Saif Ali Khan is all geared up for his finally releasing film, Kaalakaandi. After getting stuck with CBFC, the film approached the FCAT body and it was passed by only cut for the release.
Recently, we met the daddy cool Saif, who spoke about almost everything from his next Netflix series to CBFC, baby Taimur Ali Khan and Kaalakaandi clashing with two other films at the box office. Uncensored, Unapologetic and straight from the heart!
Excerpts from the interview:
1. Could you tell us in what zone Kaalakaandi is?
I just think Kaalakaandi is a proper like an international, sensible, funny, engaging movie. It doesn’t fit the typical Bollywood kind of potboiler but it is a very satisfying film. Like when you see it you feel that it’s got something for everyone and it’s a very entertaining movie. I mean it is something that makes you laughs, sometimes makes you cry a little bit and it is a film that comes out of a very relatable India. I am proud that Akshat Verma said that he wants to be the only guy who wants to make different films that are coming out of India. It is not necessary that we only have to make a certain kind of movie, there are lots of different kinds of movies being made. What I like about this is that it has got drama, action. It’s not a quiet film but it’s quite a crazy film.
2. What do you have to say about the title of the film? Who decided Kaalakaandi as a title?
You know, first, the title was Kaalagandi but then somebody said what does that mean? People were like it means problem, so we said no it doesn’t mean a problem (Laughs). It means black bum! (Laughs). So they said that we have to change it. They said Kaalakaandi kar do! That’s how it changed.
3. Was it that black humour what attracted you to do this film?
No, I just liked the story, I liked the way how all the stories connect, all the crazy things which happen in one night. And it’s a nice fun thing to do and I am really happy that I did it. Everyone…people will enjoy this film.
4. Your film will be clashing with films like 1921 and Mukkabaaz…
There are so many films being made, so I think finding dates has become a big thing. I had only one film in my career that was released on a holiday. I wish I would have more holiday releases. But they all are taken usually by other films. Race 2 released on a holiday and it had an opening of 12-13 crore. So, it helps…release dates are very important.
5. You took a lot of time to decide to do this film. What was the reason behind it?
I don’t know. I think at that time, it wasn’t something I was looking at! And then nobody picked it up, it’s been around for 2 years. Vishal Bharadwaj said that I should read it, I would like it. So I read it and I did like it.
6. What did you find so challenging in the role?
It’s about a guy who really is boring and he has never done anything wrong in his life. So, that was quite challenging. Then it was about how he takes this drug and then goes a little crazy. So, to do that properly and not stupidly was quite challenging.
7. Would we see you doing a film with Vishal Bhardwaj again soon?
Yes, sure! I would love to! He is a great director. Some of Vishal ji’s ideas I love and some of I don’t love as much. So, I love it, I would love to do it.
8. You have been considered as one of the most bankable actors for the longest period of time…
By whom? I don’t think I am! Films have to run at a certain level at the box office.
9. Are you working on it?
Yes, I think so. The biggest trick is not to take it personally. Like the first thought would be that maybe people don’t like you but I think it’s not that. you have to do a film which they want to see. They have to like the world of the movie and that’s always challenging for me because I have slightly niche taste. The things that excite me and the things excite the filmmakers I like, might not be the most popular choices sometimes. Like Bazaar is definitely more commercial…
10. Most actors say that public review doesn’t matter to them anymore as today everyone has become a critic. So do you feel the same?
No, I think reviews matter. I like to read reviews and if there’s something negative. But the most times if I have worked slightly hard, reviewers like me. For Rangoon, I got really good reviews. So I think my acting has changed this year. People say that after Omkara, I have done good work in Chef. So, I have had good reviews. That also doesn’t matter. The bad reviews, you try and understand what they mean. Like Phantom, I had some bad reviews, people said that it’s very wooden. Maybe because I was trying to play that character very seriously but I forgot to give it any life. So, these things happen. I learn from the reviews.
11. Do you feel that even marketing is a big thing in today’s time? Like your film Chef got good reviews but the buzz of the film was not that much…
Absolutely! I think marketing is the main thing. And it costs a lot of money to market films. So, the people think that if an actor runs around, or goes in TV shows …but you can save money on publicity if the actor does it but people are not interested in my opinion. People want to see the trailer, posters, they want to decide for themselves, they want to sample the merchandise, and they want to feel whether they want to see a film or not.
12. The last film you watched was?
I think the last film I saw was Dangal… I think Baahubali 2 and Dangal are the last 2 films that I have seen. But I should watch more. I keep thinking that I will watch first-day first show, I really want to. But honestly, I have done a lot of work this year- Sacred Games, Bazaar, Kaalakaandi and parts of Chef.
13. Your last few films didn’t work at the box office. So does it upset you and did that add pressure on you every time you work on a new film?
No, not really. I mean it is upsetting but it doesn’t add pressure because that’s not the right way to think.
14. You are doing a Netflix series, Sacred Games. With this, you are entering the digital world. But we have seen that you are far away from the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram… What is the reason behind this?
I don’t know, I like the real world, I vary of the digital world. Because people can get lost in it and it can take your time, looking around and talking to people. People are losing the art of conversation. The importance of whether people like what you are doing, if that becomes more important, then it can be dangerous. Also I find things like Instagram would be me showing off! What would I do? It’s showing off, I will say this is my house, this is my horse in Pataudi…what do I put on Instagram? This is my son…he is quite famous! He is a superstar baby. The love that you have given to the baby is kind so far, let’s see what happens later! (Laughs).
15. When will we get to see you and Kareena coming together?
Come home sometime (laughs). I don’t know about it.
16. There has been censor issues with this film and it got delayed too…
Nothing! The film has a bit of bad language, it’s got a little risky stuff going on because it’s an honest proper film. So I am happy that even if the censor board said that you can’t make this film and you are going to have 73 cuts but there is a body, FCAT, who could see the film that it’s an honest film. They understand that it’s a proper movie. So they passed it. There’s a process to everything and I am not bothered because it’s not hurt me in any way.
17. Is hosting a TV show on the cards? Any offers? Like Bigg Boss?
No, not really. I am quite happy doing films. And Bigg Boss is for special people (smiles).
18. Upcoming projects?
Well, there’s Bazaar which is a nice commercial potboiler on the stock market. There is Scared Games and the film that I am excited about is Navdeep Singh & Aanand Rai’s next with R Madhavan.
Kaalakaandi is slated to release on January 12, 2018.