As he turns 45 today, Saif picks his fav roles so far...
Saif Ali Khan celebrates his 45th birthday today. Here, the actor handpicks some of his favourite films, along with his career-best performances...
Rohit Patel in Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)
I was the last of the second leads. I felt a coming-of-age. I was working with the very best in the industry. Director, co-stars, DOP — and I held my own. I felt Shah Rukh taught me so much — mainly the responsibility of the main lead, but keeping up with him was a real challenge. This role led to me getting my first solo lead.
Karan Kapoor in Hum Tum (2004)
My first leading role and first solo “hit”. I worked hard to make it casual and conversational. Rani’s timing was impeccable. A great artist and co-star, she made the movie so watchable! Aditya Chopra introduced the “muliplex hero” and it worked out well. I got a National Award. Also it was an amazing production. 40 days and the shoot was complete in Amsterdam! Siddharth Anand was Kunal’s assistant. They used to fight and I would laugh! Kunal directed well. A lot that happened was not regular fare but unexpected and that made it I feel.
Karan Singh Rathod in Ek Haseena Thi (2004)
Ram Gopal Varma and Sriram Raghavan! My first grown-up kind of bad boy role. RGV has said he says things and then watches the effect it has on people — [so there was] a lot of mind games and a charming b&*$#@d’. It was great fun! People liked my role thought the film didn’t do well at the BO, but had a cult appeal! I wasn’t chocolate boy at all, but sexy mafia!
Sameer Mulchandani in Dil Chahta Hai (2004)
I will never forget how Farhan offered it to me. He was really the beginning of the new-age cinema — sync sound and so amazingly well-organised. The whole AD (assistant director) culture and cinematic culture changed with this film. Top technical talent and great co-stars. The film was wrapped bang on the date it was estimated at the start! What a lovely part I had! I was worried about keeping up with Aamir and Akshaye Khanna, but it worked out well though — hair, make up (the lovely Avan and Tanuja) made it an unforgettable experience. DCH was too cool. Excel is another ballgame. They show what all you can do in India, if there is a will. Farhan was so at home directing, you could hear a pin drop on set when silence was called. It was an incredible atmosphere. Any actor would be lucky to get that environment. I remember rebelling against the sync sound (it was too hot and they were turning off the ACs etc) then I heard the quality of Nakul Kamte’s sound — it was unreal!
Ishwar Langda Tyagi in Omkara (2006)
Vishal offered me this after Dil Chahta Hai and what a transformation it was! I felt like a complete actor. He directed so well and gave so many great ideas on how to play the evil Langda Tyagi. Dolly aunty did the clothes and made it easier as did Vikram dada who did the make up. Buzzing my precious hair was the ultimate offering as in those days we didn’t take as many chances. As always, Ajay was a great and extremely unselfish co-star to work with.
Ranbir Singh in Race (2008)
My first outing as big brother — tough and responsible. It was a change of image and it worked! I got wonderful support from Akshaye Khanna... who killed it! And also the girls were amazing — Bipasha and Katrina — and it a very cool film. It will remain special for being so easy and fun to shoot. Abbas-Mustan presented me so well and Rameshji took us out every night. We were young, so there was a lot of partying hard and working harder — great days!
Jaivardhan Singh in Love Aaj Kal (2009)
My first production and it was a wonderful experience! Imtiaz had his amazing dialogue and a lovely love story. I enjoyed playing a Sardar for the first time. Deepika’s star was on the rise, we got lucky! Dinesh Vijan produced creatively and well, Illuminati was established. We had a blast in London and Patiala. It was double role and a really nice film as a result of everyone’s collaboration. We had a sad ending at first and then Imtiaz relented and gave us a happy ending. I now wonder which is better — I think Jai deserved to lose Meera, but we were very worried about being too clever! Also, we proved we could find beautiful Brazilian girls and make them look like demure Sardarnis. That’s the magic of cinema!
Stay tuned to BollywoodLife for the latest scoops and updates from Bollywood, Hollywood, South, TV and Web-Series.
Click to join us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram. Also follow us on Facebook Messenger for latest updates.