Saif Ali Khan’s UNTOLD Story: Battling rejection, family pressure & mean comments | Tanhaji


him in the producer fell out and that
didn’t work out and then I was kind of jobless now I mean people talk about
your looks and they say you know I’m sure something because I didn’t look
like a hero you know Akshay Kumar did so usually you know comments on looking a
bit like a girl or certainly had a really bad voice which I hadn’t worked on so
you know I was there squeaking away in an English accent I regret not doing
Kapoor and Sons I regret not doing jolly LLB 2 – these are two regrets there were a
lot of social ills and casting couch and everything has anybody ever been out of
place or out of line with you of course they have they’ve been bit mean and you
know nasty but it’s a slightly nasty profession rarely do you see an actor who lives by
the term that it means of stands for today we have somebody who has been
entertaining us and enthralling us with performances for the last two and a half
decades Saif Ali Khan yes he is here with us talking about his unconventional
journey welcome Saif I think you’re the one with the unconventional journey but
that’s a story for another day yeah but that’s also to think that I
have also had read yeah what did you do I want you to do my dad didn’t want me
to do they supported me with what I wanted to do but I was very clueless
after 12th yeah I was clueless after school and college and joined films and
it was a different time then I knew I didn’t want to have a desk job I thought
I’ll just die if I have to sit and do that nine-to-five thing but the idea of
films was very exciting because of the newness of environment every day and
meeting new people in different hours and sometimes night shift
sometimes they shift all these things were that the variety of the job was
fascinating for me you know a lot of people say that when you see your
parents do a certain thing from from the time you’re a child or a kid you have an
affinity towards doing the same thing you had a father who was the who was a
cricketing legend did you ever not feel like becoming a cricket or was it
cricket is like in my blood and my respect and love for cricket is like
religion yeah you know it’s like I’ve got photographs because it’s not just my
dad it’s my granddad yeah granddad captain India too and he played for
England also he played the bodyline series and that was a different time
bradman he’s played against oh so it was like the photographs in Pataudi are the
photographs of Ranjit Singh ji Dileep Singh ji you know Australian legends
English legends then there’s dad’s time all these photographs and all these kind
of historical things so I played good cricket and I never play it in school or
college of bowler that I thought was too fast
yeah or that you know this is I can’t do this what let me down I think is that
it’s also a very mental game it’s not just about playing shots it’s about
patience and you out timing and about you know mental clarity that I think I
was strongly lacking in so my cricket career was doomed because of lack of
lack of concentration but but when you when you were trying to find a drive in
doing what you wanted to do um how are your parents reaction to it did the
support you through it did they wanna deliver it the worried but they were
also like like kind of regular film parents you know like word but er okay I
should be a doctor or a lawyer or a banker and at that point or like maybe
work abroad was some dream like you know because it wasn’t safe nobody I mean a
lot of our generation started this thing of you know a lot of guys in Delhi
became fashion designers yeah there were our friends you guys like Rohit Bal
we’re partying with us we’re all like 18 19 and they said we want to get into
fashion and they kind of bought Indian clothes into the so just a digression
but like these are the few people who went off the beaten track yeah and did
artistic things so I think inspired by that I was like okay maybe movies do you
remember the first audition do you give an audition for your first yeah I do I
never forget one audition I think mr. Yash Chopra asked me to say a line and
Adi Chopra was holding it and say just read it and it was the line was are devdas ke avtaar ab koi dusra role pakad yaar but I was like with some
English accent saying are dev saabb Ki aulad they’ve were like its devdas ke avtaar not dev saab ki aulad say it is quite funny but it was really bad but did you get the road no
no there was no I didn’t get many roles but it was a different time then yeah
not everyone wanted to send their kids to join movies filmy kids were joining
movies is probably a bit less competitive and a simpler time so you
know I got a chance and the audiences were very patient but do you remember
the how did you get your first win do you remember the entire incident that
got you the first time the first time that you signed the contract no I was
doing an ad with my parents for gawalia shootings and Ravi Chopra Saab the late
Ravi Chopra Saab was directing it and then he said you know would you be
interested in films and Anand Mahindra was directing television
he came to Delhi and said come with me to Bombay his all very exciting and I
came to Bombay and him and the producer fell out and that didn’t work out and
then I was kind of jobless and then eventually Umesh Mehra
signed me for Ashiq Awara and Yash Chopra even Yash Chopra Saab signed me for
Parampara everything kind of changed slightly because he’s big film maker you
know for the longest time you you are considered one of the best performers
that we have in India today whether it’s kind of the choices that you make in
films and otherwise to basically sacred games and everything um but there
have been so many times that your career has dipped and then gone again up how
did you feel or how did you deal with the sense of loss at that point that’s
always been there that fear in that sense of you know it’s not going the way
I wanted to so somewhere it’s been about just doing the job very rarely it has
been a small time when I think during Race or something where you know I felt
like a star I thought the rest of the time I felt like an actor you know like
this times when things are going really well Rrace 2 Cocktail time where I’m
like okay I know how to do this people like me I like the job that confidence
you get from being a successful star shows on your face and it kind of helps
