Jan 082015
Bollywood Buzz | January 8, 2015 at 2:11 pm

kareenaVishva Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) young women’s wing Durga Vahini has launched a campaign to “reconvert” Hindu women who married Muslim men, claiming the ghar wapsi campaign must address “love jihad”.

The latest issue of Himalaya Dhwani, a magazine brought out by the Vahini’s northern India regional coordinator Rajni Thukral, is devoted to this theme. On the cover is the morphed face of filmstar Kareena Kapoor half covered with a niqab. A strap underneath reads: “conversion of nationality through religious conversion”.

But why a picture of Kareena, who married filmstar Saif Ali Khan in 2012? “She is a celebrity. The youth try to emulate celebrities. They think if she can do so, why not us?” Thukral claimed.

“Sixteen Hindu women who married Muslim men posing as Hindus have approached us for ghar wapsi. We have already reconverted two. One has also been remarried,” Thukral told HT.

In the magazine’s editorial section, she wrote: “There has been much debate on love jihad and conversions. The nation was divided and Pakistan was created because of conversions. If a girl gets caught in Love Jihad and becomes Muslim by mistake and now wants to return to her original faith, isn’t it her right? It’s strange that some parties claiming to be secular call this conversion.”

Claiming that “love jihad” was a “serious” issue in Himachal Pradesh, Thukral said Vahini, “will go to 3,000 villages” and have “apprised the state government of love jihad here on a large scale.”

“We are also taking up the matter at the national level. We had a conclave in MP recently and will have one in Delhi early in March,” Thukral added.

Reacting to the cover, Saif Ali Khan told HT, “It’s ridiculous and not surprising… but these uneducated and bigoted ideas are the worst of India and condemning them is important”.

Women within the VHP loop stay in Durga Vahini from the age of 15 to 35 where they are taught military-style combat and a revisionist history that promotes Hindu supremacy. After Vahini, they join the VHP’s women’s wing Matr Shakti.

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Jan 082015
Bollywood Buzz, P.K. | January 8, 2015 at 2:02 pm

aamirBet your money on Aamir Khan: his movies are critically acclaimed and they earn crores. Several hundred crores.

With Ghajini, he started the trend of Bollywood movies that earned Rs. 100 crore or more. The 2008 film took 18 days to cross the Rs. 100 crore mark. The next year Khan acted in 3 Idiots, which went on to make Rs. 202 crore in India. 3 Idiots’ earning was unbroken till Krrish 3 and Chennai Express hit the screens in 2013.

Aamir, once again, broke box office records with Dhoom 3, a multi-starrer in 2013. Foreign markets had opened up by now and Dhoom 3 went on to become the highest grossing Bollywood film ever with earnings of approximately Rs. 550 crore worldwide.

A year after Dhoom 3, Aamir has surprised everybody with PK. The film began its journey like any other big Bollywood starrer, gathering Rs. 26.63 crore when it opened on December 19. This was several crores less than the openings of Ek Tha Tiger ( Rs. 32.92 crore on Day 1) and Chennai Express ( Rs. 33.12 crore on Day 1), but thanks to largely positive reviews, PK’s business picked up and it is now the most commercially successful Bollywood film ever.

It is the first film to enter the Rs. 300-crore club and it has made Aamir the first Hindi film actor to cross the Rs. 100 crore (with Ghajini), Rs. 200 crore (3 Idiots) and Rs. 300 crore (PK) marks.

Aamir and PK’s success is the result of a long process. After the success of Ghajini, deep-pocket producers indulged in mindless competition to be in the Rs. 100-crore club. Mindless because the focus was on marketing rather than the content. Audiences winced at each nonsensical Rs. 100 crore film, but Aamir stood apart in their view.

