Being Salman

The dangerous innocence of Bollywood’s most controversial superstar

01 November 2017

ON A COOL, BREEZY evening in mid 2017, I was shown into a carpeted tent in Mumbai’s famed Yash Raj Films Studios. The tent was set up in a far corner of the sprawling complex, next to the vanity van of the man I was there to interview: Salman Khan, the Hindi-film superstar, who, along with Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, has dominated the industry for nearly three decades.

I sat at a long table and waited for him. I had lost track of time when, suddenly, I sensed a shift in the air and looked up from my phone. Salman had entered and seated himself on a chair across from me. A group of five or six people orbited him—entering the tent, asking him a question, exiting, taking a phone call, returning.

A member of Salman’s team introduced him to me, and reminded him about our scheduled interview. “You have met her before,” she said. His expression remained unchanged; it was impossible to discern whether he remembered me.

Anna MM Vetticad is an award-winning journalist and social commentator, and the author of The Adventures of an Intrepid Film Critic.

Keywords: film Bollywood Aamir Khan Salman Khan masculinity Shah Rukh Khan domestic violence The Caravan Collection #11