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'Most actors are, deep down, a little insecure'

October 17, 2022 11:54 IST
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'Shah Rukh Khan often tells me that people are not old, their thinking turns old.'
'You can stay relevant as a person if you keep your thoughts new and updated.'

IMAGE: Bebo with her Saifu. Photograph: Kind courtesy Kareena Kapoor/ Instagram

Saif Ali Khan may be a movie star and also the nawab of Pataudi, but he remains humble about the way he began his movie career.

Saif, who celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary with Kareena Kapoor on October 16, recalls how he was thrown out of his first film because, as he tells Contributor Mohnish Singh, "I started with an English accent."

You have seen the biggest successes of your career in two-hero films, and yet, you have been very secure as an actor. Where does that kind of security come from?

Firstly, it might be a misconception that it does a lot with security.

It's not a very secure position in any sense.

You are happy to have a job, at one point.

I don't know how I got into this profession.

I have done third leads also, and slowly, slowly, grown.

After a while, you feel, you can't do this anymore.

Luckily, you grow because it's not the best role, and after a while, you want the best.

I am lucky that I got to a position where I got those things, and worked for it.

I shouldn't be so honest.

Most actors are, deep down, a little insecure, and then we make a show of being secure because we are actors.

But a director like Pushkar and Gayathri really treated me like a hero.

Pushkar told me to just calm down because he said, 'You are the hero (of the film).'

They present you as such, but sometimes you are not well looked after, and everybody knows that.

Your role can even be different from what is written down.

So it takes integrity from the makers to bring that across and I think that is something amazing about their work and their ethic which I will never forget.

IMAGE: Saif Ali Khan in Sacred Games.

You complete three decades in the industry this year. How difficult has it been to keep yourself relevant?

I don't know how to answer that.

I feel I have had a certain kind of mindset, maybe, you know, luckily.

Shah Rukh Khan often tells me that people are not old, their thinking turns old. You can stay relevant as a person if you keep your thoughts new and updated.

For example, when I accepted Sacred Games, someone told my wife, 'Oh, Saif will only do TV now.'

That's when Sacred Games was not even a TV show, it was for an OTT platform.

So to understand the difference between Netflix's Sacred Games and TV, for example, and to embrace that and be open to it.

I guess you are known by what you choose, right?

So maybe things like that have helped, and ultimately, the kindness of the audience.

Do you remember the first day of your first film shoot?

Yes, after that, I was thrown out of the movie!

I had to sing this song, and the line was 'Chaahat ki rahon mein kyun itna darti hai?' (from the film Bekhudi).

I had to tear the cobweb and sing this song, and I had never sung a song before.

I didn't know what I was saying, and I was very young and very bad.

I did it, and then I saw the rushes.

I think they all saw the rushes and they said, 'No.'

So that's where I started.

I started with an English accent (laughs).

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