He was in the race to make hit movies, but he ‘also’ did meaningful cinema. He came up with Dhobi Ghat and 3 Idiots when Golmaals and Dabanggs were ruling the ticket window. He produced and acted in Taare Zameen Par, the 2007 movie about a boy’s struggles in a boarding school that is now regarded as one of the finest children’s movies made in Bollywood.

Slowly and steadily Aamir found a point of equilibrium for his movies. His support for the Anna Hazare anti-corruption movement and his TV show Satyamev Jayate contributed to the image he created as a thinking and socially-conscious actor. His politics was never clear, but he became the superstar who offered you a bit more than other superstars.

Talaash, Aamir’s 2012 thriller, wasn’t a hit but it made headlines and earned more than Rs. 90 crore despite mixed reviews. Dhoom 3 was no different than a Kick or a Singham in terms of presentation and content strategy, but it surpassed them because of the image Aamir has created for himself, his brand value.With PK, the actor’s brand value has gone up. Film critic Mayank Shekhar says Aamir commands a “captive audience”. “There is a certain kind of captive audience for such a film. The presence of Aamir Khan has worked tremendously in favour of the film. You have to understand one thing here. There is a group of viewers who will anyway watch a mainstream Bollywood film. They are the same people who would watch Singham Returns or Action Jackson or Chennai Express.”

“Now, you add Aamir Khan’s name to this already existing group. It will immediately expand as Aamir has a credibility factor attached to it. This is the reason his mainstream, commercial films would do bigger business than other mainstream films because it attracts audience other than the usual set.”

Also, PK is not solely Aamir’s baby. Its director Rajkumar Hirani is a smart wielder of the megaphone. With films like Munnabhai 1 and 2, and 3 Idiots in his tally, he has created a name for himself. His last movie 3 Idiots came out five years ago, so PK was a novelty factor. Shekhar throws more light on this, “Hirani doesn’t make two films in a year. PK came after five years of 3 Idiots (2009), so in a way the viewers were waiting for it.”

“There is a certain formula that Rajkumar Hirani has cracked. He will imbibe his stories with sugary songs and sugarcoated messages. This, coupled with smart taglines, always works. For example, there was Jaadu ki jhappi in Munnabhai or All is well in 3 Idiots. Similarly, he has coined Wrong Number in PK. The audience like such films because they give him the sense of not being judged or not being preached. Comical skits add a lot of values, plus they are entertaining,” he says.

Critic and filmmaker Pratim D Gupta says Hirani used Aamir well in PK. “It was a beautiful balance of all elements. Utilising the stardom of a top star and not just use him as an actor and sending across an important and universal message but not hammering it in.”

The protest by right-wing Hindu groups in many parts of the country made PK controversial-a tag which ensures that it got talked about.

“Controversy or no controversy the film would have worked. One should judge any filmmaker on the basis of their body of work,” says Pratim. “And going by Rajkumar Hirani’s earlier films, he would never deliberately stir up a controversy. He sure wanted a debate and it’s a very important and relevant debate.”

Some states’ (UP, Bihar) decision to make PK tax-free just as it was earning controversy will help its earnings. PK or any other movie should not suffer because somebody “dislikes” it, says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt. “I assume the Censor Board has given a very loud and clear message. Their philosophy is very clear that any film which has been given a certificate by the CBFC shouldn’t be banned or pulled back,” he says.

“It’s about the law of the land. The government of India has made it known to everybody that there is a system to deal with such things, you can’t simply protest against a film if it is not as per your personal likes or dislikes. Yes, some people could have problem with the film, but then they should approach the court.”

PK got a smooth screen run for more than two weeks because there were no other big-star films to challenge it. Arjun Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha’s Tevar, the next big film, is releasing on January 9. PK is likely to earn more money and audiences till then.

How much will Aamir earn? To know that wait for his next movie.

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Jan 082015
Bollywood Buzz | January 8, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Ranveer-Singh_3It seems that Ranveer Singh’s desire to be a part of the small screen industry will have to wait a little longer. The actor was apparently offered to host a game show which he refused due to his packed schedule for Bajirao Mastani.
A source says, ” Ranveer was the producer’s first choice for the show which is going on the floors soon.

