Monday, October 08, 2007 13:08 IST
The past month Salman has been undertaking a Bharat Yatra. Thanks to Samir Karnik's Mera Bharat Mahaan.
And the break from Mumbai has done Salman a world of good.
"Salman has become far quieter and mellower. He was always been a chilled-out guy. Now he's more chilled out than ever before. He doesn't get hassled about anything.
No matter how wintry or warm the weather gets, he remains calm. And I've never seen him so work-driven." Says Salman's faithful costar Shilpa Shetty who has known him for years.
"I was just a child when I came into the industry. Salman looked after me like he would a child. Today he still looks out for me."
Suddenly all of Salman's co-stars feels he has mellowed beyond recognition.
First in Leh then in Chandigarh, Salman was so quiet and undemanding, he made the Mera Bharat Mahaan unit feel sightly worried.
"We've never seen him like this before" says a source. "He requested the makers of Mera Bharat Mahaan to avoid publicizing his presence in the film.
His argument was, his role was so brief he would've just liked to be the surprise element when the film came out...Throughout the Leh and the Chandigarh schedule Salman was totally focused on his work. He slept early and woke up before the cows to be on location in time."
In fact, according to close friends, Salman is a changed person. Says a close friend, "He's cut down drastically on the drinks. And spends all his free time with family rather than friends. He's no longer interested in partying and whooping it up.
Salman has decided to go for the kill. Suddenly Salman is more career-driven than ever before. If you see his promos in Partner, he has matched Govinda step-by-step in the dances."
"It's all about motivation," says David Dhawan, Salman 's Partner director and long-standing chum. "Salman has always danced well. But if people find him more in rhythm now it's because he feels a certain inner enthusiasm. Salman rehearsed for hours with Govinda before facing the camera for the dancing."
That's certainly a new one from Salman. Rehearsals, his directors will tell you, have always bored Salman. But today his friends and associates swear Salman wants to get it right.
Says David, "Salman is today a very generous actor. There was no sense of one-upmanship between him and Govinda in Partner. He gladly let Govinda take centrstage at times. How many stars would do this in their home production?"
And while we're on the creatively and emotionally mellow Salman he's also on a fence-mending spree. After making up with Shah Rukh Khan and Subhash Ghai he has taken Ranbir Kapoor who he had once roughed up in a pub, under his wings. The two apparently do a lot of Bhai-Bhai bonding, much to Ranbir's father Rishi Kapoor's joy.
Ever since they worked together in David Dhawan's Yeh Hai Jalwa, Rishi K has looked with much affection at Salman
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