Tag Archives: Saif Ali Khan

Interview: #SacredGames “It was exhausting” – Saif Ali Khan

Saif Ali Khan is returning to our screens this summer, albeit this time through the first Hindi Netflix Original drama; Sacred Games. The series is based on the critically-acclaimed best-selling novel of the same name by author Vikram Chandra.

The series focuses on Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), a seasoned and cynical Bombay police officer, summoned by an anonymous tip one morning, a voice which promises him an opportunity to capture the powerful Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), criminal overlord of the G-Company. As the stakes mount and Sartaj seeks knowledge of his prey, it becomes clear that the game the two players thought they were engaged in is in fact part of a much larger scenario, one that expands beyond their city.

On his recent holiday to the British capital, Saif Ali Khan spoke to Sunny Malik for BollyNewsUK where he opened up about the project and much more… 

You’ve mixed business and pleasure whilst being in London …
It’s quite ideal actually. I like working in London. I shot an advertisement with Kareena and now I’m promoting my Netflix series too.

The first pisode of Sacred Games has some very graphic scenes. How did you feel being a part of such a project?
I don’t think it’s perditious in any way. The story telling is quite responsible.The series is a graphic platform, where you can be a part of edgy stories. It’s different to TV and movies, a bit how a graphic novel is different from a comic book. There is something unique about it. Sacred Games lends itself perfectly to an eight hour series. Everything in India is interconnected such as politics, cops, underworld and Bollywood. The nexus between these things is quite interesting. Sacred Games really etched out the characters and explained them with a backstory, just like the book, but in a way it feels like an eight-hour long movie.

Sacred Games UK Netflix

How was it like doing a TV series after being a part of so many feature films? 
It was exhausting. We had very long working hours. We didn’t use a lot of lights and filmed at a lot of live locations. The plus side is that the scenes look amazing. You can’t set up that environment and replicate it otherwise. In films, you usually require a lot of set up to create a shot e.g. lighting and external equipment. For us, we were much more mobile with Sacred Games. We really explored Mumbai and  the new technology in film making really helped us in doing so.

Realistic content is thriving now. Do you enjoy that space?
Things do need to be realistic but Sacred Games is quite extraordinary really. Everything is kind of larger than life and there is a lot of drama. The idea is to make the drama believable. It’s not a reality show. It’s quite dull actually.

How was your experience of working with Nawazudin Siddique?
He brings a lot of dignity to the roles he plays, almost a regal bearing. It’s fascinating to watch him perform and he is one of the best actors we have. I can’t even put my finger on what exactly makes him so great but I suspect, it’s the grace and composure. But there are also so many other actors I’ve come in contact with throughout this series who have improved my own acting skills. I’m really happy to have seen all that talent as there is so much of it. What we see on screen in Bollywood is really the tip of the iceberg in that sense.

Saif Ali Khan in Sacred Games

The character is very different to what you’ve portrayed in the past or how you are as a person. How did you prepare for the role?
Absolutely, but the character has nothing to do with how I am personally. It was a little bit harder to get into the character but that’s the fun of being an actor. We have to try and understand someone else and create a reality out of it. It helps when the characters are strong and well-written. My director, Vikramaditya Motwane, also directed me very well. I really enjoyed being directed by him actually.

Netflix is becoming bigger by the day and some consider it as the platform which will kill cinemas. What’s your take?
I think, audiences will regardless of Netflix like to go to cinemas. I think, in an ideal universe you would do certain films for the big screen and certain type of content knowing that its best served on a streaming service. I’m just happy that as an actor I’m able to be a part of this world. I have noticed that people, in India, like going to the cinema. I think, directors need to be aware for what medium they are making their product. If you know that your movie or show is most likely going to be watched on a mobile phone, that would govern your directing style. If something is made for the big screen, directors need to film it for that purpose. We used to hear back in the days that close up shots are really important for TV. We just need to be aware of what is the best way to make content and for which medium. 

Sacred Games launches globally today on Netflix.

