Fareed Zakaria Chats With Bollywood’s ‘King Khan’

By Richard Horgan Comment

On this week’s edition of GPS with Fareed Zakaria, which airs on CNN Sundays at 10 a.m. with a repeat at 1 p.m., the host sits down once again with Shah Rukh Khan, celebrated just a few months ago by Forbes as “the biggest movie star in the world.” The pair previously connected in the spring of 2010.


At age 50, Khan remains gracious, charming and handsome, telling Zakaria he sees himself continuing in the movie business for, ideally, another three decades. When asked about “the new global competition” of Hollywood, Khan pointed out two key advantages enjoyed by Bollywood:

“Thankfully, unless they have six songs in the films, they’re not competing with us, which I’m sure is not going to happen. But, I think you’re completely right. I’ve always had this worry, if I may say so, that if we are not able to change our cinema quickly enough, you know, we would be kind of overtaken like Hollywood has, you know?…”

“India is the only country where local cinema does better than international cinema, and Mr. Quentin Tarantino, I heard him say it somewhere, I think at Cannes, or somewhere, where he said, you know, the reason for movies – local movies to survive, is stardom.”

“So there is still a huge balance of stardom in this country, whether it’s a director or an actor or an actress, and I think that stardom keeps it – you know, it’s like watching a football match. You want to see stars. You want NBA because you have some great basketball players.”

Towards the end of the interview, Zakaria steers Khan toward perhaps a new nickname to go along with “King Khan” and the actor’s other media monikers. On the Web, CNN has posted as an online extra Khan’s recollection of what it was like to travel when another person with the same name was on the international terror-watch list.