Shah Rukh is packing his woolies and preparing for a cold, bleak winter of Berlin. After the success of Don, he is naturally excited to be working on the sequel, it promises to be bigger and better. And Don himself has grown, he's gone and done bad things around the world — now the police of 22 countries are after him as against 11 in the first part!
Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, the proud producers of Excel, say that the Mayor of Berlin actually opened out areas in the ancient, historic city that was restricted to the Hollywood filmmakers shooting Inglorious Bastards and Val Kyrie there. "That's how big Shah Rukh is in Berlin," exclaimed Ritesh. "People there, and I mean not just Asians — but Germans also, have started taking leave to be working on this film as extras."
King Khan the anti-hero of this big budget action thriller also thinks Berlin is a "cool place". SRK has a stronger fan base there than any Bollywood actor as he discovered when attending the Berlin Film Festival to promote My Name Is Khan. "Hundreds of people stood on the road in the snow, they treat me like a German star, and they respect and love me... like the energy I bring on the screen has filled up some void in their mechanized lives. I'm their adopted son, like Raj Kapoor was to Russia, it is a very humbling experience," SRK said. "I'm excited to be shooting in Berlin, I like the darkness of the buildings, the starkness of the winter, people dressed in overcoats and wearing mufflers and dark glasses, and black cars going around." He added.
Right at the start of the schedule, Excel intends shooting an edge-of-the-seat, 14-day car chase next to the monumental Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Shah Rukh is glad to be getting back into action. He has begun exercising, getting back some of the muscle he lost for the parkour action sequences of Ra.One, though in Don 2 it will be slick gun action, fights with devices, a combo of James Bond and Matrix.
"But I'll be a completely in-your-face mean character, like Bond gone wrong, this is Farhan's creation. The victory of evil over good. Don is an unpredictable, edgy character. He in intriguing. A little bit of Mickey Rourke, Johnny Depardieu, John Malkovic and Clint Eastwood. He's romantic and sensual, he watches cartoon films, but he's also a mean, catch-me-if-you-can guy. I like Don's attitude. There's lot of scope for me to play him," he said excitedly.
Shah Rukh Khan's fans have accepted this "inglorious bastard" character — as he is fond of calling Don. The actor is delighted with that, even though he is glorifying evil, because nobody as yet has accused him of being a bad influence. Not even his children. He accepts that Don is a bit of a "badmash". "But he's also enigmatic. I wish he didn't rape women and do drugs. But even that, he does in style, there is no sleaze. Don is a base thought that we all have — that if I were to do bad things, I would do it with style. Crime doesn't pay, but it makes life cool, doesn't it," he argued. Well, on screen — certainly!