Actor Salman Khan Image Credit: Corbis/ArabianEye.com

Since he first showed up on India's screens, Salman Khan has always been in the news due to his alleged link-ups and frivolous fights. Having been through a low phase in his personal and professional life, Khan rose from the flops such as Yuvvraaj and Veer to action-packed hits such as Wanted, Dabangg and Ready. Now, as he treads on the path of success, Khan talks with an open heart and an open shirt.

"To tell you the truth, me being shirtless in O O Jaane Jaana happened by default. I was to wear a sexy shirt for the item number but the designer made an extra tight shirt in an effort to make me look sexier. And then ‘Wahi hota hai jo manzure Khuda hota hai!' (In the end, it is God's wish). That shirt was not fitting me, it was too tight and the buttons would not close. I removed the shirt, so that the alterations could be done. But Sohail said, ‘Bhai you look the sexiest without a shirt, so let's not waste time and burn our negatives… instead let's shoot you bare body' and since then producers and directors usually ask me to go shirtless," says Khan.

Khan's behaviour has also changed following his success and he has become more disciplined. From being irregular to his shoots, having erratic timings and different hairdos in the same film to a proper look and feel for all his films. Has everything changed post Wanted and Dabangg? "That is for you guys to decide. I have done my job and more than anything, my fans have liked the film. I exist because of my fans. As for the cash rolling in, I am very clear about it. Whatever extra perks I get from my work will be used for my charity organisation — Being Human," he says nonchalantly.

Khan has been linked to his ex's whenever they have come visiting and that is what happened with Somy Ali as well. But Salman being Salman, has his own take on the situation. "Even before anything happens between the two of us, the media is out with the news. Nothing materialises then," he says. So what about getting married? "Why do you guys want to see me married? I shall update you the moment I decide to get married," he replies with repartee and then quickly elaborates what he wants from a wife. "My ideal partner should possess all the qualities of my darling mother. Once that happens, I shall get married," he says.

On the movie front, after Wanted and Dabangg, Salman Khan is back with yet another action-packed film titled Bodyguard, slated for release over Eid, where he plays a bodyguard to Kareena Kapoor.

Khan's real bodyguard, Shera, inaugurated the promotions of the film. Speaking about the man, he says, "Shera has been with me for a very long time, he has a tough time whenever he has to handle my fans but he has done his job with care. I can trust my bodyguard blindly, be it with money, family or my life. I trust them before alcohol and even after alcohol. They know all my secrets." As he plays the role onscreen, Khan says his real life bodyguard has taught him much. "I have learnt many things from real life incidents that my body guard Shera must have handled and have incorporated it in the movie." Shera has been with Khan for 15 years, before which he was a bodyguard for Karisma Kapoor.

Khan also had a different take on the term bodyguard. For him almost everyone plays the role of a bodyguard in some way or the other. "People have misunderstood the word ‘bodyguard', but the truth is that everybody is a bodyguard. Our mom who protects us every time and takes care of us is our bodyguard. The same goes for our dads, brothers and sisters who look after us and even our friends. The soldiers and cops are all bodyguards who keep us safe and protected. The word bodyguard has a larger meaning and I respect it," says Khan.

Barring these one-off aberrations, Khan has of late clammed up about his women. Earlier he did speak about Aishwarya Rai and Katrina Kaif to the media, but nowadays queries on the subject of relationships, such as the rumoured affair with actress Somy Ali are usually met with stoic silence. "Earlier I was very open about my love life but then it was shown in a different light in the media. I believe that the media is responsible for making me a controversial man," he says.

Khan says his father Salim Khan helps him stay grounded. "My father is my biggest strength; he is my Veer (brave one). He always tells me to listen to my heart. One should not do anything wrong or harm others and success will be yours."

Looking ahead, he feels that he has everything he wants in his life and career. "I am Salman Khan. I have proved myself as a romantic and action hero. I have never lacked anything, even if I had to play a comic character. Having said that, I cannot claim to be the ultimate and the one to have introduced heroism with my films like Wanted, Dabangg, Ready, etc. For me, Amitabh Bachchan is the perfect hero and he has proved his worth with Zanjeer," he admits.

In addition, Salman Khan is in love with himself today, a sign of success and reason enough for him to stay the way he is. "I love everything about myself. I am happy with what I am." he asks.

Career Highlights

Maine Pyar Kiya

With four wins and two nominations at the Filmfare awards, this 1989 classic is an all-time favourite among die-hard Salman Khan fans. This blockbuster was Khan's first taste of commercial success.

Dabangg

The film broke several records at the box office within the first week of its release. It went on to become the highest opening-day grosser and the highest weekend grossing Bollywood film at the time.

Saajan

Widely accepted as the number one movie love-triangle movie, Saajan released in 1991.

Wanted

A good mix of action, romance and comedy, not to mention the four-star rating (from a total of five stars) from the Times of India. 

Hum Aapke Hain Kaun

With six awards to its name, this film released in 1994 and immediately stood out. It depicted the average family, human values and the normal life everyone can relate to.