Two things are guaranteed when you meet Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan: He will be at least an hour late and he will superbly gloss over that tiny blip with his charming persona when he arrives. Khan ticked both boxes as he met with local press on Sunday evening in Dubai to announce an interactive song-and-dance spectacle titled Access All Areas scheduled for December 1 in the city.
“I am sorry about my tardiness. But we have been shooting emotional scenes all day and have been having long days at work,” said Khan, eliciting sympathetic noises from the women in the crowd.
The 47-year-old is currently filming director Farah Khan’s Happy New Year in Dubai, and is expected to be here throughout the month. But it’s not all work and no play for the actor. who says he enjoys live performances.
Access All Areas will be held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on the eve of UAE National Day.
“This show by Duvent has a new concept. Just like how we have video-on-demand, we will have songs-on-demand. The audience can request for songs that we should dance to,” explained Khan.
His Chennai Express co-star Deepika Padukone will be one of the main attractions of the show.
“He’s the reason why I am on this show. It will be my first live show and I will get to learn so much from Shah Rukh,” said Padukone, flashing her dimpled smile. “The best part about him is that whatever we do we make sure that we have fun while doing it. He never makes it seem like it’s all about him even if it’s about him.”
tabloid! caught up with Shah Rukh Khan for a one-on-one to talk about the show. And yes, he was consistently diplomatic:
He didn’t “choose” Deepika
“It’s a little awkward when I am asked why I chose a particular co-star to be on a film or a live show. Such questions arise because Bollywood is considered a male-dominated industry. I didn’t choose Deepika. The way I look at it is that she was gracious and kind enough to be a part of my Access All Areas world tour. Remember, all actors have a huge talent management team behind them. Every star decides what they are going to do throughout the year. So I don’t go around choosing stars as people think. But it helps if stars who sign up have a hit behind them — just like how Deepika and I have a hugely successful film, Chennai Express, behind us.”
He’s not a great dancer
“I am not a technically sound dancer. I need to work on my moves a lot. I can move to a beat but beyond that I will need at least 40 days to perfect routines for such a show. While Deepika might take just a day for it. I will never do a live show until I am prepared for it thoroughly. But there’s one track that I will make sure that Deepika dances to. It’s that track from Desi Boyz called Subah Hona Dey.”
Access All Areas might mean you can have a bath with him
“Oops, that’s not allowed, says my manager. Can people sleep with me? I am just joking. Coming back to Access All Areas tour, I don’t like it when shows end up as a song and dance performance. We want to hold contests that will make it an interactive experience for the 25,000 strong crowd. We want our fans to tell us what they want to see and hear. We will also choose winners who will get a chance to come backstage with us. But they won’t be allowed while the show’s going on since they could get crushed under running stars. But we can promise them a tour backstage after the show is over.
He’s ‘a marketing Einstein’
“Is marketing a bad thing? But not everything is about marketing. When we dressed up in local clothes [at an earlier press conference at Atlantis, The Palm, to promote Happy New Year in Dubai], it was to thank everyone. We have taken over suites, the roads and The Dubai Mall and everybody has been so gracious in letting us shoot our film. When it’s a thank you that comes from our heart, it’s more than marketing.”
He would go on reality show Bigg Boss
“If televison shows like Big Boss [hosted by his rival Salman Khan] invite us, then it will be very nice to be on it. We just started shooting the film Happy New Year. It will take us a year to complete it by and by then, inshallah, if there are television shows like Big Boss, then why not? But it’s all a long way off.”
Go get yours
Tickets for Access All Areas will start at Dh99 and will go on sale from September 19. For more details, go to duvent.com