Saif, Love Aaj Kal is your debut film as a producer, are you tensed?
Well, there is always tension before the release of any film. Apart from this, there is also this element of excitement, which is very natural. This is the first film to have come out of our production and we are creatively responsible for everything. It′s almost like having a baby and so it′s something to be a little tensed about.
Love Aaj Kal [Photo Gallery | Videos]
What is LAK all about?
The film is really well titled. There was no name of the film even after having canned a major portion of the film. We all were for long time thinking about a title; it′s a contemporary love story and talks about a guy called Jai and a girl called Meera. Meera is more intelligent than Jai and Jai believes that the kind of love Romeo- Juliet or Heer-Ranjha had, was not very practical and it does not happen in real life and we should follow our own heads and be a little practical in our dealings. In that journey he makes some choices and decisions and the story is basically about that which talks about the journey of these two people and how they deal with each other and within that story is another story about a love story of past. So in a way there is comparison on the film also between love yesterday and love today and that′s why I feel it′s a very good title. The film is truly about love aaj kal as it shows that why couples break up, why do they stay together, what love means to people today, how do they speak to each other and what are the problems they go through. It′s a contemporary love story set in San Francisco and London between an engineer and a fresco painter.
You also play the role of a Sardar. Please tell us more.
It′s the part which is within the story and I don′t want to give away too much of that. Also it′s saying quite a lot when you see the character of Jai, as you see in the promos, saying that Romeo-Juliet and Heer-Ranjha are not practical people and that life is not like that. I think the Sardar is bit more like Romeo and Heer in his thinking. The film is about Jai′s journey from being Jai to becoming a little more like Romeo.
Did the fake beard and moustache create any problem for you?
It′s was only for one shooting schedule that I resorted to fake beard else the beard you see in the film is all natural. I had planned for this and had grown my beard for a period of one month.
Who was the epitome of love in the era gone by and the current generation for you?
In films there have been so many perhaps Raj Kapoor and Nargis Ji fit the bill perfectly. In the current era it could be SRK and Kajol.
How about Saif and Kareena?
Well we have not done that much of work together, it all depends upon what we do in future.
Ok, what does love mean to you?
I don′t know really, it could be making an effort and making somebody happy and looking after them. The technical definition of love is nurturing the spiritual growth and that I feel is the true definition of love.
Do you see any changes happening in this definition in the current era?
No, I don′t think so that any change has come. The role of women has changed. They have now much more power and control over their lives then they had many, many years ago. There was this image of a tired looking woman as the center of a family but today it′s a more evolved thing for a relationship to be successful today with women working today as equal partners and so many options all around. We need to think little differently and also be a little more giving. But all said and done the feeling of love has always been the same and it has not changed. The problems of love, the heartache, the pain, and the happiness - they all are the same world over.
Saif Ali Khan
Talking about the relationship of your parents and yours with Kareena, do you see any parallel?
I think it′s very similar actually. My father was from a different world of cricket coupled with his education at Oxford and then being the Nawab of Pataudi and so there was romance with his name and romance with my mother′s name. Kareena and myself are in the same profession but I think that there are many things, which are common actually. Of all, I will tell you one thing else it′s too private - it′s the way we eat.
Which is your favourite love story?
There was this Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus used to play such beautiful music that even the Gods would be charmed. One day a snake bit his wife and she died. Orpheus then went to underworld to get her back, as he loved her so much. Three-headed dog guards the underworld and there are many obstacles involved before one gains an entry. He crossed all the obstacles by playing the most beautiful music. The dog went to sleep and the gates opened on their own and stuff like that. Then the lord of the underworld instructed him to play music for him too and if he succeeds can take his wife back. The condition he laid was that his wife would be behind him and while playing if he looked at her even once he will fail in his mission. But he could not manage to do it and then saw her disappear in front of his eyes. I don′t know why this story stayed with me. I had heard this story when I was six years old.
Have you ever cried in love?
Yes, I am sure but tough guys don′t cry. I think all the time. But yes, every human being goes through emotions and that will be quite weird if you have not cried in love. That would be very frightening.
When was the last time you cried?
Can we stop talking about sissy things like me crying? But there was a book that made me cry, it was Charles Dickens′s Bleak house. The book was so thick and I dropped it on my foot and I cried because of it.
Being the producer of the film did you lose your temper on the sets?
No, never. My unit member used to tell me that can you please have a word with the lead actor of the film, and then I used to say that hey it′s me. And then I used to talk to myself in the mirror. I never yelled at anybody on the sets. Whom to yell at? I don′t dare.
This is Deepika′s third film; do you see any distinct improvement in her post Om Shanti Om?
Well, I am not the barometer to observe changes and improvement in any actor′s performance. I myself was so bad in my first 20 films that I can′t talk about anybody′s acting but people are learning so much faster today. A girl becomes pretty experienced only after her first or second film. I think Deepika had a beautiful smile and a presence in Om Shanti Om and Imtiaz Ali has aided her in her transformation. Imtiaz Ali is an actor′s director and the way he has extracted performance out of Deepika is very commendable. She has done really well in the film.
Judging by the facets of the film it appears as if you have played a safe bet for your debut film - firstly it′s a love story, secondly the film has been directed by Imtiaz Ali and thirdly the title of the film is very similar to Jab We Met.
Yeah, i know what you mean to say but there are no safe bets, there are only risks involved. In film making, it′s very important that you follow your path and conviction when you make your own film. When we launched our new production house, Kareena gave us present. She gave us two silver lions as my partner is a Leo and so am I. The intention involved was that hope we have the courage like these two lions and make films that we always believe in so we have framed that and we try remember it always so it′s never about safe bets.
Do you get irritated when people call you Chhote Nawab?
No, it does not irritate me but it sounds very funny because Chhote Nawab sounds like a small Nawab who is smoking a hookah. It has the imagery of him watching a girl dancing and then burping. It′s not very dashing, I would rather be known as Saif Ali Khan or something.
Lastly, do you get agitated with constant news about you and Kareena splashed in newspapers?
It′s not irritating but it′s like - please stop it. It′s just goes on a little bit but people like to write, what to do.
Thanks a lot.