Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan are among the most popular male actors in Hindi cinema history. They shared the stage at an event in 2013, when Shah Rukh narrated a humorous story involving Amitabh Bachchan, and his global popularity.
Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were asked why Indian films fail to travel outside the south Asian diaspora crowd abroad, and Shah Rukh recalled an incident that highlighted his point about the process of assimilation being a gradual one.
He said at the NDTV event, “It had to have a beginning. And I think the beginning happened years ago, with Raj Kapoor and Amit ji, when Russian people watched our films. In Egypt, when you land, they will only call you Amitabh Bachchan if you’re Indian.
He continued, “I’ll digress a little, but the first time I went for a song, Suraj Hua Maddham, from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, when I landed, the Egyptians said, ‘Salaam Alaikum, Amitabh Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan’. I told them that Amitabh Bachchan isn’t in this song, it’s only me and Kajol. I figured they must have understood that you weren’t there. But when Kajol followed me, they again said, ‘Hello, Amitabh Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan!’ So they call every Indian, man or woman, Amitabh Bachchan there.”
Amitabh and Shah Rukh have also worked together in films such as Mohabbatein and Veer-Zaara. Internationally, Shah Rukh has a deal in place with streaming giant Netflix, and Amitabh appeared in an extended cameo in director Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, along with Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan.