Bollywood Buzz

Kareena rocked in Mujra says Saif ali Khan

Looking visibly distracted, he makes himself comfortable on the couch of his hotel room on the seventh floor. As securitymen and his assistants keep storming in and out of the room, the star waves his hands at them. “How am I supposed to give an interview with all of you guys making such a racket?” asks Saif Ali Khan on his whirlwind trip to the city to promote his latest venture, ” Agent Vinod”.

“Kareena would never get distracted even if there happened to be an earthquake while she’s shooting. She’s so focussed on her work,” says Saif, once the noise dies down. We ask him why Kareena didn’t accompany him on this tour. “Look, we don’t need to be together all the time, do we?” Point taken, Mr Khan!

We get him talking about movies, music and much more. “I think there’s a huge market in India for this kind of movies,” he says, referring, obviously, to “AV”. “Initially, it was a bit of a childish idea. Or maybe, childlike is a better word,” he grins. “I had always toyed with the idea of playing a Tintin-Jason Bourne-James Bond-ish role. But doesn’t everybody? And that’s why I believe a lot of notions in Indian cinema ought to begin with a childlike idea. We’re taught in this world not to take childish impulses too seriously and lead sheep-like boring existences…”

Saif feels that “AV” is not just another spy thriller, a Bond movie dubbed in Hindi. “The movie, especially with that title, holds a lot of promise. “Agent Vinod” can be written at the back of a rickshaw as coolly as it can be lit up on billboards or put up in neon signs. It cuts across demography and for once in my career, it’s a big change, I’d rather like it if the sophisticated classes in India found the title funny and the masses find it more acceptable. My mind has always been the other way round which is why I got to do films like “Salaam Namaste”, “Hum Tum” – films that are very urban and upwardly mobile. Slowly, I’m getting more concerned about the majority,” he says.

From the classes to the masses, is it a conscious and premeditated shift of focus? “It comes with a certain maturity,” says Saif, adding, “I want to reach out to as many people as possible. There’s something very dull about being niche.”

So does being an action hero come almost naturally as his comic timing? “While I enjoy doing action movies, I wouldn’t say it’s an easy task. A lot of creative thought goes into making an action movie. This is my second production after “Love…Aaj Kal”, which was a romantic drama. But that was different. There are many elements that go into creating a cinematic high. You need the right line to be said in the right place by the right person, wearing the right clothes with the right makeup in the right atmosphere with the right background music… Action is a deeply creative genre. It’s not like you put a camera up and have two guys hitting each other. That said, I love to do different kinds of roles. The kind of person I am, if I start confining myself to one genre, I start feeling limited and incapable, thereby depressed.”

We ask him about the rumours doing the rounds that it was Saif who wanted Kareena to do a mujra number in the film. “It’s nice to see her doing something she’s never done before. The mujra is a first for her and she totally rocked it.” Saifeena comes back together after “Kurbaan” that didn’t have a good run at the BO. Does that make him feel jittery? “I’d say, the most shallow reason to watch a film would be to see two artistes who are involved off-screen. But yes, we were concerned about our chemistry on screen. But Sriram Raghavan (director of “AV”) had written the roles in such a way that it wasn’t difficult.”

As Saif rushes to leave for the press conference, his hurried gait betrays his restlessness. “I have a flight to catch at 6.” As he leaves the room, it’s well past 2 pm. Do actors get restless with age, especially after stepping on the wrong side of 40? With a wink, he answers, “Trust me, we were worse in our 30s!”

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