Saif Ali Khan talks about his experience of working with Prakash Jha and what he feels about Politics

Posted: May 19, 2011 in Aarakshan, Agent Vinod, Bollywood, Deepika Padukone, Race 2, Saif Ali Khan, Saif Ali Khan Updates
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Saif, you are known for your Western style and charm and royal heritage. You have played a rustic character in Omkara and a Sardar in Love Aaj Kal. Here you play a Dalit. So how did you prepare for the character?

Saif: It was difficult for me but the interesting thing about acting is that you can do different things. This is a role where more than acting, I had to feel the part from inside. I had to have a certain expression in my eyes and have a different type of body language. Prakashji and I sat and discussed the character. He told me that my character is Buddha or Zen-like in the sense that he is very calm. He is not edgy or nervous. The details were in the script. The hairstyle, the clothes, and the location helped me to become the character. The idea was to learn how to feel the part. I hope I have succeeded in doing that because this has been my most challenging character so far. It didn’t come naturally to me at all. I couldn’t even act it. I had to internalize it. I asked lots of questions to Prakashji. I am from the traditional school of thought where I am quiet on the sets and ask questions when I am off the sets. I thought of becoming like Karan from the Mahabharata.

How did working with Prakash Jha enhance your Hindi vocabulary?

Saif: We have learnt so many words from him that we can compile a dictionary. The word that comes to my mind is gadha because that is what he calls people on the sets who are making mistakes. There are many more words.

Saif, what do you have to say about working with Prakash Jha?

Saif: I want to say that India is a difficult and diverse country but the industry makes films that are very Western in their perceptions. That is the case with the films that I make. We look towards the West in the clothes we wear, the subjects we choose, the attitude, the manners, etc. Even Agent Vinod and Love Aaj Kal are Western in their presentation and treatment.

I think it is really nice that we have a director in Prakashji who takes subjects that are relevant to India and Indian situations and makes films that are set in Bihar, Bhopal, and other rustic regions. His characters are Indian and they reach out to the masses and the classes. The common man can identify with his characters. I am glad that I got an opportunity to do with this film.

Saif, what is your view on politics?

Saif : I CANNOT BEAR POLITICS! I simply can’t take it or read about political parties. A few years ago, I used to read more about it but now I am a little aware because I obviously read the papers. I just find the governing of groups of people, the kind of politics this country has and how difficult it is to keep everybody happy very exhausting. I think I am in the right profession where things keep changing every now and then. You get immersed in one world and then you go to another one. There is no politics where I work, thankfully.

Saif, how did this movie change your perception on reservation?

Saif : Before the movie, I was against reservations I felt that things should be done on a level of merit. For instance, I didn’t want to be operated upon by a doctor who got the position because of some quota. That was my thought process a while ago. After the movie, I learnt that a lot of people in India are very underprivileged and they have no chance in life. It is not like you can get a job or become a doctor by passing an exam. There is corruption on both sides. I think even if 10-20% of the population manages to get an education, then the future of the country can e brightened by some extreme measures. This is not a country you can govern normally. We have very unique situations. Things that happen in India do not happen anywhere else in the world. After doing this film, I have altered my stance on reservation to a certain extent. I know reservation should exist but the extent or percentage is debatable

Saif, you and Deepika have acted previously in Love Aaj Kal. So how has your equation changed and what do you have to say about your chemistry together.

Saif: I think chemistry lies in the script and it is not up to people. It has nothing to do with personal equations, relationships, or friendships. In my experience I have had great chemistry with people I didn’t know personally. Aarakshan and Love Aaj Kal are completely different movies and the challenge was very interesting. Somehow, Deepika and I are doing three movies this year. We have this one, the Race 2 and Cocktail (our production). We have to look distinct and act differently in each of them. As far as Aarakshan is concerned, it is a very different world and with Prakashji’s direction, it will not look like anything else. The opportunity of playing an Indian part was lovely.

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