Saif Ali Khan says he is not doing Karan Johar's next film due to genuine date problems and not because he is insecure about being in the same film as Abhishek Bachchan.
"It is not because I'm insecure about being in the same picture as Abhishek for Christ's sake! As a matter of fact the little that I got to work with Abhishek in Salaam Namaste, I really enjoyed myself. I can see us having a ball on a film together. I'd love to do a full-fledged film with Abhishek any day," Saif told IANS.
The yet untitled film is the directorial debut of Karan's assistant Tarun Mansukhani.
Explaining why he could not take up Mansukhani's film, Saif said: "It's this look that I've to do in each of my current films. There's this beard that I've now for Abbas-Mustan's Race, which I'm shooting currently.
"To my relief it goes off for Yash Raj Films' Tashan, which I start in a couple of days. But then I've another look for Tashan. After that I change my appearance for Kunal Kohli's film.
"In fact, the dates for Kunal's and Karan's films coincided. There was no way I could do both. And since I was committed to do Kunal's film beforehand, there was no way I could fit into Karan's film."
As an afterthought, he added: "Maybe if Kunal's film didn't require a particular look I could've taken on Karan's film."
So is 'the look' now an integral part of Saif's craft as an actor?
"For want of a better word, yes. After Omkara I've realised how important the physical appearance is for a character. Earlier in 'Hum Tum' I had the long-haired look for a part of the plot. That really added to my character. Now I'll do one film at a time so I can experiment with my looks."
Saif said he would have loved to be part of Karan's film. "My loss entirely. It's always a pleasure to work with Karan. He's a dear friend since Kal Ho Naa Ho. I'm sure there'll be other opportunities."