Ranveer, too, liked the concept and tried his level best to work the dates out. However, his schedule is choca- block and he had to say no to the offer.” The show, which is being produced by Siddharth Basu, involves a lot of interaction with the audience and the crew has erected a huge set in RK Studios.

According to a crewmember, ” We were positive that Ranveer will come on board and so, went ahead with the preparations. However, now that the actor is unable to work his dates out, we are looking at other options.” Ranveer’s spokesperson confirms the news and says, ” It is true that he was offered to host a game show but he had to turn it down because all his dates are blocked for Bajirao Mastani.” Another source reveals that Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known to be secretive about the lead actors’ look and maintains a tight regime.

” He couldn’t fiddle with Ranveer’s dates,” he says.

Bhansali and Basu remained unavailable for comment.

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Jan 022015
Bollywood Buzz, P.K. | January 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm

Aamir_Khan_PKAamir Khan’s film PK has been courting controversies ever since it released on December 19. The critically acclaimed film is also doing well at the box-office. However, according to reports, not everyone is happy with the film’s content as they think it hurts their religious sentiments. In an attempt to protest against the film, Bajrang Dal activists have apparently vandalized prominent theatres that were screening the film in Ahmedabad and Bhopal. The activists were caught on camera damaging theatres in the city. However, the film industry has lent its support to the film and some of them have even criticised the attack. The controversy over the film doesn’t seem to stop. Celebrities are tweeting in support of the film.

Aamir’s close friend, Salman Khan, in support of the film, tweeted, “Is PK not an amazzziiing film?”

Pooja Bedi wrote, “God wants SPIRITUAL FRUIT.. not RELIGIOUS NUTS!! LLet’s support #PK”“I love the bit in #PK when aamir says.. God creatd earth, planets. Galaxies &universes & u a mortal are “protecting” that gigantic force?”

Uday Chopra tweeted, “What a wonderful film #PK is…just saw it and I’m bowled over by it. It is the most important film that every Indian should see. Salute!”

All the tweets are taken from Twitter.Actor Ranvir Shorey posted, “I would say these morons vandalising against PKshould go get jobs, except that we all know this is their livelihood.”

Bollywood producer Ritesh Sidhwani tweeted, “PK is a must watch. I am a believer and nowhere does it hurt our sentiments or questions religion. In fact it teaches you to love. And not fear in the name of God. What it rightfully does is questions the so called messengers and their role between us and our belief.”

Shekhar Kapur wrote, “I found PK very entertaining. But I still admire the amazing selfless work some of our spiritual leaders are doing for our people #PKdebate,” filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said.

Filmmaker Karan Johar tweeted, “Attacking a duly censored film has to stop!!! What kind of a democracy are we living in?? No film should be targeted or be allowed to..,#PK.”

Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri also tweeted against the attack. He wrote, “If we all are so enlightened than why do we need a film like #pk to question the pimps of religion. Isn’t it common sense? All those gundas attacking cinema halls showing #pk must be arrested immediately and locked up with Asaram.”

Raj Nayak, CEO of Colors, also extended his support to the film by tweeting, “In Progressive India 2014, I don’t understand the concept of ban. Even the Supreme court says don’t watch the film if you don’t like it! #PK”

Anurag Kashyap too has come all out in support of PK and said in an interview, “Anybody who is shown the mirror will always feel offended. But the amazing thing about the film is that it is so clever. Clearly, it has done so well that anybody who stands up and says, ‘This film offends me,’ it shows them that the film was right.”

Anurag is all praise for Hirani and calls him daring to take on a subject like religion, God and Godmen in PK. “Raju and everybody (Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Aamir Khan) are brave filmmakers because they went on and took something on hands that we all are afraid of taking. He has done it with such good humour and and fun that it is reaching out to who it should reach out to,” he added.

He feels it’s high time people stop getting offended every now and then about a film’s content. “It’s high time that we stop getting so offended all the time…our offence being politically motivated. Let things be (as they are)…allow every kind of debate and dissent to exist within our society,” Kashyap said.

Amir Khan, who is known for portraying his roles with perfection, says he respect all religions. “We respect all religions. All my Hindu friends have seen the film and they have not felt the same. Even Raju is Hindu, so is Vinod and so is Abhijat. In fact 99% of the crew was Hindu. No one would have done such a thing,” he had clarified in an interview.

n an Interview to DNA, Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani had explained his point-of-view with which the film was made.Rajkumar Hirani said, “We have not done anything for which people can tell we have deliberately hurt anyone’s religious sentiments. The core idea of the film is just that we are not born with a birthmark proclaiming we are Hindus or Muslims or Sikhs or Christians. It is just that like a baby is born without any pre-conceived notions and is made to follow a certain lifestyle and perform certain rituals, we decided to have Aamir as an alien which meant he too did not have any idea or notions about what religion is here on Earth. A newborn baby is taught to follow certain rules and act according to one’s religious traditions. When they grow up and have their own set of ideologies, they think their ways or methods are right and others are wrong. To a Hindu, some ritual might be done in a certain manner or something might be considered sacred. But for Muslims, it might be something else. That is what we tried to portray that our ways are different, not by choice, but our faith remains the same.”

In an IANS report, Boman Irani said that he’s happy that PK had managed to engage people in a discussion over sensitive issues such as religion, God and Godmen. The actor, who has worked with Raju Hirani in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, 3 Idiots and is also a part of PK, says people should respect a director’s point of view.

Boman says, “Any film worth a debate is a good film. It is a point-of-view and you have to respect that. Of course people will protest and create controversy. Everybody will do. But it is so nice because everybody is having discussion about it and anything worth a debate is a good film. Rajkumar Hirani films will always have something to think about. You agree or disagree with the film or you like or dislike a film, that’s a different thing but his films will atleast make you think. His films will make you re-assess your own values and re-evaluate yourselves saying, ‘May be he is right may be he is wrong but I am thinking’. And that thought has to be respectful because he is respecting the audience.”

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Jan 022015

Bollywood Buzz | January 2, 2015 at 1:27 pm

katrina_anushkaActress Anushka Sharma, who has worked with various actresses in the past, says Katrina Kaif is her favourite co-star and she doesn’t believe in the concept of cat-fights in Bollywood.

“As an actress, we need to kill those cat-fight things. I called Kangana (Ranaut) when I watched ‘Queen’, I called Deepika (Padukone) after ‘Cocktail’. I was like more than excited about it.

“Katrina is my favorite co-star because I had such a good relationship with her. She is a real person and not pretentious. I had a great time working with her (in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’). I know she feels happy for me,” she said.
Anushka, who is currently enjoying the success of “PK, says she is very satisfied with her career graph as an actress and says she doesn’t like falling into brackets and categories.

Asked if she is happy with whatever she has achieved so far, Anushka said: “I won’t lead my life little bit if I was not happy. I know what I want to do and I don’t like falling into brackets and categories.”

“I didn’t want to do too many films. Whatever I have done, I have done best. People give advices but I do what I feel is right. I am very satisfied right now. I wanted to work in good films and good directors and i think my career graph is going well,” she added.

“PK” also features Aamir Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjay Dutt and Boman Irani.

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Jan 022015

Bollywood Buzz | January 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

katrina_kaif_2014-wideHer last four films have been with the top actors, what with Hrithik Roshan (Bang Bang), Aamir Khan (Dhoom 3), Shah Rukh Khan (Jab Tak Hai Jaan) and Salman Khan (Ek Tha Tiger) as her co-stars. Coming next are films with Saif Ali Khan (Phantom), Ranbir Kapoor (Jagga Jasoos) and Aditya Roy Kapur (Fitoor) – all expected in 2015. For someone who would be completing 10 years in Bollywood this year [Sarkar released in July 2005, and Boom (2003) wasn't really a Hindi film], Katrina Kaif has seen the industry up, close and personal.

Ask her if she is scared of the mighty expectations everybody has from her and she says, “Honestly, I can’t be taking myself very seriously. The way I look at it, I give my best to a film so that the audience is not disappointed and they feel entertained. I look at the film as a whole first and then myself. Of course being in the industry for long means that now I need to focus a little more on what I bring on the table as well. I have to do better films, bring on more variety.”She has been in the business for 10 years afterall.

“Exactly. I do have a reasonably fair opinion about my work. I conduct myself as a dedicated and professional person who brings in a lot of passion to what she delivers. More than anything else, I don’t live in a bubble. We all have our weaknesses, frustrations, anger, anxiety, sorrow, sadness – I don’t allow that to rule over me when I am in front of the camera,” she says. Speaking about her choice of films, right from Dhoom 3 to Bang Bang and the upcoming Jagga Jasoos, it seems like she has consciously decided to do more kid-friendly films. “I think to a large extent most of my films can be watched by an entire family. In fact if you look at Jab Tak Hai Jaan, it was a pretty mature story. Then before that Raajneeti and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara had ingredients for adult viewing, though not in an offensive way. That shouldn’t be the case, unless there is a strong point that you are making. My next release is Phantom and that’s an edge of the seat thriller with a terrorism angle,” says Katrina.

Talking about films belonging to the sky-high crore clubs being in the news, Katrina says, “According to my knowledge, only 4-5 per cent people are going to cinema. Now if only more people could be enticed to theatres, can you imagine the kind of scope our cinema would boast of? Maybe in the next 10 years, we would be talking about Rs 600 crore. I think it is there for the taking; we have the logistics after all. It is exciting. We could well be almost on par with the American film industry, which should be great. It is a good cycle to be part of as good business means more and more exciting work, scope for new talent and good resources. That’s good news.”Considering the monies involved, are her choices driven by financial aspects or is content still a priority for her? “It is not like I am craving for a Rs 500 crore biggie here. As you grow and become mature as an actor, you want to leave memorable films behind you. Yes, I have been fortunate enough to have done films which have generated huge numbers. Now I would love to do more number of good films. In the process if they achieve a major milestone commercially too, it would obviously lead to more happiness,” adds Katrina.

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Jan 022015
Bollywood Buzz | January 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm

salman-khan-pics-8The season of intolerance is upon us. The makers of PK are under attack for allegedly denigrating the Hindu religion, a charge that director Raj Kumar Hirani stoutly and emotionally denies.

After Aamir Khan who is being targeted as a traitor’ for being part of an allegedly anti-Hindu film PK it’s time for the religious fundamentalists to train their trishuls on Salman Khan.

Apparently, the next Salman Khan release Bajrangi Bhaijaan which is slated to open for Eid 2015 has already angered Hindu fundamentalists. In fact while protesting against PK, some of these fundamentalists mentioned they wouldn’t “tolerate” Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

The film’s director Kabir Khan has apparently been getting threats.

Says Kabir, “I’ve been getting hate mail from a particular radical organization. They think the film promotes love jihad.”

Under no circumstance is Kabir willing to change the title, let alone the content of his film. “I will never surrender to such absurd demands,” he says.

In a related incident, some Hindu organizations have asked for a ban on the Telugu film Gopala Gopala which is a remake of the controversial Umesh Shukla film Oh My God. On the basis of the trailer, certain right-wing elements have found the content of Gopala Gopala to be “unparliamentary”.

It remains to be seen if the Andhra Pradesh government is able to stand up against the disruptive forces and allows the film to be released.

