Salman Khan is busy earning accolades for the endearingly different character that he’s portraying in Tubelight. Writer-director Kabir Khan, in a Bollywood Hungama exclusive with Faridoon Shahryar, explains why he thinks Laxman Bisht is the best performance of Salman Khan by miles.
Kabir, I had asked you before Bajrangi Bhaijaan if that’s the best performance of Salman Khan and you had said yes. Now, before Tubelight, I’d ask you again if this is the best performance of Salman?
By miles. I was surprised by what he did. It’s a very difficult role. ‘Bajrangi’ is a much easier character because he has a very endearing, charming quality. Tubelight is a different character. It is, by far, his most endearing character ever. As an actor, you have to bring a certain craft to it. You have to dig deep as an actor. I remember the first scene I shot. I threw him in the deep end. I shot the climax of the scene as the first scene that I shot with him. I said let’s just dive in and see what happens. We were shooting in Ladakh. The light was down. I said let’s start rolling. Salman disappeared and he was nowhere to be found. And we were like where is Salman? We thought that maybe he’s in the vanity; maybe he’s in the loo.
Forty minutes went past and we were like where has Salman disappeared. And then he came in. He was not engaging too much. I told him a few things that I had in my mind. I anyways don’t over direct. I let actors do (their own thing), especially someone like Salman, who brings in a lot to the character. I just gave him a few tips. Then we rolled the camera. It was one take. I realised where he was for the last forty minutes. He was not in his vanity. He was preparing for this. That moment, I realised he really prepared for this role. It really surprised me. It was so much in keeping with the character. He maintained that…which was the most important thing in this film.
The consistency that he has maintained in the character, whether it’s his body language, his voice modulation or expressions. I feel Tubelight is definitely his best performance by miles.