 

Trailer & Synopsis: Katrina Kaif & Saif Ali Khan in ‘PHANTOM’

UTV Motion Pictures and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment have released the first trailer of Phantom starring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif and directed by Kabir Khan. The film releases in UK cinemas on 28th August 2015.

Trailer Launch Phantom

Trailer Launch8

Phantom is a political thriller set in the volatile climate that exists in South Asia. Constant terror attacks against India have left the Indian people feeling vulnerable and angry. The Indian government and security agencies are helpless as the masterminds of the attacks are out of reach. When an infiltrator with plans to attack India is caught, the Head of India’s security agency and his team take matters into their own hands.

The film follows the protagonist Daniyal, whose journey to seek justice takes him to India, Europe, America and the volatile Middle East. Local assets in various countries help Daniyal, including Nawaz Mistry who works for an American security agency. Daniyal and Nawaz are drawn into a battle of wits with a shrewd and ruthless enemy. With the enemy hot on their heels, Daniyal and Nawaz against all odds try and finish the job they had set out to do. Along the way they find out that in a mission like this there is always a price to pay, in this case a very personal price.

Phantom UK Release

 

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Rahull Bhat to star in ‘Fitoor’ with Katrina Kaif

Rahul BhatAnurag Kahsyap’s UGLY has worked wonders for all those associated with the film. Take Rahul Bhat for instance, the actor who was much appreciated for his work in the film, has been offered a part in Abhishek Kapoor’s FITOOR.

Starring Aditya Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif, Rekha; FITOOR is clearly one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2015, and the part Bhat is essaying had names likes Saif Ali Khan and Fawad Khan being considered.

However once Rahul auditioned, the part was all his. The actor will be off to Kashmir to shoot for the film on the 27th of January.

 

 

Interview: Ileana D’Cruz speaks about ‘Happy Ending’

Happy Ending UK ReleaseIndian film actress Ileana D’Cruz will be seen in UK cinemas this Friday, 21st November 2014, in Happy Ending. Having worked in Telugu and Tamil cinema, the actress made her foray into Hindi cinema with 2012 blockbuster Barfi! opposite Ranbir Kapoor and alongside Priyanka Chopra. The 27-year-old actress has since worked with the likes of Shahid Kapoor and Varun Dhawan and is extremely excited about her new venture, produced by Saif Ali Khan’s Illuminati Films. 

Happy Ending is directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. and also stars Govinda, Saif Ali Khan, Kalki Koechlin, Ranvir Shorey, Preity Zinta and Kareena Kapoor Khan. The much awaited rom-com will release in UK cinemas through Eros International in UK cinemas.

Here the actress talks to Sunny Malik about the movie, working with Saif Ali Khan and being friendly with Kareena Kapoor Khan…

How are you feeling about your upcoming film, Happy Ending?
I am extremely excited because the film is very different from the films I have done in the past. Barfi! was completely different and Main Tera Hero was a wholly commercial film with a little over the top humour. Happy Ending is very modern. If I may say so, it has very intelligent humour. It is more casual and conversational. The acting that was required of me was very different from films like Main Tera Hero. It was strange and took a little while as it was very new to me. I am excited because I loved the way the film has shaped up. Happy Ending, I think, will appeal to Indian and overseas audiences.

How did the film come about for you?
I was very excited when I was offered the film because I have loved the films Illuminati (Saif Ali Khan’s production house) has produced. They have made very slick comedies and shot them beautifully. They promote the films really well too. The music is very important to them. I was looking forward to the doing the film without knowing the story. When I heard the script, I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting such a good role. 

IleanaTell me more about your character…
The heroine in the film is at par with the hero. It’s a very sassy role and not a typical Bollywood damsel in distress heroine. My character is an author who writes novels but doesn’t believe in them. She doesn’t believe in love or happily ever after. She is the type of girl who asks the guy just before they make out, “You aren’t going to fall in love with me, right?” There were times where I felt that I was not doing much as my character keeps a straight face a lot of times. It was a bit nerve wrecking. I am glad I waited and chose to do this film.