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Jan 022015

Bollywood Buzz | January 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

14Sept-Arjun-Kapoor-01He is five films old. In the next few days, he will have had his sixth release, which is also his first home production. Not too shabby, Arjun Kapoor. In an interview to GQ India, the actor talks about success and how it has changed him. Read on…

Reality check
“Every time I feel I can take things for granted or become complacent, I remind myself that there are a million people who come to the city every day to be in this position, maybe more talented than me, maybe more hardworking than me, but I’ve got this opportunity and I’ll be a f**king d**khead if I f**k it up. The idea is not to f**k it up. Longevity will come from the work I do. By not f**king up. If you don’t give it 100 per cent you’ll get destroyed… Ranbir is a good example. He’s here to stay. Or you see a guy like Hrithik Roshan. He has put in 10 years, set up a foundation.”

Food and friends
“Once a fat kid, always a fat kid. Today, when I was trying on clothes for the shoot, I was praying, I hope they fit’. The pressure’s still there, it’s there at the back of my mind, Hope I look good today, hope I haven’t put on weight’.

I mean, you know, Priyanka, Anushka, all these guys eat, yaar. Priyanka is a guy when it comes to her appetite, but she works really hard at the gym. Anushka’s a really beautiful woman, but I always wonder where the food goes. She’s got this fantastic body despite being hungry, literally, every hour, and take Ranbir. He eats, but he’s always been lean. If I put on two kilos, it shows. I never want to live my life in a way where I don’t look forward to eating. It gives me genuine happiness.”

Love and sex
“I get accused of being frivolous all the time, that I’m having this huge amount of sex… But I only started getting attention from girls three years ago, so what you experienced at 18 or 19, I’ve never had in my life. So when it comes to flirting, hanging out, all those healthy things you do at a certain age, I’m just getting to do them now.”

Career comes first
“I’ve done this for myself, to prove that I’m not some loser. I’m not going to end up jobless. I’m not going to live off my father’s name or my mother’s money. Nepotism can only get you your first opportunity, it can’t confirm the audience will love you. Just because you’re a Khan or a Kapoor or a Khanna does not not guarantee success. I’m still not that sorted. And I know that. This is one of the few professions that gives you tremendous fame and adulation one year and can destroy you the next.”

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Jan 022015

Chit Chat | January 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

saif-ali-khan_1Saif Ali Khan is presently reading the essay On The Shortness Of Life from Moses Hadas’ The Stoic Philosophy Of Seneca. No wonder he’s celebrating his perfect life’ to the hilt. Apart from being grateful for a gorgeous wife and family, he’s even restored bridges that were once wrecked. Today, he enjoys an easy equation with ex-wife Amrita Singh – children Sara and Ibrahim being their mutual concern. He’s reworked the dynamics of his alleged acrimony with partner Dinesh Vijan only to re-emerge as a producer. What’s more, he’s even made up with dear friend Sajid Khan post Humshakals. And all this he’s achieved with utmost earnestness. As Saif lets you into the truth behind the conjectures, the room is filled with a carefree vibe. Dressed in a crisp white shirt over well-fitted black pants, he looks every bit the royal he is. It wouldn’t be wrong to call him a conversational guru coz heck, he takes on every contention … and answers without pretence. He comes clean on all… frailties, his foibles and even his insensitivity at times… Excerpts:

Most believe that you have it all – a royal lineage and a glamorous life as an actor…(Smiles) It is a perfect life ya. They are right. I’ve nothing to complain about, really. I have a cellar stocked with good wine. A lovely lady at home (Kareena Kapoor Khan). I love my mother (Sharmila Tagore), my sisters (Soha and Saba Ali Khan) and my wonderful children (Sara and Ibrahim). Now even my ex-wife (Amrita Singh) and I are getting along. We are discussing our children’s future.

But you always got along with her, no?Ah… well, at this moment everything is in place.

