Khan then went on to study theater under the reputed Barry John, whom he credits for carving out the actor inside him, but his mentor considers his pupil as being solely responsible for his greatness and glory, citing Shahrukh to have the perfect combination of talent, perseverance, belief in yourself, a never-give-up-attitude and of course, a bit of luck–factors needed for success.
Shahrukh began his journey by landing the lead role of a commando in 1988 drama series “Fauji” (1988). He was much applauded for his work and soon became the heartthrob of teenage girls, bagging roles in other serials such as “Circus” (1989) and _”Dil Dariya” (????)_, the former was delayed because of various reasons. He also had a minor role in a made-for-television film called In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones(1989) (TV).
His big screen debut came in the form of Deewana (1992), in which he acted alongside the then-top actress of Bollywood, Divya Bharti, and won the prestigious Filmfare award for best debut actor–male. He also starred earlier in a small role in Dil Aashna Hai (…The Heart Knows) (1992). This was followed by another hit, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992).
After a few more films that did average or less at the box office, Khan made the unique choice against all advice to opt for villainous roles and played obsessive, somewhat psychotic characters in Darr (1993) and_Baazigar (1993)_. To everyone’s surprise, the films were massive hits and Shahrukh earned his first best actor award, and was also nominated in the villainous role category.
His acting was applauded by all in the Indian film industry and carved a niche for the future king. The same year, he bagged the Critics Award for best performance in_Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993)_,a film he often recalls as among his favourites.
A series of hits followed to what would be remembered as one of Khan’s most iconic performances, a film that is arguably India’s biggest blockbuster and truly complete with the very best of drama, comedy, romance, thrills, and a bit of action. The epic_Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)_was released on 20th October 1995 and still plays in a Mumbai theatre, thus being the longest-running initial release in cinema history. Coincidentally, Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise was the initial choice as the main lead, but the role went to Shahrukh who is now nicknamed ‘Tom Cruise of India’.
Khan has come a long way since then, with a string of hits under his belt, which include some of Bollywood’s biggest in both national and international markets, namely_Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)_,Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham… (2001),Devdas (2002/I),Swades: We, the People(2004),Chak De! India (2007),Om Shanti Om (2007),My Name Is Khan (2010),Ra.One (2011),Don 2 (2011)and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)made him the undisputed megastar of India with a record number of best actor trophies and numerous power awards.
His fame does not stop there: following the release of his films overseas, he has been credited as the world’s biggest movie star and was named among the 50 most powerful people by “Newsweek.”
Even with all the success and a statue among the elite in Madame Tussaud’s, he is quoted as being one of the most humble and down-to-earth personalities, although his wit is unmatched by even the best in the business. This led to him being a host of many television programmes, game shows, and award functions, including India’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
The king is an active philanthropist, funding numerous humanitarian projects and charities as well as being personally involved in them, although he prefers to keep this aspect out of the limelight.
His larger-than-life persona continues to win hearts all over the world with a fan following going into billions. He is the face of brands such as Pepsi, Tag Heuer, and he has a 8-billion-dirham property development that is comprised of multiple residential towers in the United Arab Emirates named after him called Shah Rukh Khan Boulevard. He co-owns two production houses–Red Chillies Entertainment and Red Chillies VFX–and the IPL Cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders.