Archive for the ‘Aarakshan’ Category

Saif Ali Khan has won the best actor for supporting role screen awards 2012, for his outstanding performance in Aarakshan. We Congratulate Saifu and all you SaifuHolics for this great victory. Saifu you’re the best!

Have there been days when you have had to drag yourself to work?

Yes, on some days. Like today for this photo shoot. Ever since I was a kid one of the first things I realised is that this is the only job where I’d be excited to go to work every day. There is rarely a day when you are like, ‘Oh no’. And the good thing is you get to choose your films and your roles. Hopefully, you are in a position where you choose something not just to support yourself but because it’s something exciting to do.

Are you hassled with the constant travelling your work demands.

I’m not hassled at all. I’m just a little amazed that I’m doing it. But that’s an average actor’s life. Not that I’m average! But there is, at least in my life, a lot of travel, a lot of hotel rooms, a lot of work abroad. So the day after I shot an ad in Eastern Europe, I was shooting in Mumbai for another ad. That’s a bit tight.

Aarakshan was the second film you did with Amitabh Bachchan after Eklavya. What does working with an actor of his stature do to you as an actor?

When I was doing Eklavya I thought I’d better be well prepared. I had a lot of lines with him. I remember thinking, it’s not correct for me to be intimidated. I was psyching myself. I said I must respect him but I must not be in awe of him. That was the hardest part. So, when I achieved that I felt I’d achieved something great.

Was it easier the second time around?

No, Eklavya was home territory for me. I was playing a role that was easy. I just had to know my lines really. I mean I was playing a prince who’s returned from London. But in Aarakshan, I was a bit worried because I wasn’t 100 per cent comfortable in what I was trying to portray. And I knew, as always, Amitji would be. It wasn’t about being competitive but being good at what you’re doing. I was a little conscious about whether I’d get it right because it’s so new to me. And then, Amitji said something about learning lines — that you have to learn them and remember them when you’re in the gym, in the shower and when falling asleep.

Apparently, Kareena was unable to give dates for your film Agent Vinod because she was committed to other projects.
She’s busy but that’s not the reason Agent Vinod is delayed. I think we underestimated how long it would take to cut an action movie like this. But there’s no harm done. In the meanwhile, I’ve gone and shot two movies (Aarakshan and Cocktail). I think the rumours started because I had said it would take less time than it has actually taken.

You’ve already rubbished the stories about Kareena and you having problems. Do these kind of things irritate you?

It’s difficult to control this kind of talk when you’re in a relationship. It’s really tough because everyone goes on about your relationship. They don’t even understand what it is. They’ve got their own perceptions of her being a bitch or me being an idiot, or me being something or her being something. Whatever it is, it’s not what it seems, obviously. I’m not that stupid. But the idea is to keep it separate. Otherwise, it overshadows everything you’re trying to do as an actor.

Your reactions to reports that one of the reason for your fights is that you have to sponsor holidays for Kareena’s family.

The embarrassing part is when families are brought into it. It’s also most annoying. It happens sometimes and I try not to think about it. I’ve gotten used to it. And I think people will get used to it too. You’re actors, you’re professionals and you’re working. You have a personal life and you must keep the two separate. The fact that you’re in the same profession makes that hard and you get talked about more for things that one shouldn’t get talked about. So, that’s a bit annoying. Then when you have to explain that you’re not doing silly things like sponsoring holidays… it gets embarrassing.

There was an item on the Internet which said you were spotted wearing Kareena’s track pants…

The Internet is a wonderful thing but no they were my track pants. Besides, hers won’t fit me.

Kareena has said that her filmography would be incomplete without the Khans — Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir. Is she forgetting that you are a Khan too? What have you added to her filmography?

We’ve not had a successful onscreen association. We’ve never had a successful movie. But naturally any actress would want to work with the Khans and I don’t think she forgets that I’m a Khan too. I think she should be the best person to answer that question.

What still surprises you and sometimes catches you unawares?

God, beauty and kindness in all this chaos and a flash of innocence in all this filth.

Hmmm… when did you last see that flash of innocence in all the filth?

(Wickedly) It wasn’t at the customs yesterday. That’s for sure. Actually in children, and particularly mine. And yes, something that surprises me a little is my attitude, which I think has changed for the better. Just when you think you are getting used to something you can start feeling differently about things. You like to feel calm and I’m quite happy where I am. Sometimes you get surprised by the niceness in people.

Are you fed up of being asked questions on marriage or your fights with Kareena?

