Panaji, Nov 22: Filmmaker Kabir Khan says it was not him, who convinced Salman Khan to star in "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", but the superstar himself had a lot of conviction in the story as he strongly believes in promoting secularism in India.
The film, set against the backdrop of the strained Indo-Pak relationship, is about a simple Hanuman devotee from India, who embarks on an eventful journey to take a young girl back to her home in Pakistan.
The character was an image-defying role for Salman, who mostly stars in action movies and according to Kabir the whole credit of pulling off the role goes to superstar and not him. "It wasn't just me convincing him. It was also his own decision.
Post 'Ek Tha Tiger', which was a more mainstream, action film, I spent a lot of time with Salman and I realised that he has a very strong commitment and believes strongly about certain issue and one of them is secularism in India.
"I always felt that somebody of the stature of Salman Khan can address such an issue in a film then the message goes really far," Kabir said on the sidelines of IFFI.
The filmmaker says Salman was very excited about the film and it was his call to produce it as he didn't want a studio to come and tamper with the story, which he felt was pure and simple.
"I have never seen him jump like the way he did when he heard the story of 'Bajrangi...'. He had a lot of conviction in the story. It was he who said that we should produce it ourselves so that there is no interference form the studio and we can make the film we want to do."
"Bajrangi Bhaijaan" is one of the top grossers of this year and besides its huge earning, the film has also made its mark in the festival circuit around the world including Busan and IFFI, 2015.
"I am really enjoying the love and appreciation that I am still getting post the release of the film. It is like a holiday, I am traveling with the film to various festivals. Meeting the audiences. I feel blessed," Kabir said.