24 years is a long time but memories don’t fade easily. So, 24 years after Shah Rukh Khan made his debut on TV with the serial Fauji, he’s back as an army officer, this time in Yash Chopra’s film Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ).
Khan says that he feels a special connection with those brave men, who never fail to express their affection for him. Asked about his ‘army’ days during Fauji, the actor says, “I am lucky to portray such a character. But back to Fauji… Even though I was very young, I played a Major in Main Hoon Na too. But when I met the army men in Ladakh while shooting for JTHJ, they said the uniform suits me. This is the best compliment I have ever received. They also said the beard suits me! Wearing this uniform is not easy and we had to be very careful of all the details to maintain our respect for it. One can wear a beard only in a certain section of the army and, in the film, my character belongs to that section.”
On the soldiers, the actor says, “How many people in the big cities think of joining the Army or urging their kids to make a career of the Army? It’s different in small towns, where the army presence is a must. Having seen the soldiers since their childhood, they all aim to join the Army one day. I hope people take it up as a career as they are our soldiers are the real heroes of our country.”
Khan has always been a YRF hero but working with Yash Chopra was different. “I have been friends with Adi (Aditya Chopra) for a long time and Yash uncle was very close to me. So doing a film for them is not a big thing. But this one is special because Yash uncle wanted to retire after this one. This love story is also different from the others he had made. No one understands romance like Yash ji did, there was always a love triangle in his films. It was because of him that people started calling me the ‘King of Romance’. It was only Yash ji who could add a romantic touch to an army man’s life.”