Mar 092018

Ahead of web debut, Saif Ali Khan speaks of how the medium is more satisfying than films

Saif Ali Khan

He was one of the first from Bollywood to jump on to the digital bandwagon when he gave his nod to the Netflix original, Sacred Games, in June 2016. A year-and-a-half and completion of the shoot later, Saif Ali Khan says the medium, by its very nature, offers much more creative satisfaction to artistes.

Saif Ali Khan in Sacred Games
Saif Ali Khan in Sacred Games

“It is liberating as an actor to have a platform [like Netflix] to act on. Vikram [Vikramaditya Motwane] and Anurag [Kashyap] have been wonderful directors. With no censorship, this platform offers creative freedom. That’s what makes it so exciting,” says Khan, who plays cop Sartaj Singh, in the adaptation of Vikram Chandra’s novel by the same name.

Staying true to its theme of Mumbai’s underbelly, the gritty series that also features Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte, was shot in the bylanes of the city. With a 25-year-long career in movies behind him, the actor says there is a marked difference in the way a web series is shot vis-a-vis a Bollywood project. “The art directors and other technicians had a meticulous approach, which is rare to see in films. The locations where we have shot are better and more authentic than most movies that I have worked on, so far. You relate to the character differently when you are in a live location.”

His choice of films – be it the quirky Kaalakandi or the period drama Rangoon (2016) – is proof that he likes to experiment. This time too, Khan says it was his “slightly damaged character” that drew him to the script. “My character is full of angst, which has led to his dependency on sleeping pills. He chews them like chewing gum throughout the day. This is the most dynamic role of my career. So, I had to push myself as an actor. I am energetic and upbeat by nature, but I had to play a depressed character.”

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