Was it not in place earlier?There’ve been times when certain elements were not in place. But at this point, everything is just right.

Anything you ever get insecure about?Sometimes I worry about not achieving what I have to. A lot of people are dependent on me today. I’m alright as long as I keep working. But it would be nice to have a fixed income, which is not dependent on the movies.

But you are producing too…Still… I think of myself as an actor. I haven’t made any money producing films. (Laughs) I have made exactly ’20 from producing films.

Is that the reason you split with long time partner, Dinesh Vijan?(Laughs) It sounds like a good reason, no? But we haven’t split. Illuminati Films is a production company I formed to make movies for myself. Somewhere Dinesh has to grow and make films for himself as well. I don’t necessarily want to produce films with other people. So he must do it on his own. I also work for other production houses. He can’t sit around waiting for me to be free and then begin work on something.

So everything was amicably settled between you two then?There was a rough patch in the middle because I’d walk into my office and catch another actor sitting in my cabin. I didn’t know what he was doing there. Apparently, he was working in my production. That led to friction. But we’ve sorted it out. We have Illuminati together and he has his own company to do everything else he wants to do.

Of late, you’ve not had a great run at the movies…When you’re doing well, you get offered different kinds of movies. You believe you’ll be able to do them… Maybe you can’t…

But you’ve never been one to follow the flock.Yes. But when you get offered different stuff, you believe it will be nice to work with different directors. The most epic and most painful flop would be something you believed in.

Is it safe to say Humshakals wasn’t something you believed in?
I didn’t. Now I don’t want to upset Sajid Khan again, who I am fond of.

You patched up with him recently.In a rather public and ridiculous fashion. He was upset with me.

That interview you gave post the film’s release was public too…Yeah, now I don’t want to reverse all the good I’ve done. Usually, I do mean what I say when I say it. I felt the way at that time. I hugged him now because I love him. Our relationship is beyond the movies. I missed him in my life immensely.

Did he feel bad about that interview?Yes, he did. Because he takes these things to heart. There’s a difference in the way we both saw that situation. Perhaps it was a bit insensitive…

But you don’t regret it?No. I felt like that at the time. If it came across like I was abandoning the film, it wasn’t what I meant. All I meant was that in retrospect, we should have done something better and it was a bit of a mistake’ doing this film in this particular way. You know, some actor even told him if I felt that way about the film, I shouldn’t have promoted it. But that’s even more criminal. You have to promote your movie. People talk s*** . Who cares! No one likes anyone in the industry. I actually do like Sajid.

So will you work with him again?This time, I will have to love the script. Last time it was on his conviction. This time, it will be mine.

People said they were disappointed that you did such a film…Sometimes you just back a director’s conviction and go with it. The honest truth is that Sajid meant to entertain. He didn’t mean to insult people. He got flak for it. Poor guy. Maybe he rubs people the wrong way… Plus, once so much negativity is out there, it snowballs into something huge. (Laughs) People look at you like you don’t know a film from a hole in the wall. You get lectures on how to choose your films even from the staff in your office.

Romcoms are your niche. You agree?Yeah. I like the conversational style of acting. So I can offer it as competition to others and say, This is what I do best’. I have a certain spirit and energy, which if used well on screen, can be unique.

Being the romcom king, has your definition of love changed over the years?(Pauses) Now I know that love is verb. It has to be practised. It’s not just a word. You are your actions.

Recently, your love jihad letter in a publication won you raves…Well, for some, I’m suddenly the expert on love jihad. Though most liked it, this one guy, wrote a letter saying that I’d missed crucial points in my essay. Like the fact that my mother married my father (the late cricketer Mansoor Ali Khan) and converted to his religion and that she deserved credit for that. This is true. I wrote just one point of view. That’s why I love the Internet. There’s give and take. You can learn so much.

One lesson you’ve learnt…That a situation can be fixed if you try. And that people are forgiving.

Tags: Saif Ali Khan

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