Archive for the ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ Category

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.”

Failures to fame, and from the slide down to tasting success, Saif Ali Khan has come a long way.

After being in Bollywood for a long period of time, he was able to give some solo hits in the form of ‘ Hum Tum’ and ‘ Parineeta’, a cool 12 years after the starson debuted on celluloid. More known as Sharmila Tagore and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s son, Saif’s hits came only in the form of multi- starrers like ‘ Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ and ‘ Dil Chahta Hai’. Although he did win the Filmfare award for best male debut for his film ‘ Aashiq Awara’ ( 1993), the run after that was never so easy for the actor.

And Saif still hasn’t forgotten those days.

” Every time I watch my old movies I realise how hard I have worked to reach this position. With high waist jeans and a different haircut, I started a new trend in the industry. And with the emergence of cable networks and satellite rights around the same time, the trend spread like wildfire.

Watching them makes me feel that all the success that I am getting today is the result of the hard work of those days. Hindi films have now become a lot more cool and happening with recognition at many levels internationally,” says Saif.

This actor had to go through a string of flops just before some hope was sparked with Farhan Akhtar’s youthful movie ‘ Dil Chahta Hai’ in 2001. Speaking about his career graph in Bollywood, Saif says, ” I had started off in the industry on a very bad note. With ‘ Parampara’ and ‘ Aashiq Awara’ being moderately hit, ‘ Yeh Dillagi’ brought in some relief. With gripping music and an amazing love story, it turned out to be my first hit film. Immediately after that came ‘ Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ which was another good film. After this started the worst phase of my life with 17 flop films in a row! And then ‘ Dil Chahta Hai’ happened which changed the trend of Hindi cinema completely.

Farhan Akhtar came up with an amazing urban character which was much different compared to the ‘ desi’ version of a hero like Amitabh Bachchan.” And after playing this youthful act Saif Ali Khan was all set to experiment with roles and characters. Saif was open to playing characters even having a negative side… anything that was different appealed to this actor. With films like ‘ Being Cyrus’ and ‘ Omkara’ coming his way, Saif was appreciated for his acting. ” I believe that initially I didn’t have faith in myself. This is wrong and shouldn’t happen because your director has complete faith in you. Whether it is ‘ Langda Tyagi’ of ‘ Omkara’ or even the character of the 10th standard school teacher that I play in ‘ Aarakshan’, I must have complete faith. Similarly I played a Sikh lover boy in ‘ Love Aaj Kal’ while I had never imagined I would play a Sikh character,” says Saif. And once Saifu turned a producer with ‘ Love Aaj Kal’ and the forthcoming ‘ Agent Vinod’, there has been no looking back for him.

Perhaps so much hard work and long innings in the industry seems to have taken its toll on the star’s health. No wonder then he was admitted to hospital some time back. But Saif is singing a different tune.

” According to my doctor, my lungs are like those of a non- smoker athlete. In order to stay fit and healthy I have quit smoking two years back.

Also I have been doing yoga and following a proper diet because of which I have control over my health. Also I have reduced eating red meat so as to keep my body healthy,” he says.

This single father of two seems to have managed his professional and personal life well. Having experienced all the pressure Saif says, ” I have no complaints from my present situation. I make every effort so my children receive all the love and attention from me. I believe being a father one needs to create a strong connection with kids. I like talking for long and having fun with Sara and Ibrahim.” As his face lights up talking about his kids, we don’t interrupt. ” The birth of Sara and Ibrahim was the ultimate moment of happiness for me. Happiness comes out naturally the moment one takes their small child in their lap.

And the best part is that when they grow up, your values reflect in their behaviour. I believe, creating a strong bond with our children is extremely important,” he says without holding back.

With all the buzz recently about actor Saif Ali Khan working on projects such as Agent Vinod, and Aarakshan and all the news about him being at Cannes film festival this year, we thought we would reflect at the actors past and his road to success.
It took Saif Ali Khan many years to perfect the art of Bollywood acting; we wonder whether it was the bad chose of roles played or simply the British sense of humour that the Indian audiences did just not understand. Saif seemed to have left the audience think twice as to whether he would ever be true Bollywood material.

Son of yester year’s well renowned actress, Sharmila Tagore and famous cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan Patodi, success had definitely come the hard way for this actor, who recently stated that he felt weird watching his earlier films; high waist jeans and the long hair cut. Though a trend setter, Saif was never quite the actor known to deliver solo hero films.
However, all changed with the block buster hit, Kal Ho Na Ho, though the movie starred Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta who were already established at the time, Saif’s performance did not go unnoticed. The film boosted his profile as a Bollywood actor, and thereafter he starred in many successful films like; Parineeta, Hum Tum, Omkara and Love Aaj Kal to name a few.
Nevertheless being successful in Bollywood comes with a price, his personal life was on the rocks, married to Amrita Singh at the tender age of 21 years, Saif began dating Italian dancer Rosa Catalano and ended his 13 year marriage with Amrita. However, that wasn’t the end of his love story, in 2007 he started dating one of Bollywood’s most successful actresses, Kareena Kapoor who he lovingly calls, Bebo.
With the constant media interference as to when will he drop the big question to Kareena, Saif feels that less concentration is given to him as an actor and more as a lover. Well, that’s another price to pay in Bollywood; once you start dating a popular celebrity, the media will follow you everywhere. Keeping it all hush hush about his plans to wed Kareena, the actor has been focusing on his up coming projects, Agent Vinod and Aarakshan.
Now with daughter Sara growing up so fast, and having the aspiration to become an actress already, Saif is one B-town celeb who will always remain in the limelight.
We wish him wel

