Does veteran Bollywood actress Farida Jalal have a problem with being recognised as Shah Rukh Khan’s “mother” by fans? The 68-year-old says no.
“I was told that I’m known as Shah Rukh Khan’s mother by most fans in Malaysia. Any other person would feel dejected when hearing this. Because, you know, there is so much more to a person.
“But I’m happy with that simply because I love Shah Rukh Khan like he’s really my son,” she said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
Farida and Shah Rukh have starred in numerous films together. Some of their most notable collaborations include Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.
Fans can catch Farida in her first Malaysian production I’m Not A Terrorist, in which she plays the loving mother to a student called Ummar (Afiq Muiz).
When Ummar returns to Kashmir to be with his mother, he ends up being a pawn in gang leader Abu Zar’s (played by Bollywood actor Gulshan Grover) plan to cause chaos and destruction.
I’m Not A Terrorist is a RM7mil production shot on location in Kashmir directed by Malaysian filmmaker Arjin Uppal. It also stars Rahul Dev and Chacha Maembong. Farida accepted the offer to star in I’m Not A Terrorist because she liked the script.
“One day I got a call from producer S. Baldev Singh when I was at my home in Mumbai.
“He asked if I could read the script. I liked what I read and said yes.
“I play a mother which I’ve done many times before. But I always find new challenges in every role,” she said.
Don’t call her a diva
Despite her status as a well-known actress, Farida didn’t want to be given special treatment by the director and production crew on set. She also had no problems with her short screen time in I’m Not A Terrorist.
“I can’t be selfish and say I need more scenes. You can’t spoil the story from the way it was meant to be. It’s something I’ve always believed in throughout my career,” the actress offered.
She described working with Arjin as an excellent experience: “He knows what he wants and that is superb. I’ve worked with all kinds of directors and I find that being assertive is very important.”
Farida, who started acting when she was just 18, back in 1967, has no plans to call it a day.
“I started acting because I love the craft. I’ve been doing this all my life and I hope to continue acting as long as I’m alive. Even if I get offered another role as a mother, I wouldn’t mind,” she said.
I’m Not A Terrorist opens at cinemas nationwide today.