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Being Cyrus is an experiment, says Saif

Saif is keeping his fingers crossed before the release of Being Cyrus, writes Diganta Guha. Film preview| Originality is Homi's forte

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 19:43 IST

Saif Ali Khan dons an entirely different hat in debutant director Homi Adajania’s English film Being Cyrus, which releases next week. The actor spoke to HT City on the film.

Is Cyrus the most difficult role you have played so far?
Every job is difficult if you don’t put in your best or if you are not enjoying it. I won’t say that the role was the most difficult one but it was quite challenging. It’s an unusual role. I feel I’ve moved to a different level as an actor.

Having a director like Homi around, it was not difficult at all. He made things simpler as he was very focused and we enjoyed while working, which was the best part about it. Although it’s his first film, he knew exactly what he wanted from all of us.

The connectivity does not come from age- of course it’s an advantage- but the one of the main factors is how comfortable you are with your director and
how well you understand each other.

We are told you are the protagonist. Does your character have many shades?
My character is a guy called Cyrus and he seems to have a deep interest in pottery - one who seems perfectly normal and quite charming, but is slightly intriguing and quite dangerous because of how innocuous he seems. Cyrus is an orphan who has learnt through experience and has a slightly unique take on life and isn’t as affected with things as other people are- almost existentialist in that way. He has grown through this life from outside, which is actually a line from the script.

"Subjects like those in Being Cyrus have never been tried in Indian cinema," says Saif

Is the movie about relationships? Could we say it is a bold film?


Being Cyrus

is my first English film. It’s a quality film. It’s a bit of a thriller. It only took 20 of my shooting days and has been shot amazingly by cinematographer Jehengir Chowdhary. It should be evaluated in its own space. It is on relationships but it’s not just on Dimple (Kapadia) and me. It is a bold subject but not sleazy or a horror film.

Subjects like this are hardly tried nowadays. What do you think of the film’s prospects?
Subjects like those in Being Cyrus have never been tried in Indian cinema. It’s an experiment and hopefully the audiences will like it. I always feel cinema should be slightly disturbing or affect you in some way and make you think, which Being Cyrus certainly does.

Working with seniors like Naseeruddin Shah and Dimple Kapadia must have been a great experience…
Getting to share screen space with accomplished actors was one of the things that attracted me to this project. I learnt a lot from Naseer Sir.

This is your first English film. Did you find any perceptible change in terms of treatment?
Though Being Cyrus is an English film, the ambience on the sets was not very different. That may be because it’s an Indian production. I feel our characters aren’t dependent on the language of the film. One of the main reasons for doing Being Cyrus is that it’s an English film and I haven’t done any English film before.

What are your next projects?
I am working on Vishal Bharadwaj’s Omkara, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Eklavya and with Siddharth Raj Anand.

You must be delighted with your sister Soha’s performance in Rang De Basanti…
Yes! I am very happy for her. I loved the film and feel she has done a good job.

First Published: Mar 20, 2006 12:07 IST