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To describe Shah Rukh Khan as the most influential actor of the post-Amitabh Bachchan era would be no exaggeration. In the last 12 years, King Khan has redefined Bollywood superstardom.

Apparently unconscious of the power he commands, the Bollywood badshah, who turned 40 today, tells Subhash K Jha how he plans to extend his vision as an actor and entertainer.

How was your year so far?

Life is exhausting, but very good. Till recently, I thought films and film personalities were hardly eligible for national honours. I'm happy that cinema is being taken seriously and finally being considered an art form. Earlier painters and dancers, and not actors, were considered good enough for national honours. They do a fine job, but so do we. Just because actors enjoy more popularity, it should not preclude them from government-endorsed awards.

I hope actors and actresses get more national awards. I never thought I'd get a Padmashri. It makes me feel that what I've been doing is worth something. Inshallah, I hope I can get higher national awards in the years to come.

Design: Uday Kuckian

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