The time’s just not right for Saif Ali Khan. Apart from a wedding that seems to be going nowhere, the 41-year-old actor, who was gushing about working with Hollywood star Natalie Portman in his next home production, has been caught in a big lie. Portman’s office has reportedly slapped a legal notice on the actor for using her name in claims that are ‘false’ and ‘unfounded’. A red-faced Saif has now been quoted as saying, “It was a joke. I’m sorry. I’m just annoyed with speculation on all aspects of my life. I might just start making up stories to entertain myself.”
Just a few days ago, the actor had said in an interview, “A love story we are working on ... It’s a secret ... We are doing a film with Natalie Portman.” The industry is amused at his imagination. “These are not things you joke about when you are such a senior actor. This is a foot-in-mouth moment for Saif. He should have at least hinted it was a joke,” says a filmmaker on condition of anonymity.
“Celebs should not take undue advantage as it can damage their image as it has, in this case. The consumer is sharp and such loosely made statements will affect the credibility of the star,” says Shailendra Singh of Percept Pictures. Some feel that it may just have been a case of speaking too soon. “At times, these Hollywood-Bollywood collaborations are true. But most of the times they are not. Even when they are true, one should not talk about them before things are on paper ... Hollywood is shrewd. In Bollywood, word of mouth works, but not in the West,” says filmmaker Sunil Bohra.
His fans think he is just too upset. “You can’t blame him; I think he just can’t think or talk straight after the shaadi confusion with Kareena!” says Vishi, 22. htc More foot-in-mouth * Choreographer Sandip Soparrkar allegedly lied about collaborating with singer Britney Spears and even having an affair with her in 2009. He also claimed that he had been invited to perform at the royal wedding last year. All claims were proven untrue.
* In 2010, filmmaker Santosh Kumar Jain had said that he had signed Hollywood actor Drew Barrymore for his film Ganga. But there’s no word on the film ever since.