A Blog on Cinema

ShahRukh Khan defines Acting


Hindi Cinema superstar and one man entertainment unit, Shah Rukh Khan has an E=mc2 moment

According to me, those who can’t do comedy simply cannot act or perform. My own favourite comedians are Peter Sellers, Johnny Lever and Govinda, who are well-versed with its nuances. Among the actresses, Juhi Chawla and Sridevi have perfect comic timing. We should understand that comedy is one of the most important aspects of acting [‘Those who can’t do comedy, can’t act’]

Our own superstar Mammotty is not known for his comedy roles. If you are asked to name the good comedy movies of Mammotty, you may be able to mention a few, at least few more than the answer to the question: Which are the memorable movies of Sukumaran or Soman.? Yes, off late Mammotty has been showing his comedy and dancing skills in movies like Thuruppu Gulan, and Rajamanikyam, but history won’t remember him as this one man entertainment unit.

Some of the best actors in world cinema, like Sir Laurence Olivier, Alec Guinness, Anthony Hopkins, Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Jack Nicolson and Tom Hanks are not know for comedy acting. They are known mostly for portraying serious roles with perfection. This statement that people who cannot do comedy cannot act comes from an inherent restriction in Indian cinema which Shah Rukh himself mentions later in the interview.

Our films are mostly like a variety show. You have to have a bit of comedy, bit of romance, bit of action… So I think I had my fill of it though I don’t think I am fantastic at comedy. I am alright [‘Those who can’t do comedy, can’t act’]

If all your life you have been doing vaudeville acts, then the associated Stockholm syndrome can make you think that you need to do everything in a movie to be considered as an actor. There are many movies made in other parts of India (Note to Shah Rukh: Think outside Mumbai), where actors don’t have to do everything in all the movies and people still consider them good actors. Such people go on to win the National Award multiple times. It is a bit ironic that such statements of acting come from a man whose 21st century Rahul and 3rd cenury BC Asoka acts the same way.


  1. SRK is a celebrity, we should give importance to his dressing, atitude, personality, personal life etc. Please dont trouble him with all these silly things like acting, art etc.

    Even his biggest enemy wouldn’t acuse him of being a great actor even by Bollywood standards.

  2. We should also understand that “pouting” is one of the most important aspects of acting, which no actor in the world can dream beating SRK in!

  3. Shahrukh Khan is just what you said – A one man entertainment unit. I go to watch his movies for pure entertainment and nothing else. He has a good on-screen presence and energy.

    But his statement is totally stupid. I am asking this since he talked about comedy, can he ever play a comic role like the one played by Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets? Or does he even know that kind of comedy instead of the Chaplin kind of comedy?

    Let’s take the movie Asoka – I wonder how come our own Santhosh Sivan could do such a stupid thing by casting Shahrukh as Asoka! I think even John Abraham or Arjun Rampal would have done better job, atleast by the looks! 😉

  4. SRK and acting are like poles apart… He is a person with a limited set of expressions and he talking about acting is like Bin Laden talking about Peace and justice!!!

  5. Folks,
    SRK is the only actor in the world who has risen to the top inspite of a known disability. He has a major stammering problem. KKKKKKKKKKK Kiran…. anyone??

    We should treat his comments as gold dust.

  6. Taking literal meaning is what we all do normally, which is not always the case. He simply meant that an actor who can make everyone cry should also be able to make everyone laugh the same way. Taking his comment literally is wrong. He just means that Versatility in an actor is needed and when it comes to comedy its the most difficult part in acting as not everyone can make you laugh. All the stars name you have taken at one point in their careers made people laugh and they were definitely good at it. Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Tom Hanks have also done comic roles and have been applauded greatly for it. It is the versatility in acting that makes the actor not just one form of acting.

    Mamooty is a very good actor who is showing to people that he is versatile. First he acted in comic films for sometime and now he has acted in such serious roles where one can see how good he is. It shows that when actors are versatile, they are the best only then.

    And you can’t really expect them to talk about the India as a whole as they havent actually seen what other film industries in India has to offer. They cater to the Hindi speaking audience who are not fully ready for films without happy endings. Hindi speaking audience is evolving and until the time they reach out for better films actors will act as needed by the public.

  7. Versatility has become an overloaded word to mean everything from a mimicry artiste to a character actor. The versatility that Shah Rukh implies refers to doing everything in one movie resulting in un-memorable clones in various movies. The versatility I would love to see is where a character like Jack Nicholson, in the prime of his career acts as Joker in a Batman movie and makes the Joker more memorable than Batman, or acts as a freaky character in As Good As It Gets or a a real bad guy in The Departed. Without our must-have-love-angle movies and required family sentiments, all the characters pass through the same emotions, mouthing the same cliched dialogues without much difference between them.

  8. Well, when you are saying that then you would want to include nearly all indian films which include most languages and even malayalam. Masala movies is not only there in bollywood but also in malayalam. There were movies like Swades which the audience itself was unable to accept. It doesn’t depend upon actors anymore, audience themselves don’t want anything sensible but just pure entertainment and producers want money, no actor can decide what he wants when audience wants them to do the same thing again and again.

  9. There was never any mention that Malayalam films are free from all ills, so going on that path of discussion is unwarrented.

    It takes lot of guts to make movies which suit your age. It also takes lot of guts to make movies you want to make, even if not in the popular track and make the audience come to see it. Kamal Haasan is one actor who does not have this insecurity, acts in just one or maybe two movies in a year and alternates between pucca comemrcial movies and movies which go along with his philosophy.

  10. Yeah say that after watching Dhashavtaram. The movie would be nearly the most commercial movie in history of tamil cinema.

    I dont say that he is a bad actor(Actually I am a ardent fan of his) but he is also commercial like everybody else.

  11. I think karthiksn is contradicting himself here.
    First this…
    It doesn’t depend upon actors anymore, audience themselves don’t want anything sensible but just pure entertainment and producers want money, no actor can decide what he wants when audience wants them to do the same thing again and again.

    and then …
    I dont say that he is a bad actor(Actually I am a ardent fan of his) but he is also commercial like everybody else.

    Kamal Haasan is not succumbing to the pressure of doing the same thing again and again. Of course he’s commercial, but each of his movies are different. For example, if you have seen one Vijay movie, you have seen all of them. Thats commercial as well as repetetive. It’s the courage to do be different which sets Kamal Haasan apart from other actors(and of course acting prowess too).

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