November 3, 2008 / 7:50 PM / 10 years ago

Bollywood's Shah Rukh will play his age

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan sheds his Casanova image for a new film, basing his character on a middle-aged man he met while hosting a popular game show on Indian television.

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan attends a function organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in Mumbai May 27, 2008. REUTERS/Manav Manglani

Khan, who turned 43 on Sunday, has mostly played the young romantic lead in a career spanning nearly two decades and 60 films.

But for filmmaker Aditya Chopra’s “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,” Khan casts off his designer suits and jeans to play a bespectacled government employee in ill-fitting trousers.

“I want to play the exact opposite of Raj and Rahul, the romantic hero that I have played all these days,” Khan said at a press conference on Sunday.

“I want to show that it is special to be ordinary, which is why I am doing this film.”

Khan, Bollywood’s most bankable star, said the character was inspired by a “sweet, unassuming” contestant he met last year on the sets of “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” the Indian version of the worldwide hit TV show, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”

“I want everyone who watches the film to realize that the person they love is the best romantic hero there could be,” he said.

Not much is known about the storyline of “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” except that the film is a love story and it also features Khan in a younger role — again inspired by a contestant in another TV show hosted by the actor.

Khan did not elaborate but said this second character was based on another contestant he met this year on “Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?,” the Indian version of another American game show “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.”

“Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” opens in cinemas in December.

Writing by Tony Tharakan; Editing by Bappa Majumdar and David Fox

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