Success has come the hard way for Saif Ali Khan. After being in Bollywood for a long period of time, he was able to give some solo hits in the form of ‘Parineeta’ and ‘Hum Tum’. And once Saifu turned a producer with Love Aaj Kal and then the forthcoming Agent Vinod there has been no looking back for him. Being in the field for a long enough time now, Saif feels all the success that he is now getting is the result of his long run of hard work in the industry. According to him, self belief is the ultimate.

You have been in the industry for long, but if now people were to watch your old movies from the 90s wouldn’t it feel strange?

True, at times even I feel weird when I watch them, but not always.

To speak the truth whenever I watch them I feel I have worked very hard to reach this position. In those films I have worked very hard on dancing. With high waist jeans and a different hair cut, I started a new trend in the industry.

Especially the emergence of cable networks and satellite rights helped a lot to spread this trend. Watching them makes me feel that all the success that I am getting today is the result of the hard work of those days. Also Hindi films have become a lot more cool and happening only recently. After which we have reached the international level too.

During the 90s, for a long time you were among the flop actor and then that ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ gave you the right opportunity?

That is correct. I had started off in the industry on a very bad note. With ‘Parampara’ and ‘Aashik Awara’ being moderately hit, ‘Yeh Dillagi’ brought in some relief. With gripping music and an amazing love story, it turned out to be my first hit film. Immediately after that came ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ which was another good film. After which started the worst phase of my life with 17 flop films in a row. And then came in ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, which changed the trend of Hindi cinema completely. Farhan Akhtar came up with an amazing urban character which was much different compared to the desi hero version like Amitabh Bachchan.

With films like ‘Omkara’ and ‘Being Cyrus’ you tried to change your image from a goofy lover boy to a mature actor?

I believe that initially I didn’t have faith in myself which is wrong when your director has complete faith in you. Hence whether it is ‘Langda Tyagi’ of ‘Omkara’ or ‘Being Cyrus’ or even the character of the 10th standard school teacher that I play in ‘Aarakshan’ I must have complete faith. Similarly I played a Sikh lover boy in ‘Love Aaj Kal’ while I had never imagined I would play a Sikh character.

Recently you had faced several health issues, how are you now?

According to my doctor, my lungs are like those of a non-smoker athlete. In order to stay fit and healthy I have quit smoking two years back. Also I have been doing Yoga and following a proper diet because of which I have control over my health. Also I have reduced eating red meat so as to keep my body healthy.

With two kids, how is the experience of being a dad?

The birth of Sara and Ibrahim was the ultimate moment of happiness for me. The moment one takes their small child in their lap, the happiness comes out naturally. And the best part is that when they grow up, your values reflect in their behavior. Like Ibrahim doesn’t like capital punishment and also has one girlfriend. I don’t know till how long he will stand firm but I have complete faith in him.

The mother to your children Amrita Singh doesn’t stay with you. Do you have to work hard to keep away this pressure from the children?

I have no complaints from my present situation. I make every effort so my children receive all the love and attention from me. I believe being a father one needs to create a strong connection with the kids. I like talking for long and having fun with Sara and Ibrahim. They usually come on the sets of my movies to meet me, like some days back they had come to Bhopal to meet me.

Sara is not 16 years old, are you worried about the kind of boyfriends she has?

No, we share lot of talks be and she always tells me about them. I believe spending time with kids and creating a strong bond with them is extremely important.

Bollywood actor-producer Saif Ali Khan says he always wanted to make a sequel to his 1994 hit movie ” Main Khiladi Tu Anari”, but he is sure the project will not take shape.

A daily recently reported that Saif might soon make a sequel to the movie, which also featured Akshay Kumar and Shilpa Shetty. But Saif has denied the news.

“Actually, I was talking to somebody from the press, and we were talking about sequels becoming popular these days, and I remember when we did ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’, I don’t know how many years ago, I had said, ‘We should make a sequel’. Everybody said ‘No, how can you make the sequels, it’s not a very good idea’.

“So then somebody asked would you make a sequel to ‘Main Khiladi Tu Anari’ and I thought why not, we have been open to making it, but I don’t think there is any such plans and I can probably for sure tell you that it won’t happen,” Saif told reporters here.

The film saw Saif in the role of a superstar, and Akshay played an inspector in it.

Currently Saif is busy working on his next home production “Agent Vinod”, co-starring his real life lady love Kareena Kapoor. He has also finished shooting for his next film, Prakash Jha’s “Aarakshan”, and is now gearing up to walk the red carpet at the 64th Cannes International Film Festival.

He is excited about attending the prestigious film gala as a representative of liquor brand Chivas Regal, official partner of Cannes film festival.