Saif takes a little time to open up. How was your experience interacting with him in the beginning?
I had this stupid impression that he was going to be exactly like I have seen him in his films. That was quite stupid of me considering I am part of the film industry. I was expecting a chirpy goofy guy. He was quite normal and very polite. I kept to myself on the sets because I figured that he is reserved and doesn’t like chatting too much. Unfortunately, he took that as me being incredible formal on the sets. One day we ended up talking at one of those parties we had on the sets. He came up to me and asked me why I am so aggressive and defensive? Ironically, I became very defensive and questioned him what was wrong with him as I am not defensive at all (laughs). We had a nice conversation and we just suddenly broke the ice. We got to know each other and got comfortable. It was a very good working relationship. I find it hilarious when he gets angry even if it is for two seconds. I didn’t take him too seriously, so it was good (laughs).

He also compared you to Rani and Kajol…
I was quite shocked when he said that. I take is as a very big compliment. I don’t know if I agree with him or not. They are brilliant actresses.

Kareena Kapoor Khan, who has a cameo in the film, said that you have become friends while filming in the US…
I didn’t have any scenes with her unfortunately but she spent some time in Detroit with us and we got to know each other. We bumped into each other during breakfast and it was a really nice atmosphere. We just chatted and she is aver normal person I love that about her. She has no hang-ups, is simple and I think, she liked the same about me. We got along really well. I don’t know if we are friends because we haven’t spent as much time together. We are definitely very fond of each other as people. She has handled herself very beautifully considering the many year she has been in the industry. I think, I was expecting a different person and was surprised that she is a such a lovely person. I can’t say we are friends but we are definitely friendly.

Happy Ending is out in UK cinemas on Friday, 21st November 2014. 

 

Kareena Kapoor praises Nimrat Kaur

Nimrat KaurActress Nimrat Kaur was last seen in the Lunchbox and is now seen in the famous international show called Homeland.

Recently, Nimrat Kaur was at a restaurant where actress Kareena Kapoor Khan was also present.

Reportedly, when Kareena bumped into Nimrat Kaur she just couldn’t stop praising her.

She told her how she and Saif Ali Khan were hooked on to the show and  apparently they simply just loved her performance.

Nimrat Kaur will soon leave to shoot the last episode of the US TV show Homeland.

 

Watch: ‘Happy Ending’ Trailer

Eros International has released the  official trailer of Happy Ending, directed by Raj & DK. The flim features Saif Ali Khan, Ileana D’Cruz, Kalki Koechlin, Govinda & Ranvir Shorey. The film is produced by Saif Ali Khan, Dinesh Vijan and Sunil Lulla with music composed by Sachin-Jigar.

Synopsis: A Hard core Commitment Phobic , running away from all the I Love You’s best describes Yudi. He may not have a problem with the phrase but the after effects of it are too much for him to handle. An author in his late 30’s, he’s suave, sophisticated and is enjoying his life whilst avoiding any kind of sticky love situations. His claim to fame being a single book written by him years ago which was an instant hit . He hasn’t managed to pen anything in many years since then as he doesn’t have to . He’s got everything that he always wanted – Fame, Money & Girls! Why exert yourself when you have everything you need ?

Happy Ending UK Release Eros InternationalEspecially not like his friend Montu , who fell in love with one woman & married her and then became an Oops father . Why tie yourself down to one woman when you have the buffet at your disposal!

Yudi thanks his lucky stars every time he thinks otherwise.

Sounds like a Happy Ending to us…. But don’t get carried away, it’s just the beginning! Yudis happy life is about to encounter a speed breaker as he’s out of both money & luck.

To make matters worse his ex-girlfriend  who thinks she still is his girlfriend  has him on a tight leash while he’s also trying to compete with Aanchal, A famous and talented love story writer. His only salvation comes in the form of his agent who gets him a gig to write a script for an upcoming  Bollywood comedy. And the hero in this film? Action star extraordinaire Armaan who is looking to  reinvent himself as a lover boy & has enough help from every famous  cosmetic surgeon in the world.

