Variety recently named India’s Shah Rukh Khan, the second richest actor in the world with a fortune of some $600 million only to be eclipsed by actor, Jerry Seinfeld at $820 million. A superstar actor with an estimated fan base of 3.5 billion people, Shah Rukh Khan has starred in over seventy Hindi films; thirteen of which have grossed one billion U.S. dollars, alone. He will next star in “Fan” a mass market entertainment film to be produced through Bollywood studio Yash Raj Films, estimated release date scheduled for 2015.
Details of the story are scant, as it’s normal at this stage for Indian productions, but it seems that Khan will this time turn the tables and play a fan.
“Most of the characters I do are the ones I create… for the first time I am going to play what has created me… I will be in my next a ‘FAN’,” Khan said on Twitter.
When asked about his journey and successful film career, Khan reflects;
“When I think back on it, of course I got lucky and got great directors and good breaks, but all that was the physical part. But what made me a star was that I could take a chance and not have anything to worry about in terms of losing.”
Born in New Delhi, Khan’s childhood was greatly influenced by his parents. Tragically, both his father and mother passed when Khan was only a teen. He describes their death, at such a young age as a “turning point” in his life. Later, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in economics, he started his acting career appearing in theatre and several television serials in the late 1980’s.
In an interview with the Daily Times NP, Khan accredits the theatre with teaching him the discipline necessary to achieve as an actor and beyond.
“A lot of my understanding of acting and being able to do what I am able to prolifically on stage or in front of the camera comes from nine years of solid theatre training. Theatre taught me voice, body control and patience, but besides that, it taught me the fact that rehearsals have to be so rehearsed that they look natural. People feel that I perform effortlessly and deliver my lines with so much ease, but learning your lines are basic things that theatre teaches you. Besides, doing theatre you can sense that you have done it right as a live audience teaches you that. And the most beautiful part of being an actor is that you can be seen by thousands of people, but you can’t see the thousands from the stage.”
Next to acting, philanthropy is a major component in Khan’s lifestyle. Activism is in his genes. His father was an Indian independence activist prior to Indian independence from the British in 1947. Khan has also taken a stand socially and is a voice for several organizations all over the world.
Khan has been brand ambassador of various governmental campaigns throughout the years, notably those of Pulse Polio and National AIDS Control Organization. He helped create the children’s ward at the Nanavati hospital in Mumbai. He is a member of the board of directors of Make-A-Wish Foundation in India, and in 2011, was appointed by the UNOPS to be the first global ambassador of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.
In 2012, Yale University presented Khan with the Chubb Fellow Award, it’s most esteemed award for leadership.
The Huffington Post reports Shah Rukh has an estimated fan following in literally the billions. With a “B.” It is estimated that one-third of the world’s population knows of him.
It’s obvious, Shah Rukh Khan’s star has launched and it doesn’t look as if it will be entering earths atmosphere any time soon. We are sure there is much more to come from India’s most notable actor.