‘I want to do things that aren’t mainstream’: Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana’s FIRST ever interview – Few 18-year-olds in the country generate as much interest as Suhana Khan. While there are the genes, courtesy her famous parents, what makes her special is a rare confidence and clarity. In her first-ever interview and magazine shoot, Suhana spoke to Vogue about wanting to be an actor since childhood and the road ahead. Given below is an excerpt from Vogue India’s August 2018 cover story:
The ease with which she conducts herself belies the lack of experience. The camera, it seemed, was an old and familiar friend. “I absolutely loved shooting this cover. Especially the dancing shots. I love dancing. It was so much fun. I was excited when my parents brought it up. I wanted to say yes straight away, but they wanted me to think about it — this is a very public thing. They wanted me to gain confidence from the experience, not lose it,” she says. Confidence isn’t something this teenager needs to worry about, at least not in front of the camera.
Dance like no one’s watching
Suhana, who is in Mumbai on a short break, returns to her other life as a student in England the following week. This year, she will appear for the international baccalaureate exam and graduate from school. Next step: university. “There’s so much to learn, and one way to do it is to start (working) early, but first I want to go to university and finish studies,” says Suhana, echoing the sentiments of her father, who has made no secret of his desire for his children to get an education before they embark upon their careers.
Suhana’s 21-year-old brother Aryan is already studying filmmaking in Los Angeles. She plans to join her brother over the summer to do a short course in acting. Like every other teenager, her plan is to build a portfolio that is strong enough to get her into a good university. Unlike every other teenager, though, she’s dead certain of her future career — acting. “I don’t think there was any one moment when I decided. Since I was young, I’d do all these accents and impressions. But my parents only realised I was serious about acting when they saw a performance of mine for the first time. I was playing Miranda in a school performance of The Tempest.”
The apple doesn’t fall too far…
In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, it’s the relationship between Miranda, the only female character to appear on stage, and her magician-father Prospero that propels the plot. Everything Prospero does is out of love for his daughter. It’s an emotion that is quietly reflective in Suhana’s own life. Her father may be the country’s biggest star, but for her he’s just dad. A dad who FaceTimes his daughter at her first shoot. A dad who drops by during her first interview. (“Pretend I’m not here, I just want to hang out with my daughter,” he says.) A dad who massages her aching feet as we talk, completely besotted by his only daughter (“I told you those shoes were nonsense…”).
In a few years, Suhana will be on a film set of her own. But don’t expect Shah Rukh to launch his daughter. “Suhana’s not working towards a promise of being cast, she’s working towards being an actor, and she knows that. I keep insisting that I don’t want them designed as stars, I want them to be launched when they are good-enough actors,” he adds.