In the #NoFilterNeha Season 5 the first guest that is all set to surprise us is Saif Ali Khan. The Nawab revealed many secrets on this show. Lets have a look at some important highlights from the show.
Is Saif a homebody?
It’s become that. The excitement of having a young new entrant in our lives, I just wanted to try and get home before he goes to sleep. But I have become, at least in Bombay, a complete homebody
Saif Ali Khan tells us how he keeps up with the industry:
Well, it’s been a few years, it will be almost 30 and I think that we are lucky.
When I was a kid and shooting for Umesh Mehra, I remember he said,
“Oh well you know, you’ll probably be done in about 10-15 years, meaning in your mid-thirties or when you are 40. It’s time to kind of retire for a Hindi film actor.”
I think it’s our generation that’s kind of changed that. Of course, there’s has been people like Mr Bachchan and Anil Kapoor and all who have pushed the age limit as it were. There’s lot of extracurricular requirement sometimes, you know. Go here and be seen there which is good and lucky for young people who have to do it. I mean good luck. When you are 30 and you are drinking with the crew or with the guys, you are imitating somewhere.
The heroes you have seen that are senior to you like Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff and you are doing the talk and giving the gyan. It is great, you have got the lingo and the haircut,and the tight t-shirt and after a point though, you are like…this is going to give me a hangover.
I need to wake up early. So, I guess its age and priorities where you are like there is nothing that is going to be said after a party at 1 am.
There is nothing going to be said that is really going to change your life or is even important, beyond a point. It is a question of how much energy you have. If you have excess energy then you need to burn it off and that’s what weekend is about, or the off day, but if you don’t have that excess energy than you are burning the candle at both ends which is not worth it
His idea of fame:
There is a poem also by Keats, an English romantic poem on Fame and it’s really great and basically the gist of it is that if you try too hard, and chase her around like many women, she won’t give you any attention, and probably jilt you but if you kind of treat her with a little bit of disdain, you don’t take the whole thing very seriously, and just carry on, she might like you more and that’s the idea.
I don’t know, if I have practically followed that, but that’s how I have kind of approached it and I have noticed that with people, that if they don’t push too hard to want to be talked about, people talk about what they want to talk about you and you do not need to advertise it.
I just kind of get a lot of satisfaction out of this incredible creative job that we have in acting, and is becoming more and more interesting and then after that to focus on the things that will last in life, like your good friends, your family.
I don’t even like being photographed and many people love being photographed by the paparazzi and I know in India it is different, it’s their job, but I don’t like it so I don’t really give it much attention, but I’ve noticed that they still seem interested in photographing me, so maybe it works like that you don’t run after them too much
His ideal 50th
I think my ideal 50th is like a lot probably like my 49th. When you start making lists, you get into a lot of trouble like some people. I had a friend in Delhi who had an incredible 50th costume masquerade party and invited all his friends from college abroad, Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay, the works and everyone he knew and it was a massive affair and it was lovely. One guy came on a camel and it was great, you know. But to me, I would really like to have a nice dinner.
Like last year, we were in the English country-side, we had rented a little house and about 4-5 of my very close friends obviously Kareena and Taimur and we had this dinner.
We cooked and had some nice wine and sat around the table and as I looked around the table, except perhaps missing my mother mildly and Sara and Ibrahim weren’t there, but apart from that I said that I couldn’t ask for anything more. A couple of close friends where you can focus is more my scene than a rager.
And zoom parties and house parties, I mean they are great to see everyone but it’s better to talk to somebody one on one like this. Unfortunately, in lockdown, even though I don’t think there is going to be lockdown much longer, we are all going to get it. A nice little dinner with some great food and a good, good bottle of wine or something. I can’t think of any other way to celebrate it except with my children and my family. I think if you start getting into friends, then the list gets long and you will start offending people, so I am happy with just that.
Saif’s idea of the perfect gift:
Something from mum’s cupboard, an old tablecloth, or maybe one of her paintings, I don’t know. There are many things, maybe a little model of a ship, I got some little quirky tastes which she knows like a nice first edition, maybe a book bound by a local Bombay book dealer but in a slightly nicer leather with a little engraving on it, a paperback I like just polished up a little bit to last. There’s many things like that.
When he opened up about avoiding but getting into a fight in Delhi!
No, but I was also at fault a little bit. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to get into, it used to not be, I don’t know any more, to get into a fight, to get something broken on your head in a nightclub in Delhi, or outside Delhi or in Gurgaon, it’s a dangerous environment. I have prided myself on growing up there and I have avoided about 50 fights in those days and here used to be fights, maybe I have grown up or it doesn’t happen anymore or people have just grown up.
There were slightly more violent times in those days, maybe because law and order wasn’t quite so efficient. You’d probably end up in jail now whereas in those days nothing would happen.
And I talked myself out of about a 100 scenarios where people have said, big guys, what do you mean…and you’re like no buddy, it’s all cool, and it’s all okay. But there were many night clubs in Delhi in those days, we’ve all grown up, in our batch there was Ghungru’s, there was CJ’s, there was Annabelle’s, it was a rocking scene.
I remember them, they were such an important part of our lives and beautiful people and well-dressed designers and all coming up all these guys like Gudda and Ashish Soni and all these people were rocking and they still are rocking.
So this is an unfortunate incident where a guy said,
“Please dance with my girlfriend” and I was like I don’t want to do that, and he said “You’ve got a million dollar face” which I really loved so I think I started smiling, even though it’s probably not true and then he said, “I’m going to F it up for you” and then he hit me with a whisky glass on my forehead and then we got into a fight. And then we ended up in the bathroom and I was wiping because it was bleeding a lot. If you have never been hit in the face, or cut in the face, perhaps if you cut yourself shaving, guys, you will know that you bleed a lot because there are a lot of blood vessels in the face. So, there was a flood of blood, I thought I don’t know what’s happened so I was wiping it with water, I looked at him and ‘I said look what you did’, as in let’s make up now and he attacked me with the soap dish. So, he was a lunatic and he might have killed me.
His take on the lock-down:
There’s various people, I don’t know if it’s a batch but all my friends, we are all the same. None of us have really changed much.
We are equipped for this, mentally because we’ve lived inside our heads anyway, you just have to adjust slightly and say ‘ok, what is this?
It’s like a 1 year prison sentence, but in a very luxurious prison and in your own flat’. And you’ve got the internet and can do things like this, you can cook, you can eat, you’ve got a young lovely child who’s so entertaining and pure. And you know, he’s fine, so what are you grumbling about?
And there’s many things like gardening, this that, so nobody’s really stressed. Part of me wishes I was in Pataudi because we could go on runs and walks outside. I miss a bit of fresh air because I have haven’t left the apartment. Hardly. That would have been nice for Taimur more also. But apart from that, we have been like this. We know what’s important to us in life and we are quite happy with this routine. So, it’s not like a thing.
Some people get really edgy, because it’s very important to kind of experience things outside and get validation from doing various things. So, I guess it’s a benefit of, again, maybe being the bit older. But it does get a bit dull sometimes in the morning, so I end up sleeping a bit later than usual. But in the evenings, it’s great where I start cooking, putting on some music. And I can do this.
And we’ve introspected before and said ok what’s important and happiness is where it’s always been and Joy, culture and fun, greatness in great books and good music, these are the things that make you happy anyway so there’s so much to do. You can read the classics, you can learn an instrument, practice a language, I don’t know
Saif says do what you love!
First of all, I think the fear is not there in the sense that you’re like ‘ok, I just want to do something that is interesting to watch and will be kind of fun to do’. I mean, you gotta enjoy yourself and try and feel creative. Like doing Sacred games or Go Goa Gone, you felt you are doing something new, it’s not just a job where you’re trying to be someone who is accepted for being a certain way and all that pressure, it’s so frightening. And I don’t see very happy people who are in that, you get bracketed in your own brain when you start talking to some of these guys, because it’s competitive and you are competing with yourself.
Homi offered me to be Cyrus and I thought an English movie, it’d be so interesting to try and act in English, it’s so different to Hindi films. Hindi is a more expressive language, it’s got a very different expression, it was exciting to really try and get into that space, to try and do something new. The web, of course, is just a fascinating place in the sense that you can get a chance to really push it in terms of you know story and technique and camera and all that.
I mean that way I see my day is I want to work and I want that work to be respected for whatever reason. If it makes money great, it shouldn’t lose money and you come home feeling satisfied that you know when you’re preparing the lines and you are doing the scene you feel like okay this is going to be great and you go out there and you do it. I had fun, maybe it won’t even be remembered maybe some of it will but so much is forgotten. You got to know that, I mean, the greatest actors, huge superstars I don’t know people don’t even remember who they are, so it moves pretty fast and I don’t know how much Bollywood really respects achievement, lifetime achievements.