So with such odds against him, what happens to Yudi ? Does love or a Happy Ending Exist at all??  Does he get his Happy Ending after all? “HAPPY ENDING” the Baap of all Romantic comedies which mocks love stories by pointing a finger at love, Puts all Romantic comedies to shame.

Eros International will release the film in UK cinemas on 21 November 2014. 

Eros International confirms UK releases

Happy Ending - First Look
First look: ‘Happy Ending’ featuring Saif Ali Khan

Eros International has confirmed their UK release schedule for the next few month to BollyNewsUK. 

The following movies will be release cinemas here through the NYSE listed studio: 

Happy Ending starring Saif Ali Khan, Illeana D’Cruz, Govinda and co-produced by Illuminati Films will release on 21st November 2014.

Action Jackson directed by Prabhu Deva starring Ajay Devgn and Sonakshi Sinha will release on 5th December 2014.

The much-awaited Tevar starring Arjun Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha will hit cinemas next year on 9th January 2015. 

Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan will be seen together again on the big screen in Gabbar from 23rd January 2015.

Amitabh Bachchan will return to UK cinemas with Shamitabh on 6th February 2015. The film also stars Dhanush and Akshara Hassan.

20th February 2015 will see the release of Badlapur produced by Dinesh Vijan and directed by Sriram Raghavan. The film stars Varun Dhawan, Huma Qureshi and Yaami Gautam. 

All dates are subject to change.

20th Century Fox to release ‘Humshakals ‘in UK cinemas

20th Century Fox will release the much-awaited Sajid Khan directorial Humshakals in UK cinemas later this month.

Humshakals promises nine times the fun. Filmed in London, it stars Saif Ali Khan, Ram Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh all in triple roles – a never-before for Indian cinema, along with Tamannaah Bhatia, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta as the leading ladies.

Directed by Sajid Khan, produced by Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment, and presented by Fox Star Studios, Humshakals is slated to release in UK cinemas through 20th Century Fox on 20th June 2014.

Humshaklas poster

 

 

 

Sajid Khan Unveils the Grand First Look of ‘Humshakals’

Director Sajid Khan unveiled the first look of the biggest comedy entertainer of 2014, Humshakals, during the high-octane India-Pakistan match last night.  

Humshakals stars the kings of comedy, Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor, the two male leads and the villain respectively, playing triple roles for the first time in Indian cinema.

The gorgeous leading ladies are Tamannaah Bhatia, Bipasha Basu and Esha Gupta. The excitement of the fans amplified the energy, as the motion poster of the movie was introduced, in keeping with the promise of “9 times the fun”.

Directed by Sajid Khan, produced by Vashu Bhagnani’s Pooja Entertainment, and presented by Fox Star Studios, Humshakals is slated to release in UK cinemas on 20th June, 2014.

Humshakals - UK Release (1)

Humshakals - UK Release (2)

Humshakals - UK Release (3)

Humshakals - UK Release (4)

Interview: Saif Ali Khan talks about ‘Race 2’

Saif Ali Khan  - London - Race 2 (1)Saif Ali Khan spoke to BollyNewsUK in London last week about his upcoming action packed thriller Race 2 – a film by Abbas-Mustan.

Khan will be seen reprising the role of Ranveer Singh in the sequel to UK hit Race (2008). The plot in the sequel moves at a reckless speed as friends turn foes at the drop of a hat, from one locale to another with unexpected twists and turns taking forward the legacy of Race.

In this candid quick chat, the 42-year-old actor talks about the year ahead, the ladies in Race 2 and much more…

How was your honeymoon with Kareena Kapoor Khan? You were in Gstaad (Switzerland) and then came to London.
It was very good. We were in Switzerland in Gstaad. It is a lovely place, like a fairy tale village. Kareena is very fond of it and I love it too. The air there is so clean and nice. We were waking up, exercising and then we went into an outdoor pool surrounded by the Alps, which looks absolutely stunning. Afterwards, we would go for a walk in town, take lots of DVD’s and watch some nice TV shows in the afternoon and get ready for the evening.  They have really quaint and beautiful restaurants with some amazing and healthy food. We did this for about two weeks, which was great. Then, we came to London where the drinking and eating has gotten a little bit out of hands (laughs). It’s time to get back on the wagon. We have fallen back a bit in London.


