To call Shah Rukh Khan destiny’s child won’t be an overtly romantic epithet. In an industry that’s rife with star sons and relatives, finding someone to just line you up for an audition was an almost impossible task in the 1990s. But Shah Rukh not only found his feet in the industry, but since then has carved a niche for himself where he is the face of Bollywood on countless international platforms.
Learning the ropes of acting from theatre guru Barry John, Shah Rukh made his small screen debut in 1988 with Fauji, a drama about life of an army cadet. Unsatiated after the mild success he tasted while working in television, SRK moved to Mumbai in 1991, and rest as they say is history. But to create this history, SRK fought immense odds.
After playing second lead in films like Deewana, King Uncle, Maya Memsaab (in a critically acclaimed performace), his first big break came with Abbas-Mustan’s revenge saga ‘Baazigar’. But what a lot of people don’t know is that Aamir Khan, his biggest rival in the current scenario, had a big hand in SRK landing the role.
The story goes that, Aamir Khan was first offered ‘Baazigar’, but he turned it down due to apparent discomfort that he had in portraying a cold blood killer on screen. Shah Rukh took his chance and his performance is etched on the psyche of legions of his fans. A similar turn of events followed with Darr, Aamir refused and SRK’s “kkkiran…” became a sort of verbal totem for jilted lovers across the country.
After this, he did another volt face and portrayed the perfect lover boy in Aditya Chopra’s directorial debut, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). To say that it was a monster hit would be to underplay the impact the film had on the industry. Its all-time collection of Rs 267,77,00,000 makes it one of the all time blockbusters of our era. The year 1997 was tremendous for Shah Rukh as he Yes Boss, Pardes and Dil To Pagal Hai releases almost simultaneously. He was officially a superstar now.
From then on he has just consolidated his position in the industry and has become perhaps the most dependable actors and definitely the most marketable face (except a few top cricketers) in the country. String of big hits like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Mohabattein (2000), DevDas (2002), Kal Ho Na Ho (2003), Veer Zara, Swades (both 2004), Don (2006), Chak de India, Om Shanti Om (2007) and most recently My Name is Khan (2010) have made him a darling amongst the masses and the classes alike.
IIFA also had the privilege of appreciating his performances and his one of the rare actors who has won the prestigious IIFA Best Actor awards more than one occasion; in fact he has won it thrice. First occasion was for Devdas (in 2003), followed by Veer Zara (2005) and Chak de India (2008). As he turns 45, IIFA wishes him all the best for the crucial year ahead where big releases like Ra. One and Don-2 are lined up. We hope he follows his usual form, and delivers.