Superstar Shah Rukh Khan said he never imagined that he would be able to survive in the film industry for such a long time – a good 21 years – and ascribed his long innings to greater pportunities available in the country now.
“Because our country is progressing so fast, a lot of people like me, who perhaps don’t even deserve it, get a lot more opportunities than what actors and stars got in years past,” the star, who just received the prestigious Chubb fellowship by the Yale University in the US, said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the first phase of Prayag Film City here in West Midnapore district as the brand ambassador of the film city.
“I come from a lower middle class background and for the last 30 years it has been my habit to work for 18-20 hours aday. Through my hard work I try to make the life of my family better,” he said.
Asked if he was drifting towards entrepreneurship from acting, Mr Khan said he considers himself just as an actor.
“I am hardly an entrepreneur. I don’t even think of myself as a star. I only try to make a difference in the world with my acting,” he said.
Describing acting and sports as two of his passions, he said, “Whatever I do, promotions and other things, they are offshoots and ancillaries”.
Emphasising the importance of a film city, he said he had always wondered why a country like India, which makes the largest number of films worldwide, does not have world-class infrastructure and facilities.
“The biggest dream of my life has always been to try and make an international class studio for this country, not for profit, but for the fact that India makes the maximum number of films that are seen around the world,” he said.
He said the Prayag Film City is going to be a “wonder of the world”.
Mr Khan said that hopefully next year he will come and shoot one of his films in the film city.
“If it were ready, I would shoot here the new film that I am going to begin,” he said, describing West Bengal as the most creative area “the country has historically” in terms of literature, poetry, theatre, music and sports.
The Prayag Film City, which will also house an amusement park, will be thrown open to filmmakers and tourists later this year.
Planned as a one-stop destination for filmmakers, Prayag Film City is spread over a sprawling campus of 2,700 acres at Chandrakona, 165 km away from Kolkata.
It has sound-proof studio floors for outdoor shooting locations, a helipad, railway station with bogies, golf course, swimming pool, water bodies, tree-house, restaurants, cottages, manicured parks and other facilities.