Maneesh Sharma first spoke to Shah Rukh Khan 12 years before he directed him in Fan. He revealed, “As a film student, I called him in 2004 from Los Angeles; and still don’t know why he spoke to me.” After that first fortuitous meeting, Sharma joined Yash Raj Films as an assistant and worked on Fanaah, Aaja Nach Le and the SRK starrer-Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008). Thereafter, he directed Band Bajaa Baraat and Shuddh Desi Romance with new stars, but made an ambitious leap with Fan. He candidly stated, “I wrote it keeping SRK in mind. I was clear the film will be made with him or it won’t happen.”
Sharma presented SRK in a dual role – as superstar Aryan Khanna who came close to being the star’s alter ego and as his besotted fan, Gaurav Chadana. The film’s audacious, prosthetic-aided transformation of Khan into a gawky, 24-year-old became the initial reason to see the film but Sharma drew you in with the unfolding mind games between a superstar and his fan and the resulting ruminations on the star-fan dynamic.