I mean, I saw the AFI awards where the fated Al Pacino and gave him all these and everyone turned up to speak and I don’t know if we would be able to do that so what are you living for? You’re living to work, feel excited about your work, come home make some money and go on holiday with your family and like convert that money into enjoyment hopefully with some culture. I mean that’s it and you watch the years go by.
Bloody 50 is petrifying Neha, I mean a friend of mine told me you can see the end 50s and hen 60s and after 70 bro. I mean, every day is a bonus. My father died at 71, my grandfather died at 41 so at some point I think you can sit back and you say you know what actually it’s been a hell of a ride, I’m quite happy with how it’s gone and it shouldn’t be that dissatisfaction that yaar I didn’t do anything so that mid-life crisis is not happening because obviously I have done stuff, so I can’t complain. So,I’m just relieved my mother looks young and looked young and I feel I have inherited her genes, so I might be able to fool people into looking 50 when I’m 60
When he challenged doing a scene naked!
Saif says he would’ve been the first ‘butt’ of Bollywood on screen!
Vishal Bharadwaj is a lovely director and it was a really clever scene because there’s this bit in Omkara where I had these one page of dialogue where I say this Omkara fellow, he’s not made me the Baahubali, I’ll bloody show him, ill anoint myself the Baahubali, I’m going to kill everyone, you see what I do kind of thing. And he said listen I think this scene is too talky and this is cinema so we can do all this without any lines.
So, I said, what do you mean? He said we have the camera and you’re standing there in front of the mirror in the dark and the camera is coming close to you and you’re looking at the mirror and you break the mirror and the mirror shatters and in the shattered mirror. I see your schizophrenic face and because you broke the mirror, your hand is bleeding, and you anoint yourself with the blood. So that says it all, you don’t have to say any dialogues and I thought Jesus, this man is a genius because that’s cinema, right? He’s taken a page of dialogue and converted into one shot.
So, he said, in fact, I think you should do it naked. I said, what?!! So, he said, ya it’ll look good, you’re standing there naked with your back to the camera, he said don’t worry it will be very dimly lit, like the movie. So, I said listen, I said alright, I’ll tell you what, Tassaduq who is a really funny and cool DOP. I said you and Tassaduq stand there with me naked while you direct me and ill stand there naked, I don’t mind, I’ll do it. He said I’m not bloody directing you naked, I said arre, if you’re not going to be naked then why should I be naked so I wasn’t. but in retrospect, I should’ve done it, it was just too new an idea. I think after John Abraham, showed his half butt, I would’ve been the first butt of Bollywood on screen.
Imtiaz Ali offered Saif Rockstar?
I was offered, Imtiaz wanted to make Rockstar but we made Love Aaj Kal instead. And then he made it with Ranbir. His first offer to me was this film called Rockstar
Saif thinks Kareena is Mrs. Gram!
Just because I’m not on social media doesn’t mean I don’t know what it is, for God’s sake. I actually was on it (Instagram) and I deleted it because I was finding it, again, I was getting irritated by toxic remarks and it’s taking too much. Its making me frown and I don’t want to get annoyed so literally, Ignorance is bliss. It’s like why would you want to listen to all that. My wife, on the other hand, I think she’s Miss Instagram, Mrs. Gram!
Why he isn’t on social media:
I was never really on social media. I asked my wife once, I said what’s the big thing? She said, its nice to know what’s going on in the world, to see what people are doing. So, I did it but then I thought there was a bit of negativity and it was just upsetting me and I thought, why do I want to read this and why is it even important. It can become important in your life, what people are saying to you.
I’m thinking back to when we were kids in school, a good teacher said, you shouldn’t really think what people think too much. Don’t try to impress people all the time, don’t be too concerned. It goes against what an actor stands for so often on social media. So, I am really happy with how we’re doing, I’m hesitating to say, reasonably well paid and having a happy life, everything’s good.
I mean, it really fills me with anger and negativity when I read some really random crap as a response, and that’s fair enough, I mean people ought to do what they want. But you know like, I wouldn’t have dinner with like a bunch of nuts off the street so why am I getting involved in my head with them.
