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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

I love to see Kareena with other heroes: Saif Ali Khan

Prashant Singh, Anirban Das and Dibyojyoti Baksi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 20, 2013
First Published: 12:39 IST(20/4/2013) | Last Updated: 16:51 IST(20/4/2013)

For some reason, real-life Bollywood couples never quite make a hit pair on-screen.

This holds true too for Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, who worked together in Kurbaan (2009) and Agent Vinod (2012). The now-husband-and-wife didn’t exactly set the box-office on fire with the films that saw them paired with each other.

Ask Saif if he will work with Kareena anytime soon, and he admits that “there are no such plans”. He says that he’d rather see his wife working with other actors. “It’s much more interesting to see off-screen couples working with other people on-screen. I love seeing Kareena working with other heroes — and I am sure audiences do as well. And I look forward to working with other girls,” says the actor. Saif says that being actors doesn’t spill into their personal equation. “Professional and personal lives should be kept completely separate,” he says, adding, however, that “it’s not always easy, but that’s what the intention is”.

Saif and Kareena are set to go to the Maldives on holiday as soon as they finish their films Bullet Raja and Satyagraha respectively. “We always make time for each other. But right now, it’s time to work. It’s a great thing that we’re both shooting at the same time. That way, you don’t have to worry about what your partner is doing,” he says.

And talking about work, Saif is presently in the news for his Russian gangster-inspired look in his new production, Go Goa Gone. “It’s always fun to play a character with distinctive clothes. I am quite familiar with the Russian accent, but there was still an accent coach on the sets. Also, I had some people (well-versed with the language) record some of my dialogues in Russian so that I could practice,” adds the actor.

My father didn’t help cricketers related to him
Saif Ali Khan lashes out against allegations that he’s favouring Kunal Khemu; says actors should have freedom to smoke, take drugs on-screen

How much of a risk it to introduce a new genre — ‘zom-com’?
Basically, Go Goa Gone is a comedy with zombies as an element. It’s not an unheard-of genre internationally. It might be new to India, but that’s the whole point.

We have to do new and interesting things — particularly for multiplex audiences who are quite a global audience now and expect certain standards. We heard Kunal Khemu started it all.
Yes, he brought me the script, and I found it really interesting and funny. Plus, I have seen Raj-DK’s (directors Krishna DK and Raj Nidimoru) work since 1999. It’s not a zombie film per se. They are of course a part of it, but that’s just a device. The story is about the adventures of the two idiots (played by Kunal and Vir Das).

The film has already found itself in some controversy.
I don’t know what actually happened, but we will try and sort it out. It’s easy to get people ruffled in India. Various sections in the society take offence to various things. As a production house, we don’t offend anyone on purpose. And I think any reasonable censors should see that. The censorship body is the last court of appeal for filmmakers. So these things (objections) should be irrelevant.

A big deal has also been made of you smoking in the film.
I don’t smoke, personally. It’s a terrible habit and but actors aren’t responsible for it (encouraging the habit). We should have the freedom to smoke, take drugs, play anything or tell any story on-screen. It’s a bit upsetting when people have the attitude that stars should set an example. I don’t think that stars should be role models even in their personal lives. We are just actors.

People allege that you are helping out Kunal since he is dating your sister Soha (Ali Khan)...
I have not been brought up with such a mindset. My father didn’t help cricketers who were related to him. We function completely on merit. Kunal brought me an interesting script and I wanted to produce it. I don’t think nepotism is ethical. We have a responsibility towards the audiences to try and make the best film possible. And that responsibility doesn’t include inflicting our family members on them. If you want to help people, you can do that in your personal life, and not merge the line between personal and professional.

Why Sharmila’s upset with her son (Anirban Das reports)
The humour, dialogues and Saif Ali Khan’s blonde locks in Go Goa Gone have made it an eagerly awaited film for many, but it seems the actor’s mother is not very impressed. Sharmila Tagore is upset with him for using foul language in some of the scenes.

Saif, who is used to getting positive feedback from his family, didn’t get the usual reaction from Sharmila this time. “She didn’t like the idea of using abusive language. She believes that it isn’t required for a film,” admits Saif, adding, “Most of my dialogues in the film are the kind that cannot be said in public.”

However, sister Soha Ali Khan and wife Kareena Kapoor have given the actor a thumbs-up.
“Soha thinks it’s cool, maybe because her boyfriend (Kunal Khemu) is in the film. Kareena likes my work; she has no issues with me using swear words,” he says.

Naseer snubs Saif, Tigmanshu (Dibyojyoti Baksi reports)
The makers of Bullett Raja recently saw an unpleasant side of Naseeruddin Shah, when he entered the hotel they were shooting at in Lucknow. Director Tigmanshu Dhulia was canning a scene with Saif Ali Khan and Gulshan Grover when the actor entered. “His entry halted the shoot as everyone was very surprised to see him there,” says a source, who later discovered that Naseer was put up in the room next to where they were shooting. “He had been shooting for Dedh Ishqiya close to Lucknow, and evidently, he didn’t like seeing such chaos upon his return.”

Naseer, who is known to be on good terms with Tigmanshu, didn’t even speak to the director. “Gulshan approached him, so he shook his hand as a courtesy. Then he gave the unit a sly look and returned to his room, banging the door on their faces,” recalls the source. The unit was left perplexed, while a hurt Tigmanshu decided to call off the shoot for the day. When contacted, the director preferred not to comment on the incident.

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