Well, it's almost over, and the day I've been waiting for since all this began arrived. Yes, Shah Rukh Khan is in town today. "Who?" I hear you all cry. Only probably one of the biggest movie stars in the world, the Tom Cruise of India (but I desperately hate that expression!), yes, the biggest Bollywood star around!
This was all a major deal, as he did his Reel Life interview event at the UGC today. Tickets sold out days after it was announced he was coming to town. I was told I actually got two of the last three tickets left - blessed relief!
There was talk of crowd-control police turning up and everything! Another excitement was that at the last minute it was decided he would do a press conference. Well, I managed to wheedle my way into that too.
Like World Cup final
So, we're all sitting waiting, and waiting some more. Finally after being over an hour late, the man himself showed up - what an entrance! He was terribly shy, and extremely modest. I'd say of everyone who has been here this year, probably the most down-to-earth. This isn't his first visit to Scotland as he shot here for a film about three years ago, and after cheekily quipping about our weather said that he really loved it here because of the great natural beauty (not referring to me, much to my dismay!).
I asked him what it was like in India when Lagaan, a film he co-produced, was nominated for an Oscar this year, he told me the atmosphere was incredible, "it was as though India was in the World Cup final. Even people who had never heard of the Oscars were excited!"
When asked who he admired as an actor, he joked, "I don't want to sound pompous, but I like me a lot!"
|Poster man: the dapper Terence Stamp|
Afterwards, I went to his Reel Life event, for which he wasn't too late. The expected crowds were not present, but that made it all the easier to get in. Our bums were parked, and we were ready and poised, and the man came down flanked by about eight bodyguards to the sound of screaming girls, and wolf whistling.
The interview itself was very interesting, not that you could hear much of anything over the two highly irritating crying kids, whose guardians wouldn't take out so that the rest of us who had paid ten pounds a ticket could listen to what Shah Rukh was saying. The man himself at one point said, although jokingly, "Could somebody please shoot this child?"
It was such a nuisance and ruined most of the interview. I'm actually surprised that there were so many staff, yet none of them even politely asked them to leave until the children calmed down, as it was spoiling it for everyone else. Other audience members ended up doing that job! Anyway, I was just glad to see the man. I could go home reasonably satisfied now.
On a quieter, but no less significant note, the beautiful, evergreen Terence Stamp was in town this afternoon. He didn't do a press conference, but for photographers outside the Filmhouse for a few minutes before going in for the screening of his new flick - Fellini: I'm a Born Liar. What a day! Well, you know it's all over tomorrow, so I'll be in a more reflective mood.