New Delhi: Much has changed since he charmed the audience as affable boy-next-door Prem 16 years ago and today's Salman Khan is a formidable, larger-than-life action hero.
Salman is now making a comeback to the iconic role and is confident that his fans will love his innocent avatar in "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" as much as they did him in his rowdy roles.
"People say a lot about image but I don't think it makes any difference. In 'Tere Naam', where in the second half my character goes in mental asylum and becomes different but the audience accepted me. So, my fans have accepted me in different kind of roles. But, yes the film has to be larger-than-life," Salman told PTI.
Citing the example of his last blockbuster, "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", Salman said either the production value should be great or the film should have strong plot.
"'Bajrangi' role was totally opposite to my image but the film had a strong plot and it clicked."
The actor is not worried about switching genres as he feels "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" is better than his previous romantic outings.
"There was no hesitation at all. When you like the script, then it actually does not matter but if the script is not that good and you are crossing over then it is a sure shot disaster. Now, if I do a romantic-comedy after my larger-than- life films, people will say, 'This we can see at home, why I should spend money and watch it in theatre?'," said Salman.
Salman's previous Rajshri films include "Maine Pyaar Kiya", "Hum Aapke Hain Koun" and "Hum Saath Saath Hain" but the 49-year-old actor believes his latest collaboration is his best.
"It is very special for me to return as Prem. This movie is on the level of 'Maine Pyar Kiya' and 'Hum Aapke Hain Koun' in terms of entertainment and humour, but it is, by far, Sooraj's best work. It is reminiscent of my old films but Prem is naughtier than ever," Salman said.
The actor shared he had one fear before signing the film -- the possibility of an aged, stuck-up Prem.
"I was hoping Sooraj does not make Prem into an aging, serious, grumpy man and when I heard the story, I was happy as I felt it was the right note to catch. We were laughing a lot during the narration."
The superstar, whose movies spell entertainment, wants his audience, especially kids, to take away with them more than just "enjoyement" from his films.
The thought process can be gauged with his last choice, "Bajrangi Bhaijaan", which was a heartwarming tale of a Hanuman devotee, who defies all odds to drop a deaf-and-mute Pakistani girl back to her country.
"I feel cinema is a very powerful medium and we don't use it correctly. I want to start using that medium the way it actually should be. People coming, getting entertained and taking away something from the film and they add that thing in their personality for life.
"People from older generation will understand it and implement it but it gets embedded into the kids' heads. If you want to change the youth into the right direction, then it has to be put into their heads from the beginning. And I don't think there is anything better than films for this."