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Shah Rukh Khan -  The superstar who worked for free to honour friendship; all you need to know

Vivek Vaswani recalls Shah Rukh Khan's remarkable gesture of friendship for Dulha Mil Gaya.

Shah Rukh Khan -  The superstar who worked for free to honour friendship; all you need to know
Shah Rukh Khan

Last Updated: 10.59 AM, Feb 22, 2024


There's no denying the fact that Shah Rukh Khan became an instant superstar after launching his acting career. Yet even after decades of popularity, he consented to star in a film without charging a dime. SRK's longtime buddy Vivek Vaswani produced the 2010 film Dulha Mil Gaya, which featured Fardeen Khan and Sushmita Sen. When the former Miss Universe proposed Shah Rukh for the role, the actor-producer remembered that he had already signed her. This was revealed in a recent interview: after Vivek and filmmaker Mudassar Aziz presented the screenplay to Shah Rukh, he immediately gave his approval.

The special role and SRK's professionalism

Vivek recalled this when speaking with Siddharth Kannan: Shah Rukh said he was willing to star in the film without receiving payment. Even as he was making the film, the superstar ignored the script. While SRK's role in the film was small, it was far from a cameo. Vivek ensured that every one of his 42-minute scenes was uncut at the editing table. In fact, the part was precisely 42 minutes long, both in writing and on screen. For 42 minutes, that is not much, and they completed it in the five days that he allotted them.


Shah Rukh was "brilliant" at doing what the producers wanted him to, according to Vivek. He got it done just the way we wanted. This is the truth: SRK didn't meddle with or read the script, but he was exceptional, convincing, and clever. 

Shah Rukh Khan's early career and financial decisions

During the same conversation, Vivek brought up the money that Shah Rukh made with his initial film, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman. Deewana, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Chamatkar, and Dil Aashna Hai were all under production at the same time because he notoriously signed a few films before his debut. Deewana was released first, by a stroke of luck, and SRK had originally planned to release Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman first, but he suggested that if the film did well, he could sell it for more money; conversely, if it bombed, he could salvage it by releasing it after that. The key to success, he emphasised, is planning, not chance.

Vivek stated, in response to the question of how much Shah Rukh was paid for Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, that he took Rs 50,000 for the film. The actor-producer claimed that even for Rs 10,000, the superstar would have worked. He was staying at Vivek's house, so the money was only for his pocket. But he thinks everyone should be paid a fair wage, and Rs. 50,000 was an acceptable sum for a rookie performer back then.

Vivek asserts that he played a key role in arranging Shah Rukh's early releases in order for him to become a "marketable" actor. He added that they haven't had any communication in four years.

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