Saif Ali Khan talks to HB about his career graph in Bollywood and his personal life
I am happy right now, but I would be happier when I have six super hits in a row. I started off as a terrible actor and from there now I am at a position where I am considered quite good
When this young Nawab entered the industry, everyone thought of him as a complete misfit. Despite being veteran actress Sharmila Tagore’s son, he could do nothing right in Bollywood. With his long hair and awkward dance moves, he was never really taken seriously as an actor.
But suddenly the tides turned. And for the better. Saif is now the most sought after actor in Bollywood. Every director and producer wants to piece of the Chotte Nawab. However, he still remains very sceptical about what he does. He always chooses his films carefully and now sees to it that nothing every goes wrong.
The actor recently went through a difficult time on the personal front with the passing of his father Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi on 23 September. The original Nawab, Pataudi succumbed to a lung infection and was laid to rest in his family burial ground.
You rarely come out and talk to the media?
I am not really media shy, but we come from a family, where it was not considered good to speak about oneself. That’s the reason I prefer to let my work do the talking.
It’s been a while since we saw you…
I’m a private person and I like it this way—hanging out at home with family after work or gong on a holiday. I also like my career to be on my terms. I think I was influenced by my fatherin this regard. I don’t mind not being seen everywhere.
Where are you today in your career?
I am in a very good place. This year definitely looks very good to me and it will be interesting to see what happens. I hope things will move to the next level. I am occupied at the moment as a producer. I look in to the creative part of production. I love to conceive an idea and execute it in totality. I don’t look in to finances at all. It is just not my cup of tea and I have my partner who does the same.
So are you comfortable in the industry now?
It was never about me being comfortable. It is now that people are comfortable with me. I am growing, though there is so much more room to grow. I am happy right now, but I would be happier when I have six super hits in a row. I started off as a terrible actor and from there now I am at a position where I am considered quite good.
Are you talking about being at par with the other three Khans?
I am not going to answer that, it might sound cocky.
Do you visualise being one of the Khans in the industry, or do you leave that for the other three?
I leave that status to them. They have done fantastically well and they deserve their success. You can call me Pataudi in that regard. I can never even touch the films that they have done.
Looking at you, it does that seem that you are a very passionate full-time actor?
I am very passionate about work though it not full time. I even love to do other things.
It’s said that you are a very moody person?
Sometimes yes. I’d say I am human. The sad part is that people don’t remember the good things you do; they simply focus on the bad things.
You seemed to be very settled in your love life…
I am. Kareena is the best thing to have happened to me. I already feel married. It just needs to be legalised on paper and that will happen when the time is right.
Has Kareena been a turning point in your life?
Yes, of course. I feel I have mellowed down a lot. I have become more house proud and settled in life, which i never felt earlier. I am making up my apartment and doing a lot of things to set up my place. I give full credit for that to Kareena. She is the one responsible for what I am today.
She takes a lot of care about your diet and fitness too?
Yes, she is like a watchdog and sees to it that i am in the best of shape.
It will happen in near future and we will let everyone know.
Will Kareena be Begum Pataudi?
She’s a queen in her own right and doesn’t need me to make her one. But I see some people in Pataudi calling her Choti Begum.
Do you interact with your co-stars on the sets?
No, not much. I like to keep the work atmosphere pleasant. I might crack a few jokes and fool around though.
Do you regret doing any films?
Yes, a few of them. But then again, I learnt from them, got paid for them and ran my house with them. Though at times, I wish these were better films.
Did you ever think of taking up cricket as a career?
I can’t play cricket — well, not as well as Ajay Jadeja. I played a lot of cricket in school. I enjoy the game, it is in my blood. But I didn’t want to play club cricket. My dad used to play on a professional level. At least now I’m working with the best in my profession in India.
Tell me about your childhood…weren’t you a wild kid?
Yes, very wild (smiles)! But I still remember those golden days. We used to have so much fun. I was in boarding school in Winchester, England. I remember that there was this good-looking, tough Italian guy in my school. It was my first night in school and he came up to me saying that I am very sweet and chikna and that he wants to sleep with me on the same bed. I was 11 at the time and started crying. Then I realised it was a prank. That was funny. There are so many other such incidents, there was so much freedom over there.
Who are you closer to — your mom or dad?
Both of them. When I was a kid and needed hugs and cuddles, then obviously I turned to my mother. But when it comes to some sound advice, then my father was the most amazing man in the world. He was a complete gentleman and I wish I were more like him.
What makes you happy?
Peace of mind, good work and a balanced life between family and friends.
Do you even practice yoga?
Besides usual workout routine, I also indulge in calming yoga session along with Kareena Kapoor.
Any specific diet?
I have a monitored diet which focuses on food with high energy content and low fat content. An ideal diet design includes a mix of 45 per cent carbohydrates, 30per cent proteins and 15per cent fats. Kareena plays a vital role in helping me out with my diet.
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