Happy birthday Shah Rukh Khan: From playing villain early on in Darr to doing Swades at the peak of his ‘King of Romance’ phase – here’s why SRK is Bollywood’s biggest risk-taker

The biggest superstar in the whole wide world from any field turns 56 years old. Since 1992 (and even before that if we were to consider his work on TV) Shah Rukh Khan has been serenading us and winning us over with sheer charm, charisma, magnetism, indelible performances, timeless movies and stupendous box office numbers. But, the one aspect of Shah Rukh Khan’s sterling career that often doesn’t get highlighted enough is what a massive risk-taker he has been right from the beginning and continues to be so. So, as we ring in SRK’s birthday, let’s look back at what makes the Baadshah of Bollywood also the industry’s biggest risk taker (yup, we mean that)… Also Read – 29 Years of SRK: From being married before entering Bollywood to attaining stardom with negative roles – here’s how Shah Rukh Khan defeated the ODDS to become the world’s biggest superstar

Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam

Right from the beginning, Shah Rukh Khan made his mark as an anti-hero/villain when other top stars like Aamir Khan refused the same roles. Even today, with Bollywood having evolved so much, nobody would be willing to start out with such negative characters. Also Read – Happy Birthday, Madhuri Dixit: From Khal Nayak’s Choli Ke Peeche to Anjaam’s Channe Ke Khet – 5 songs that were a rage with 90s kids

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

At the very onset of establishing himself as a romantic icon, King Khan was willing to let his supporting hero in the film walk away with the heroin, which could’ve easily typecast him in an industry known for stereotyping. Also Read – #25YearsofAnjaam: Shah Rukh Khan’s hilarious take on dancing upon a taxi proves he is the king of wit


How many would be willing to play a twin to Aishwarya Rai, touted to be the most beautiful woman on the planet at the time?

Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani

The movie may have not worked or even remembered today fondly, but revisit it and you’ll notice not only how much ahead of its time it was, but also how prophetic and topical it looks today.


At the height of his prowess as the ‘King of Romance’ Shah Rukh Khan played against type and did an out-an-out non-commercial film (which should’ve frankly fetched him the National Award) that’s regarded b many as his greatest performance ever and one of the defining acts in the history of Indian cinema.


He not only produced, but also starred in a dual role in another art film, when such projects were considered taboo by mainstream stars.

Chak De India

After the commercial debacle of Swades, many had warned SRK against doing Chak De India, and the first day reception in theatres felt like a repeat performance, but the risk paid off big time to give the superstars another indelible performance in the history of Indian cinema.

My Name is Khan

A Muslim superstar, essaying a character on a subject only spoken about it in hushed tones, with people only too eager to remind him of his stardom in a country where he doesn’t belong to the majority faith, requires untold guts. To do so with conducive results shows the kind of following said superstar has across demographics regardless of religion.


It may not have been the big hit it was supposed to be and isn’t recollected fondly today for its critical aspects, too, but way before Indian cinema was finding its footing with VFX and CGI, Shah Rukh Khan had set the benchmark with a film that looks slick and polished years later, and will continue to do so for years to come.


With box-office results dwindling as compared to before, SRK still took a massive risk and played a version of himself on screen along with a diehard fan that could pass off for any of his real-life diehard fans.

Dear Zindagi

Shah Rukh somewhat vindicated his risk-taking nature by delivering a hit during his tough phase with a film where he played a supporting role, in a serious, non-commercial film, to a much younger, upcoming star.


With the hits drying up even further, Shah Rukh Khan still continued being the risk-taker he, going short, literally speaking, to romance two gorgeous ladies on screen.

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