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Shah Rukh Khan: An Experimentalist Actor

  • 02 Nov 2022

“Mujhe states ke naam na sunai dete hai na dikhai dete hai. Sirf ek mulk ka naam sunai deta hai I-N-D-I-A?”

 – SRK, Chak de! India

The Indian film industry has seen the rise and fall of many “stars”. But, in the late 1980s came an actor from Delhi who robbed the hearts of millions of people with his diversified movie roles, great charm and cute dimples. Someone who has never ceased being a star ever since he became one, not just in India but across the globe. Yes, you guessed it right! The man is none other than King Khan, aka Shah Rukh Khan. Today, on his birthday, let’s retrace his journey of becoming King Khan from a nobody to a Superstar.


Early life and Academic achievements

Abdur Rehman “Shahrukh” Khan was born on 2nd November 1965. Popularly known as SRK, he was born in Delhi, India. Khan was exceedingly good at his academics. He went to St. Columba’s School in Delhi. He also received the Sword of Honour, the most prestigious award to win in the school.

SRK enrolled at Hansraj college to pursue economics but spent much of his time at Delhi Theatre Action Group. He has been passionate about acting since childhood, with his favourites being Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Mumtaz.

Moreover, he attended the National School of Drama during his early days. However, he dropped out of college to pursue acting full-time.

Shah Rukh Khan also secured a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from Jamia Millia Islamia.

SRK delivering his honorary speech at the University of Edinburgh

SRK is also the first foreign actor to be conferred the Malaysian title of Datuk - akin to a British knighthood - in 2008 and subsequently received his first honorary doctorate in Arts and Culture from the University of Bedfordshire, UK on July 10, 2009.

In 2015, the Superstar earned a degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Edinburgh and also bagged another Doctorate degree in Philanthropy from the University of Law, London on April 5, 2019.

Initial days at Tinsel Town

Shahrukh Khan’s first TV serial debut was in 1988 with ‘Dil Dariya’ directed by Lekh Tandon. Although the show was delayed, it was eventually released. In 1989, he acted in ‘Fauji’, marking his debut in the television series industry.

A soap opera called ‘Circus’ (1989-1990) came out in the same year with Khan in a significant role. However, he continued picking up minor roles in TV series like ‘Umeed’ (1989), ‘Wagle Ki Duniya’ (1988-1990), ‘In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones’ (1989) and ‘Idiot’ (1991). In all these shows, critics compared him to Dilip Kumar due to his looks, style and acting.

Debut Film

After the death of his mother, he travelled back to Mumbai to join the Bollywood industry. His experience in the TV series helped him score roles in four movies in the first year itself. ‘Dil Aashna Hai’ (1992) was his first acting debut. However, ‘Deewana’ (1992) was released first, and his journey to the Bollywood house of fame began.

His acting won him his first Filmfare award as the best male debut. Other releases like ‘Chamatkar’ and ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’ in the same year attracted the eyes of casting personnel.

Jumping around roles

The one thing about SRK which set him apart from his contemporaries was his choice of role. His roles were diverse and didn’t follow any set pattern, which prevented him from becoming a stereotype for a long time.

Anti-hero


After playing positive roles and protagonists in his initial years, Khan decided to experiment a little and star as an anti-hero in movies. In 1993, movies like ‘Darr’ and ‘Baazigar’ were released, with him playing the antagonist. His character in Baazigar earned him the Filmfare award for best actor. ‘Anjaam (1994)’, ‘Don’ (2006), ‘Don 2’ (2011) and ‘Raees (2017)’ were a few of Khan’s best anti-hero films.

Romantic hero

The following year, 1994, films like ‘Anjaam’ and ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ were released. SRK won Filmfare awards for the latter for best performance and was regarded as the new face of the industry.

In 1995, he starred in seven films. ‘Karan Arjun’ became the second-highest-grossing of the year, with ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ as the first. DDLJ is the longest-running film at Maratha Mandir, Mumbai, an all-time blockbuster, crossing over 1000 weeks. Shahrukh’s roles in movies like ‘Yes Boss’, ‘Parades’ and ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’, in 1997 earned him his third Filmfare for best actor.

The movie ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)’ gave him recognition as a romantic icon in Bollywood. Critics were shocked when they realised that he gained this name without any intimate scenes with his female co-stars.