No, not really. I’m not fed up of anything. Just concerned because whatever I’m doing professionally somehow gets side tracked and we end up talking about my wearing her tracksuit. That makes me sound like an idiot. That worries me.

It seems that Bollywood’s Comedy director David Dhawan’s era is fading in recent times. According to Mumbai Mirror sources, Sajid Khan will direct the sequel of Judwaa instead of David Dhawan.

But this won’t be the end of the surprise, as the buzz is on that even Salman Khan might get replaced by Saif Ali Khan. According to industry insiders, the original hero of the film, Salman might not be able to be a part of the sequel due to his already busy calendar for the coming year.

“Sajid Nadiadwala is like my elder brother. He has asked me to direct the film. I will start on the project once I finish shooting the UTV and Vashu Bhagnani co-production with Ajay Devgn,” Sajid informed Mumbai Mirror.

Salman and Karisma Kapoor starrer original movie Judwaa was a great hit. Now, if the rumours about Saif and Sajid teaming up for the sequel is true, we would definitely be eager to see if it could spill the magic even this time.

Jaeger-LeCoultre takes great pride in awarding the inaugural Glory to the Actor Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, to celebrated Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, in recognition of his achievements as an actor/producer and his efforts in the developments of the Bollywood film industry.

Star of numerous Bollywood blockbusters – such as Love Aaj Kal, Race, Omkara, Parineeta, Aarakshan, and Hum Tum, and international successes, Salaam Namaste – an acting career spanning nearly 20 years, and honoured by numerous awards – such as the prestigious national Pradma Shri for his outstanding contribution to the development of the film industry in India – Saif Ali Khan is a worthy recipient of the inaugural Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Actor award.

Watch aficionado Saif – son of acclaimed Bollywood actress, Sharmila Tagore, and late India cricket captain, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi – wears an ode to his family, a personalised edition of Jaeger-LeCoultres Reverso Grand Taille with the Pataudi family crest engraved on the reverse of the case. Saif received this unique piece at the momentous celebration of the 80th anniversary of the iconic watch with Jaeger-LeCoultre in Paris in June of this year.

The award ceremony will take place on 14 October 2011, during the Abu Dhabi Film Festival at the Abu Dhabi Theater on the Corniche. The ceremony will precede the festivals gala screening of The Ides of March, a new film by George Clooney, starring Paul Giamatti, Ryan Gossling and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

We are delighted that Jaeger-LeCoultre has chosen to give the first Glory to the Actor Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and so, I am sure, are the many fans of Saif Ali Khan among the sizeable community of Bollywood lovers here in Abu Dhabi. It will be both a pleasure and an honour to celebrate the achievements of such an acclaimed actor, said Peter Scarlet, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Initially an award dedicated to filmmakers at the Venice Film Festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre takes great pride in extending the Glory Award category at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2011 and its feature on the calendar of prestigious film festivals around the world. The Glory Award category honours and supports the film industry in recognition of both upcoming and confirmed actors, directors and producers.

“This is a partnership we are very excited about because Jaeger-LeCoultre shares our dedication to cinema as an art form, and to the recognition of the achievements of gifted actors from around the world. There are many ways our efforts complement each other and we look forward to working with Jaeger-LeCoultre in the years to come,” said Eissa Saif Rashed Al Mazrouei, Director of Special Projects for ADACH.

Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Jaeger-LeCoultre, the reference in Swiss fine watchmaking, is pleased to announce its official 3 year partnership with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), one of the largest and most influential international film festivals in the Middle East.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has a long standing connection with the film industry, and a strong commitment to supporting and promoting cinematic culture. As a major player in watchmaking history, celebrating its 178th anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre is a true watchmaking legend, respected for upholding watchmaking traditions and maintaining the spirit of invention. A perfect fit in a region with shared regard for tradition and heritage mixed with modernity and the ultimate quest for perfection. said Jrme Lambert, Chief Executive Officer Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Jaeger-LeCoultres long-established relations with the film industry are exemplified in its 7 year partnership with the Venice International Film Festival. The brand and the Festival share a common devotion to artistic heritage. The two sides meet each year to praise film and culture, to extol history and time. In recent years, Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Venice International Film Festival have been in close cooperation to support and promote the film culture.

In addition to the Venice Film Festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre recently joined forces with the Shanghai International Film Festival, further cementing its position as supporter of the global cinematic industry.

Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre

A major player in watchmaking history since 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the first Manufacture to have been established in the Vallee de Joux, Switzerland. It played a pioneering role by uniting the full range of technical and artistic professions under one roof and made an indelible imprint on the watchmaking development of the entire region. The Manufacture has an impressive range of world firsts, superlative creations and legendary models to its credit, including the Reverso, the Duoplan, the Master Control, the Memovox Polaris, the Gyrotourbillon and the Atmos. Guided by time-honored know-how and a constant quest for technical enhancements, the master-watchmakers, engineers and technicians craft each watch in harmony with the same passion. Each masterpiece, heir to 178 years of expertise, calls for the exercise of no less than 40 professions and benefits from cutting-edge technologies while being crafted in harmony with the noblest traditions of the Valle de Joux. Building on a vast heritage encompassing 1,231 calibres and 398 registered patents, Jaeger-LeCoultre remains the reference in high-end watchmaking.

In the UAE Friday to be honoured by a luxury watch company, Bollywood heartthrob Saif Ali Khan opens up about his lineage, his career and ‘Saifeena’

It calls for a certain amount of class and breeding to be gracious while grappling with a personal loss. And Saif Ali Khan, just coming to terms with the death of his father, legendary cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, on September 22, has that in spades.
Graciously accepting my condolences with a polite “thank you, ma’am”, the award-winning actor — whose royal lineage is well-documented, with his ancestors ruling Pataudi, an erstwhile princely state near Delhi — spoke haltingly as he talked about the rich legacy left behind by his famous father.
“I looked up to my father tremendously — in almost every way. He was a remarkable man,” said Khan in an exclusive interview with tabloid! as he waited to board a flight to Mumbai.
Often referred to as the Chhote Nawab (junior prince) by the Indian press, the Aarakshan star is aware of his rich inheritance — more so than before. India, a nation full of cricket lovers, was plunged into grief when its beloved “Tiger” — a nickname his father earned for his aggressive sporting prowess — died.
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“He was so dignified and inspired so much respect in all of us. I will not emulate him, but I will try and absorb the very special qualities that made him the man that he is. I would like to carry on the good work that he was doing. I don’t know how to word it, but in whatever way I can I will take his legacy forward,” said Khan, adding that his father supported several charities.
Perhaps it’s this quality that made the Delhi-born, UK-educated star the ideal ambassador for Swiss luxury watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre. Friday at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre will decorate Khan with the inaugural Glory To The Actor Award in a nod to his sizeable contribution to Bollywood. But when you ask the recipient whether it was his pedigree that won him this account, he demurs. Khan believes it was a healthy mix of Bollywood and blue blood.
“I think it’s hard to differentiate one from the other. If it’s just my family background, I don’t think they [Jaeger-LeCoultre] would have ever heard of me. The fact that I am an actor in Indian films has advertised my name and made it known to the world. My job and my profession is obviously something that I am proud of. I am equally proud of my family background. I think one complements the other in a way. It’s hard for me to separate the two.”
The 41-year-old, who made his debut in the family drama Parampara in 1992, found Bollywood the best leveller. Film folklore has it that showbiz did not mete out the royal treatment to Khan — whose mother is legendary actress Sharmila Tagore — as he struggled to gain a place in the highly competitive industry. In the early ’90s, he was panned for his effeminate voice and was mostly a part of ensemble films such as Yeh Dillagi and Main Khiladi Tu Anari, which had far more established stars leading the projects.
Cinematic coups
But the 2001 box office hit Dil Chahta Hai — a coming-of-age film about three friends — put him firmly on the Bollywood map. In recent years, he has topped up his account with several cinematic coups. Be it playing the jealous Langda Tyagi in Omkara, Bollywood’s answer to Othello, the commitment-phobe Jai Vardhan Singh in Love Aaj Kal or cold-blooded murderer Karan in Ek Hasina Thi, Khan has aced the acting game.
“It’s been 19 years and I am very happy that I found something that I love and it’s wonderful to be loved so much in return. I feel I am better at [acting] now than I was before. But, I have a strong feeling that the coming months will be my best phase in my career, starting with Agent Vinod.”
The highly anticipated spy-thriller is the next film from his production house Illuminati Films, which he started in 2009 with the blockbuster Love Aaj Kal. Khan plays the title role along with Kareena Kapoor, his longtime girlfriend. Shot on a massive scale, his magnum opus has been in the works for the last two years.
“Agent Vinod, as my director Sriram Raghavan puts it, is a little bit Bond and a little bit Tin-Tin. It’s ultimately an action adventure. This guy is not a copy of James [Bond] or Jason [Bourne]. I am amazed that Sriram has come up with an original character, because it’s so easy to ape a Western spy considering the number of Hollywood films that have been made in that genre.”
Though the plot is intriguing to industry insiders and Bollywood buffs, it’s the on-screen pairing with Kapoor that’s grabbing headlines. The divorced father-of-two began dating the Bollywood A-lister in 2007 and has been attempting to stoke some on-screen chemistry with thrillers like the terrorism drama Kurbaan.
Though it didn’t ring any bells at the box-office, the Saifeena (the tabloid title bestowed on the power couple) chemistry in the film was much applauded. And as expected, the impending marriage plans of this dynamic-duo are debated, scrutinised and analysed to great lengths. Khan is a tad irked by it all.
“At the right time next year, we can comment on our future plans,” said Khan, adding that working together on Agent Vinod would naturally put the spotlight on their personal lives.
“People generally tend to be more interested in our personal life than our professional lives. And that one question in a long-drawn interview ends up grabbing headlines. It negates everything you are trying to put across or talk about. While I understand it, I hope people also realise that I respect my relationship tremendously. Therefore, I try and avoid answering certain questions. There’s so much more going on.”
Dutiful son
The rough cut of Agent Vinod has already been submitted to the Berlin Film Festival programmers. Khan is convinced that it will make the cut.
“Agent Vinod is a very special film. And I know it has been stretched over two years, which could have been avoided, but it’s got some superb action sequences. Though it’s a bit premature to speak about it, I have a good feeling about it,” said Khan.
He will be flying straight to London after the Jaeger-LeCoultre awards ceremony in the capital on Friday, to shoot the last leg of his epic. Apart from Agent Vinod, which is tipped to release in February, he’s also planning a zombie comedy (yet to be titled), plus Cocktail, a romantic comedy with Deepika Padukone.
Surprisingly, his professional commitments have not forced him to turn his back on his personal life. Khan was on his way back to Mumbai after visiting his mother Tagore in Delhi when tabloid! caught up with him over the phone on Tuesday. As he put it, it’s all about striking a fine balance.
“When your father is alive, you can afford to be a bit negligent, even careless. But after he’s gone, I have to take care of my mother and my sisters as well.”
Saif on…
His watch collection: “I love watches. In fact, I collect them and I have a fair amount of them. But I have only limited myself to buying one watch a year and I look forward to it. Also, Jaeger-LeCoultre have very kindly given me a personalised edition of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Grand Taille with the Pataudi family crest engraved on the reverse of the case.”
On the term Bollywood: “I am not massively proud of the name. I know, I am nobody to complain. But it really doesn’t do much for our international image. There are certain people who make very corny movies and have notorious dealings with people. They generally colour the reputation of everybody. But the people I have worked with are well-organised and in touch with the world cinema.”
On marketing blitzkrieg that has become the Bollywood norm, such as the RA.One promotions headed by Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir Khan for his rural drama Peepli Live: “Aamir [Khan] has the best cinematic mind in the business. He’s an inspiration and I would love to follow some of his clever strategies for Agent Vinod.”