What are you expecting from the year ahead?

I have a good film (Race 2) releasing in the beginning of the year. I am starting work and shooting for Bullet Raja, which I am feeling very happy about. I am feeling quite confident professionally. I am working in films that I enjoy and I am in an environment that I enjoy. I love my job and love the fact that you have to behave, be spartan in your diet and look after yourself. I am also very much looking forward to doing up our new apartment in Mumbai. It will be a real labour of love for me to set up that house. I would also like to renovate our family home in Pataudi this year.

 

Saif Ali Khan  - London - Race 2 (5)Tell me about working with the actresses in Race 2.

Ameesha..
Ameesha and I did not really have much to do. She has played a cute kind of role in the film. It is a bit of a difficult role because you have to be ditzy and charming but at the same time quite sexy. She has to wear high heels, short skirts like a classic blonde except that she is not blonde (laughs). She is brilliant though and it was great fun.

Jacqueline Fernandez..
Jacqueline, I think, is playing a star making role. I hope I am right in thinking so. Like what happened to Katrina Kaif after Race. I don’t know if it will happen to her. Kaif’s song (Zara Zara Touch Me) was something else and she knew it. I remember she bought this dress and said I just want to kill it. Jacqueline has also been given the same platform. She has killed it as well. Let’s see what happens.

Deepika Padukone..
It is not the first time that I am working with Deepika Padukone. It was fun. She looked a little shell-shocked sometimes because Abbas-Mustan have a unique way of communicating and speak very slowly and softly. They don’t say too much. I have seen her with Homi and Imtiaz, who are more like friends and will talk a lot and hold your hand and teach you how it should be done. Whereas, Abbas-Mustan will say ‘Thoda Aur Sexy Karo’ (Do it sexier [while directing a scene]) (laughs). I would laugh and would say go for it. But again, she approached it right and added some complexity and depth to her character, which is why I say that she will go very far. It is almost a negative role but she has given it sympathy. I was happy to have shared this with her as well.

 

Saif Ali Khan  - London - Race 2 (4)

There were reports that you ignored Deepika after she had left Race 2 due to date issues.
No! What rubbish! It is none of my business. You know, there are some things that irritate me that won’t irritate other people, but this is not one of them. I would never get irritated if a co-star had their own reasons for doing whatever want to do. It is nothing personal. It has to do with the director and the production. I am happy she did it. If she had not done it, someone else would have done Race 2 but maybe not someone as good as her.

A lot of people did not really like your dance moves in ‘Lat Lag Gayee’. Were you a bit apprehensive while doing them?
I was very much so. I did not really think that it was part of the character. I think they should just cut me out of it because Jacqueline looks great. But YouTube and these guys, they bitch out almost anything. I think most of them have no lives apart from sitting there and commenting. It’s a bit too much sometimes. But it is always great to get feedback and I have a healthy relationship with the internet. I don’t take it too seriously but at the same time I do think maybe I should sharpen up my steps.

Produced by Tips Films, an Abbas-Mustan directorial, Race 2, starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor and Ameesha Patel releases in UK cinemas on 25th January 2013.

Watch: Saif Ali Khan shoots for GQ India in London

Saif Ali Khan shot for GQ India’s January issue in London last year. The Race 2 actor was also spotted attending the Burberry Fashion Show during his trip to the UK at that time.

Talking about England in a behind the scenes video, courtesy GQ India, Khan says: ” There has been a very strong connection to  England and my family. My Grandfather and father both played cricket for English County.”

Speaking about London, Saif who has shot Love Aaj Kal and Cocktail here, said: “London is a remarkably peaceful city.”

Watch the video here:

Prakash Jha interview on Aarakshan

Prakash Jha is one of Hindi cinema’s most renowned filmmakers. His second feature film Damul won him a National award for Best Director. Jha has directed well-known films like Dil Kya Kare, Mrityudand and Aparahan. In 2010, his directorial venture Rajneeti went on to become one of the biggest blockbuster of the year.  His next is a soci-political drama about reservation starring Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika
Padukone, Saif Ali Khan, Manoj Baipai and Prateik Babbar.

