A video of Shah Rukh Khan from the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival is being circulated on social media after Mahesh Babu’s controversial remarks about Bollywood not being able to afford him.
Asked if he’d be open to doing Hindi films, the Telugu star said at a recent press event, “I don’t know if I’d sound arrogant. I did get a lot of offers from Hindi. But, the simple thing is I don’t think they can afford me. I can’t waste my time. The kind of respect I get here. The kind of stardom I get here. I never really thought of leaving my industry and going to another. I always thought when you do films here it will become bigger. My belief is becoming true now. I can’t be happier.”
Since then, several industry personalities such as Ram Gopal Varma, Boney Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut have commented on this. The incident comes mere days after Kannada star Yash reportedly said that Hindi is no longer the ‘national language’ after the success of a string of South Indian language films.
The video of Shah Rukh is being cited by his fans as an example of how actors should behave in a situation like this. When Shah Rukh was asked in Berlin if he’d be willing to work in Hollywood, he had quipped, “My English is not good.”
He added, “If they give me a role of a dumb person who doesn’t speak, maybe. I am not trying to be modest but I am 42 years old, I am little brown, I don’t have any special USP as an actor. I don’t know Kung fu, I don’t dance the Latin salsa, I am not tall enough. I think anyone who is my age in the Western world, I have seen recent films of Europe, films of what you call ‘the dream factory’, I think there is no space for me. There is no place for me, because I don’t think I am that talented. So I would like to continue doing work in India, and hopefully take Indian cinema to the world.”
— srk1000faces – Fan Account 🇩🇪 (@srk1000faces) May 11, 2022
Reacting to the video, one fan wrote, “He’s seen how Asian stars get treated in Hollywood. For example, Jackie Chan was one of the world’s biggest movie stars, yet Hollywood ignored him for a long time. Even after Jackie broke through Hollywood, they just typecast him. So Jackie left Hollywood and went back to China.”
Mahesh Babu has since attempted to explain his original statement. He said later, “I strongly feel, why should we go to another industry by leaving ours behind?”