with her?

SRK: With Roma (Ms. Chopra), I think it has evolved a little bit into a love story. I think (Don) has a soft corner for her because he feels that somewhere she is someone who’s obviously after him…but I also think he feels there is a strange love story between them. He thinks of her as a wildcat wanting to attack and kill him, but somehow he can tame her. There is a strange, twisted love story between them.

PMR: Just like Ra.One, you also did your own stunts in this film. What is it like putting yourself through that? Was Don 2 hard on you?

SRK: At the end of the day, it’s very fast. The speed at which the action is done…is mostly at real time. And you have to be very fast with it. So, invariably, you get bumps and bruises. You have to kick people on the leg, you’re scared, you don’t have the control and you hit them hard. It’s very tiring and quite challenging. I’ve had my fill of action this year. You do bruise yourself and you come back home, and there are parts of your body that are paining that you didn’t know existed.

PMR: With the cold weather during portions of the shoot, was your ego hurt by having to wear a thermal?

SRK: I hate wearing thermals. I find them very unmanly. I tried to get some designer ones that look cool, but thermals don’t look cool. They look real awful.

PMR: What probably does not look awful is the cinematography of Don 2, especially with Farhan Akhtar at the helm. He took a very unique approach to the way this film both looks and sounds on the big screen, right?

SRK: Farhan is very keen that the album of Don should have one genre of music. I don’t know if it’s called funk disco, funk rock… I am not very good with music, but I know he has this very keen thing that the film music should not be a mix of songs. When we’ve come to Don 2, I think, more often than not, there was this feeling that, when the film is going on — because it’s kind of a heist film, it’s a thriller — will songs stop the film? So I think there is a whole effort here not to have too many set pieces in the film. I would say the music of Don is more keeping in with the film than I have done in any other film, actually.

PMR: But what about the look of the film? After all, Don 2 is going to be seen in 3D, correct? What is your take on 3D?

SRK: I think digital and 3D is going to be the future of cinema. As much as we may love the smell of the celluloid and film, and as much as we may like 2D films that we have been watching, I think everybody is now wanting to have an experience for two-and-a-half hours. It just adds a little more viewer experience. I think the whole concept of 3D enhances the actions. I think 3D will add a new dimension to the film.

PMR: But what about Roma? What is your relationship like with her?

SRK: With Roma (Ms. Chopra), I think it has evolved a little bit into a love story. I think (Don) has a soft corner for her because he feels that somewhere she is someone who’s obviously after him…but I also think he feels there is a strange love story between them. He thinks of her as a wildcat wanting to attack and kill him, but somehow he can tame her. There is a strange, twisted love story between them.

PMR: Just like Ra.One, you also did your own stunts in this film. What is it like putting yourself through that? Was Don 2 hard on you?

SRK: At the end of the day, it’s very fast. The speed at which the action is done…is mostly at real time. And you have to be very fast with it. So, invariably, you get bumps and bruises. You have to kick people on the leg, you’re scared, you don’t have the control and you hit them hard. It’s very tiring and quite challenging. I’ve had my fill of action this year. You do bruise yourself and you come back home, and there are parts of your body that are paining that you didn’t know existed.

PMR: With the cold weather during portions of the shoot, was your ego hurt by having to wear a thermal?

SRK: I hate wearing thermals. I find them very unmanly. I tried to get some designer ones that look cool, but thermals don’t look cool.  They look real awful.

PMR: What probably does not look awful is the cinematography of Don 2, especially with Farhan Akhtar at the helm. He took a very unique approach to the way this film both looks and sounds on the big screen, right?

SRK: Farhan is very keen that the album of Don should have one genre of music. I don’t know if it’s called funk disco, funk rock… I am not very good with music, but I know he has this very keen thing that the film music should not be a mix of songs. When we’ve come to Don 2, I think, more often than not, there was this feeling that, when the film is going on — because it’s kind of a heist film, it’s a thriller — will songs stop the film? So I think there is a whole effort here not to have too many set pieces in the film. I would say the music of Don is more keeping in with the film than I have done in any other film, actually.

PMR: But what about the look of the film? After all, Don 2 is going to be seen in 3D, correct? What is your take on 3D?

SRK: I think digital and 3D is going to be the future of cinema. As much as we may love the smell of the celluloid and film, and as much as we may like 2D films that we have been watching, I think everybody is now wanting to have an experience for two-and-a-half hours. It just adds a little more viewer experience. I think the whole concept of 3D enhances the actions. I think 3D will add a new dimension to the film.

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