Shah Rukh Khan, S S Rajamouli, Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi are among the World’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023, Time magazine announced.
The list also includes US President Joe Biden, King Charles III, Syrian-born swimmers and activists Sara Mardini and Yusra Mardini, star icon Bella Hadid, billionaire CEO Elon Musk and iconic singer and artist Beyonce.
Khan’s profile, written by his Pathaan co-star Deepika Padukone, reads, ‘For someone who has known him intimately and cares for him deeply, 150 words will never do justice to the phenomenon that is Shah Rukh Khan.’
Khan will be ‘known forever as one of the greatest actors of all time,’ Padukone said, adding, ‘But what truly sets him apart is his mind, his chivalry, his generosity. The list goes on…’
Khan had won the 2023 TIME100 reader poll, in which readers voted for the individuals they felt most deserved a spot on Time‘s annual list of the most influential people, earning 4 per cent of the vote of the more than 1.2 million votes cast.
For Rajamouli, Alia Bhatt wrote that the RRR director ‘knows the audience he’s serving. He knows what beats to hit, what turns to take.’
‘I call him the master storyteller because he genuinely loves the flair and abandon of stories. And he brings us together,’ Bhatt said.
She added that India is a massive country with diverse demographics, tastes, and culture, but Rajamouli gets that and ‘unites us through his movies.’
Bhatt recalled asking the RRR director for acting advice, to which he had replied, ‘Whatever choice you make, just do that with love. Because even if the film doesn’t work, the audience will see love in your eyes for what you’re doing.’
Music legend and lead singer of the band U2, Bono, writing Rushdie’s profile, said, ‘Terrorism wants to own and inhabit you, to hijack your day and haunt your night. Salman Rushdie has refused to be terrorised.’
‘Outside of his writing, this is the lesson of his life,’ Bono added.
Bono said that he was not surprised that the ‘great novelist’ described last year’s attack on him at the Chautauqua Institution in New York with frame-by-frame specificity.
Rushdie ‘didn’t miss a detail as he recounted the crisis he had prepared for since 1989,’ Bono said, adding that what surprised him was that Rushdie made him laugh.
‘Really?’ Rushie had recalled thinking, according to Bono. ‘After 30 years? Amongst these most kindly, casually dressed readers in Chautauqua, New York?’
The U2 lead singer added that rock ‘n’ roll has always been about liberation to him.
Rushdie’s ‘continued creativity has become a different expression of that same liberation, defiance and a determination not to be silenced. Of course, there was anguish as he told me the story of the attack, but what was clear was that he would not bow,’ Bono said.
‘Freedom often loses but is never defeated,’ he added.
Comedian, actor, and Emmy-nominated writer Ali Wong, in her profile for Lakshmi, said that the television host’s genuine love of food and her smartness makes it electric to watch her as the host of Top Chef and Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi.
‘It also helps that she’s drop-dead gorgeous,’ Wong said.
Describing Lakshmi as an ‘incredible writer’, Wong said this personality trait shines through when she speaks.
‘She’s articulate and has a strong point of view. When I was a guest judge on Top Chef, I was shocked by how honest and unafraid she was of being disliked, she’s brave in that way,’ Wong said.
‘I’m always in awe of Padma because, yes, she really is that beautiful, talented, and charismatic. She’s iconic,’ she added.
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