Family roles

Khan won a Filmfare award for ‘Mohabbatein’ (2000) and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam’ (2001), which became one of the top-grossing movies in Bollywood. ‘Devdas’ (2002), a Sanjay Leela Bhansali production, was the then most expensive Bollywood movie ever made. This film won 10 Filmfare awards and BAFTA Award for best film. Movies like ‘Chalte Chalte’ (2003) and ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ (2003) were also huge successes

Hardships and struggle

Between 1999-2003, Shahrukh Khan faced a series of obstacles in his career. His movies like ‘Baadshah’ (1999), ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani’ (2000) and ‘Asoka’ (2001) underperformed at the box office.

He went on to start his own production company, Dreamz Unlimited. Along with that, he began srkworld.com. However, they both didn’t go well, and he closed srkworld.com.

Moreover, he also faced an injury during the shooting of ‘Shakti’ (2002), for which he underwent a surgery called anterior cervical discectomy and fusion surgery at Wellington Hospital, London. After this accident, he severely reduced his workload.

Years of Success

SRK got back on his feet soon enough. In 2004, he converted Dreamz Unlimited to Red Chillies Entertainment Limited and added his wife, Gauri Khan as a partner. His movies ‘Main Hoon Na’ (2004) and ‘Veer-Zaara’ (2004) became two of the top-grossing movies of the year.


His acting in ‘Swades’ (2004) was referred to by many critics, including Jitesh Pillai, as the finest performance to date. Moreover, this movie was shot inside NASA, thus becoming the first Indian movie to do so. Khan’s performance was applauded, and Filmfare included his acting in the 2010 issue of Bollywood’s ‘Top 80 Iconic Performances’.

SRK receiving the Padma Shri from former president of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam


Later movies like ‘Paheli’ (2005), ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’ (2006), and ‘Don’ (2006) were all box office hits. ‘Chak De India’ (2007) was included in Filmfare’s top 80 iconic performances. Thereafter, ‘Om Shanti Om’ (2007) became the highest-grossing movie of the year. His character and acting in ‘Rab Ne Banadi Jodi’ (2008) were so perfect that it was criticised to be tailor-made just for him.

‘My Name is Khan’ (2010) earned him his eighth Filmfare award, tying him with Dilip Kumar for the most number of achievements in this category.

Awards

Filmfare Awards 

1995 Anjaam Best Villan
2003 Devdas Best Actor
2005 Swades Best Actor
2008 Chak De! India Best Actor
2003 Filmfare-Swiss Consulate Special Award
2005 Filmfare Power Award


IIFA 

2009

Veer-Zaara

Star of the Decade (Male)
2009 Devdas Star of the Decade (Male)
2009 Chak De! India

Star of the Decade (Male)

2011

My Name Is Khan

Best Performance in a Leading Role (Male)


Although Shahrukh Khan has never won a National Film Award, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2005. The Government of France has also awarded him the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2007) and its highest civilian honour, the Légion d'honneur (2014).

In 2023, he is set to star in 4 movies, ‘Pathaan’, ‘Tiger 3’, ‘Jawaan’ and ‘Dunki’. Shah Rukh Khan is back on screens, and SRK fans can’t wait to see him!

Shah Rukh Khan has awed millions, whether it be through laughter or tears. His acting has been universally acknowledged, and we can't wait to watch his movies in theatres again.

There have been rumours about him retiring or cutting off his workload, but for the time being, his four films will be out in 2023! So we can say it in SRK’s own words-

Picture abhi baki hai, mere dost!

 Jess Doshi 
Jess Doshi is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Arts. Apart from reading, she makes a conscious effort to do what she can for society. She aims to help the world around her in the best possible way- writing.

References

Shah Rukh Khan. (n.d.). IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0451321/bio
Shah Rukh Khan | Biography, Movies, Age, Career, Struggle. (n.d.). Tring. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from https://www.tring.co.in/popular-celebrities/shah-rukh-khan
Shah Rukh Khan: Life-History & Success Story» StarsUnfolded. (n.d.). StarsUnfolded. https://starsunfolded.com/shah-rukh-khan-life-history-success-story/
Shah Rukh Khan: Movies, Photos, Videos, News, Biography & Birthday | eTimes. (n.d.). Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topic/Shah-Rukh-Khan?from=mdr

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