The director took out some time to speak to me about his new release.

What does Aarakshan mean?
Aarakshan literally means reservation. India being a castist society, for centuries there has been a large section of our population which have remained deprived of progress, have ranked behind and have not been fairly treated as far as the social hierarchy is concerned.  Today, we have 49.5% seats in higher education and government jobs which are reserved in India. This particular policy has created some discomfort especially in the middle and upper middles class, who have been protesting about since years.

How do you deal with this topic in your film?
The film deals with this issue in its existence. Because of reservation a whole commercialization of education has taken place. Those who have the money can get to these commercial and coaching institutes and those who don’t have the money, they don’t fall into the bracket. These are the issues that my film tries to understand.

Was there a specific reason that you made Aarakshan?
I discovered the story of a principal who heads an institute and is very compassionate towards providing equal opportunities to deprived children and he faces a lot of opposition from those who want to create business out of
education. So it is a dramatic story, but we have tried to understand the pains on all sides and tried to show what should happen.

How did you decide on casting Deepika Padukone and Saif Ali Khan for this socio-political film?
Well, they are good actors and I always make films that deal with social issues and larger landscapes. I am very fortunate that these actors like Mr. Bachchan, Saif, Deepika and the others that I have worked in the past, like to work on issue based films. Most of the actors that I have worked with are very hungry. They try to understand their roles and come to the set completely ready. You will be amazed what Deepika and Saif have done in this film.

How was your experience filming with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan?
All my actors are pretty dedicated, focused and well prepared, hence the shoot everyday was a pleasure. Especially, working with Mr. Bachchan, who is such a legend and yet he works every single day. Every day was a great experience for me.

How much research did you do on reservation for your film?
The research has been happening for years, but I actually started writing the script about seven years ago. When I found the emotional story and character, I went running to Mr Bachchan as we were talking about working together for a long time. I narrated the story to him and he agreed to the film. I was already doing Aparahan at that time and Rajneeti was scheduled, so this was to come seven years late (laughs). That’s how it works with me, it takes time. My co-writer and I wrote the script ten times before we shot the film.

How much work went into giving Saif Ali Khan the right look for his role?
We have not given him anything, it’s just a moustache (laughs). I think, Saif has taken the character in within himself and he has understood it. That is how he looks different. He is a great actor. He is actually the most under rated actor in Bollywood today as he has got amazing potential.

You are releasing your film during the month of Ramadan. Do you think that this will affect the business of Aarakshan in the UK and the Middle East?
It probably will, a little bit. I respect the month of Ramadan but unfortunately, I did not have many options as I am now getting two big consecutive weekends. Just after those two weekends, we have Eid and I think, I will be able to get that week too. There are some advantages and some disadvantages, but that is how it goes.

You have used pure Hindi in your dialogues. Don’t you think it will be difficult, even for Hindi speakers in the UK to understand them?
No, they are very simple dialogues. It is just the way they are spoken. I’m sure the audience
in the UK will enjoy the Hindi used in the film and they will love it.

How was it working with Deepika Padukone ?
She essayed her role like a breeze. She is very hardworking and was very well prepared. She has not only impressed me but really surprised me.

You have also worked with Katrina Kaif in Rajneeti. How are they different from each other as actors?
They are both amazing. They are hardworking, focused and hungry for work. I love them both.

What do you have to say about being denied permission to promote you film at some places?
That happens when you do a social film. There are points of view that you have to take into
account. We are a democratic country and everyone is free to say what they like to say. I respect their decision.

How did you decide on casting Prateik Babbar in your film?
He is amazing. He is really innovative in front of the camera. He is young and that is the kind of character that I needed.

Aarakshan is produced by Prakash Jha and Firoz A. Nadiawala and will be released by Reliance Entertainment on the 12th of August 2011 across cinemas in the UK.