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Among the Bollywood royalty, Saif Ali Khan holds a special place. This is mainly thanks to the rare combination of his Nawabi lineage and his love interest, Kareena Kapoor — the industry’s reigning queen. Now, with talks of their marriage coinciding with the release of Aarakshan, his first film in two years, the actor can’t escape the media glare.
In conversation with Harneet Singh, the actor shows no reservations as he talks about his dreams, his ambitious home production, Agent Vinod, being a zombie expert and his Zen-like approach to work.
Why the almost two-year gap between Kurbaan and Aarakshan?
I got busy with my production, Agent Vinod, as well as setting up my production house, Illuminati Films. In hindsight, it didn’t pan out that bad. The gap gave me the time to reboot myself. Now, I’m enjoying training in the gym and also I’m clearer about the direction I want my career to take.
Prakash Jha and you occupy diverse worlds, how did Aarakshan happen?
It happened over a conversation where I pointed out that we will make for a very unexpected combination if we ever work together. The next day, he offered me the film. I took it up as a good opportunity to do a film based on India and about Indians.
And handling the moustache, did that come easy?
Well, let me first tell you that it’s a genuine one. It took getting used to, but I tend to think that a moustache can look very sophisticated if you carry it well. It also has an advantage that you can suck the soup out of it hours after you’ve eaten (laughs).