you but most of the time it’s been a bit of a mental struggle where I’ve said
okay I don’t even know if people like me but I’ve got this job so I have to make
the most of it and I’m gonna try my best to be a better actor in this job then I
was in the last job and grow grow grow and work hard and I really have worked
hard at it I mean you would never have thought that you know I could pull off
playing a sardar or pull off Langda Tyagi it’s not just Langda Tyagi there’s been a
couple of rows yeah and and so I mean I’ve grown into it finally and also the
films have changed and it’s become more about us and like more about actors
playing different parts then just doing versions of Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi
Kapoor films which is how it was in the 80 90s yeah but at any given point did
you feel dejected like Akshay Kumar said that you know when
when to the first dip in his career there were 13 14 films of his which flopped
back-to-back and he just didn’t know he was clueless about what was happening
but he put his pieces back together at any point did you think about it and
feel dejected yeah but also that’s the thing you know guys like Akshay also
like really strong and disciplined and you know look at the kind of
contribution he’s made to cinema since so you do feel dejected and you do feel
but that’s what I’m saying you gotta find the energy to carry on and the
strength to kind of go out there and and still be the best thing you know and try
and impress people yeah just through the option to you and
it’s a privilege to be an actor it’s a privilege to have that job you know so
you go out then you do the best you can but where you get that energy from I’m
telling you it’s easy if you’ve had a hit but if you had a string of flops to
behave like a star in front of the camera you have to find it somewhere and
it’s usually deep down to do with your spirit and your talent and your ability
that you know you’re good at it do you remember any of the meanest
things that a producer or filmmaker must have told you when you know you were at that when you’re starting out or maybe at that lowest phase when things were not
working out movie no I mean people talk about your looks and they say you know
I’m sure saw me because I didn’t look like a hero you know Aksahya Kumar did no I
looked quite girly actually you’re not long hair and I was a little very anglicized and anglicized when I was 16 it was quite a little effeminate you know
it is a little different to the Indian idea of you know Dharmendra kind of
match yeah which is much more Akshay you know we work together at a time so
he was the fit the kind of quintessential hero kind of slot which I
really didn’t it I mean I think I’m a slow developer a slow grower slow
learner so it took a while so usually you know comments on looking a bit like
a girl or certainly had a really voice which I hadn’t worked on so you
know as there squeaking away in an English accent people must’ve heard Wow
my pirate jokes she’s at dinner lunch with me recently said people must have
thought initially icky my son and Tiger son will be this really impressive
figure you know it just goes to show how genes and all I don’t know how
much it matters has that ever affected you well no no back then I don’t think
so I was always a cocky guy I thought I’m the greatest you know and I’m really
cool and I’m confident I was always very confident I didn’t but I just knew I’m
culturally a little different yeah that’s all it was but there’s many
places where I felt at home like in Delhi yeah you know I felt very much at
home and in London I felt very much at home it’s just for a Hindi film hero you
know I haven’t seen many films so and you never conform to the norm right so I
didn’t know and when it became cool to be take a guy who’s not conforming but
somewhere we have to conform we have to sound like the guy or be a little
aspirational you know but it’s I mean yeah it’s not about conforming you have
different turning points in your career you know um but from what I know that
you were not really willing to do Dil chata hai no I mean you know I thought
look you’ve got Amir Khan you got Akshay Khanna I don’t know where this kind of
comic relief a role is you know really in this game which is a mistake because
sometimes you should just see the strength in the part and Amir told me
also he said like what are you doing I said no I’m doing this film and I’m
doing Ram Gopal Varma’s production of love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega yeah I
remember that um he said this film is going to be
mounted ten times bigger than any of these movies you were doing just quietly
do it I said okay sorry I did it but I think Farhan was upset because I think I
told him I said look if Amir does it I’ll do it and he said why why is it got
to do with our Amir you know but I was thinking I don’t know what to do I’m
confused but if he says yes then I’m sure to be a great film at any given
point have you regretted not doing of him a passing of you yeah I regret not
doing Kapoor and Sons I regret not doing Jolly LLB 2- these are
two regrets that I can think of anything in back in the ten thousands remember
that I don’t think I did most of all good stuff I was offered then but this
now this time there were two three films when I was like in how did I miss that I
don’t know why very stupid my wife told me have to work with Shagun yeah I
still didn’t I don’t know very stupid regret there are a lot of things that
are outside of faces like you know that there were a lot of social ills and
casting couch and everything has anybody ever been out of place or out of line
with you of course they have they’ve been a bit mean and you know nasty but
it’s a slightly nasty profession and in those days like late eighties early
nineties it was even more nasty and part of the revolution of human nature is
that it’s not it’s not okay anymore yeah to do that but there used to be you know
in all departments and the struggle is it carries on but I want to get into it
with people have bigger problems and I am quite privileged so it doesn’t really
matter and I’m fine but thank you for this conversation it was lovely talking
to you as always really always candid always honest it was nice yes it was cuz you’re
good thank you so much yeah hi this is Saif Ali Khan and if you like this video
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