Saif: I am a Better Actor Now


The Asian Todays’ Sunny Malik spoke to the Bollywood Star

The Nawab of Bollywood, Saif Ali Khan spends a lot of his time in the British capital for holidays and film shoots. Just recently, the 43-year-old actor was filming for Sajid Khan’s upcoming comedy flick Humshakals in London and Portsmouth. Khan met up with Bollywood reporter Sunny Malik at the UK headquarters of 20th Century Fox after a long day of shooting with co-stars Riteish Deshmukh and Tamanna here in London.


Directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia; Bullett Raja sees Saif Ali Khan act the role of Raja Mishra, a commoner who gets transformed into Bullett Raja – a notorious, care-a-damn attitude gangster. Saif Ali Khan joined the ‘100 crore club’ with Race 2 earlier this year. But the actor feels that it’s all about the ‘200 crore club’ now with films like Chennai Express and Krrish 3 creating history at the Indian box office. He said, “The idea is to make a lot of money. It makes you a ‘star’ when your films do really well at the box office and earn 150 crores or 200 crores. It sounds good. People invest in you and you make sure that the films make money. It’s the business of our films.”


Saif has completed his A-Levels at Winchester College in Hampshire and often spends his holidays in the capital with wife Kareena Kapoor. He also filmed his first and third home production, Love Aaj Kal and Cocktail respectively, in London. He feels that it’s important to do films that appeal to a wider audience. “I think Humshakals is the most commercial movie that I am doing. The kind of songs and comedy that we have in the film made me feel that I’m finally doing a film, which has something for everybody, which is important. I mean, Cocktail was lovely but it wasn’t for everyone.” Some people may find it a little highbrow and urban. India is a simple and poor country. Our people like happiness, comedy and dances in movies. It’s nice to play such a role in Humshakals. Khan feels that having a well-known mainstream distributor will give the film a wider audience. “I think distribution is extremely important. I think the fact that they are connected so well in that amazing way and have that reputation is a plus for them. A lot of people are trying to enter the Indian market without understanding it. But the films that Fox is acquiring for production and distribution have a high chance of being successful. Someone is choosing the films correctly. America and India have different cultures. There is no connection.”


Talking about his experience of working with Dhulia, Saif said, “It was really good. He is a very sensible guy. He likes films like Gaddar but at the same time he has an artistic side and makes films like Paan Singh Tomar. Saif was paired opposite Deepika Padukone in three out of his last five film releases. Their successful pairing started with Love Aaj Kal and the duo romanced each other on the silver screen in Race 2 earlier this year as well. He isn’t bothered about the fact that he is much older than his female co-star. The actor feels that these things affect one only if you aren’t doing well. “I’m looking better, at least on most days I don’t know about today, than ever. When you are on top of your game, it doesn’t bother you. But when you aren’t, it will probably start worrying you. When you look in the mirror and you see too many lines and if someone points that out to you, you will feel bad. I feel that forty is the new thirty.” While Saif Ali Khan has been working in Indian films since 1992, he feels that he has become a better actor now. “I am better now, I think. I do watch my old films and I think that I did work hard on them.”


He also feels that Bullett Raja has some similarities to blockbuster Dabangg in terms of presentation of characters. He said, “Our film is actually not unlike Dabangg. That is a crazy take on a cop and this is a rather entertaining take on a Mafia guy. It’s not normal for a Mafia guy to behave like my character does. There is also a bit of a western vibe to it because it’s set in that environment. It’s much more entertaining than it should be in that sense.”


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