Also, is what my thinking is. Like these people, I don’t know who they are, you can’t see a face, you don’t know where they are coming from. All you know is that a lot of people out there think a lot of shit, so it makes you dislike people, actually. It makes you think God, what kind of environment do we live in.
That’s not nice way to think. A nicer way to think is, oh, I’m reading my book, I’ve got my kid, I’m happy with my life and when I go out, I assume everything is lovely because I’m happy. That is, I think is a healthier way to operate than being aware of the kind of toxicity that is around, it doesn’t suit me. Some people are thicker skinned, they’re like, it doesn’t matter.
Saif’s fake account name:
When I had my fake account, I called it Shakun Kothari
Who would Saif block if he was on Instagram?
I’ve looked at a lot of actors’ Instagram things, I must say, I don’t know, I haven’t found a very interesting one because they’re usually like working out or outsights of workout or then eating a bagel somewhere and I’m like ok FAB! I’ve been blocking left right and centre, I’ve blocked so many people, I block it on WhatsApp also. A lot of people, I think, a lot of people.
His take on trolling:
Part of the evolution of the world is where things that you take for granted, which are wrong, get addressed. Whether it’s some kind of a, like not an obvious #MeToo kind of thing or even kind of a sexual harassment at work or something, that maybe in the 60’s was considered normal is now not acceptable.
So, there is a constant evolving of morality and acceptance of behaviour. So, maybe in about 10-20 years, people would say, oh trolling! Can you imagine there used to be trolling in those days where people would say whatever they want about people, maybe there will be cyber police where if you said a certain language or a thing and someone would knock on your door
Saif opens up about Taimur and paps:
Ya, I think he’s realised that there will be cameras in certain places. He has never enjoyed being photographed particularly, even by us at home. But he understands,I mean, he smiles and waves and he likes camera flashes but it’s just something he’s always seen so he doesn’t think about it. It’s funny, like this house that we live in, is really cluttered. It has things lying around, paintings and books and things and lot of people said you’ll have to clear this up, you know, lots of glasses on a low shelf.
My mother and a few other people said, it’s all gotta move when the kid’s running around. And we didn’t get around to moving it ever and he’s just made his way around it, he’s never broken a thing. I’m just saying what you grow up with you just become used to.
I mean, it makes me a little tense, he gets that vibe and then when they would chase him to school, you worry. I mean, there’s too much attention sometimes. It’s sad, you know, people don’t let you be like a normal kid in Bombay. This star kid is a tag that just falls on you, whether you like it or not and in fact.
The answer is you don’t want it but what can you do. So, they are serving a purpose, someone says don’t stop them, they’re doing their job. They are also getting paid, you know it’s a lockdown situation so in India, there’s that complicated thing. An American would be like – hey, can you please not stalk my house.
But here I’m like I understand you’re getting paid and I don’t want to stop you getting rozi-roti. So, it’s like that, you don’t know how to react. I think when you resist it, it becomes a situation, when you hide from them, or run around with your hat pulled low. But if you just give them that picture, just give a smile and just move on. So, the important thing is to tell Taimur – you must be polite and it’s no big deal and I think he’s learnt that.
Saif says he hasn’t had it easy:
A lot of times, unfortunately. And I knew that you gotta take it seriously and but this the thing. I don’t personally think I’ve had it particularly easy even though some people will say oh, of course you have! But I’ve done a lot of crap that lot of people wouldn’t have done. I mean I’ve played third lead in some dodgy movie. Some films like Suraksha, and Ek Tha Raja which nobody has heard of. But I never thought what the hell am I doing here. I knew what I was doing there. I was trying to get paid and trying to do this job. I knew it wasn’t going anywhere and I was like ok. But it helps when you’re 25, it’s alright not be going anywhere if you’re 25. But you don’t want to be there at 50 for sure, you’re like wow, where’s this going. But a job’s a job, right.
Saif reveals the name of his autobiography on No Filter Neha!
I think I’ll call my autobiography – I’ll be good from tomorrow. I have said that so often, it’s usually diet based or alcohol-based. And I’d have chapter heading also, like probably ‘shouldn’t have had the whiskey’
How Saif got over the dark:
I actually had an experience with LSD once. When I was 22 and I realised that I’m not scared of the dark anymore. I used to be. It could have gone either way apparently. It is dangerous maybe I could have developed a phobia of the dark, you know. That could have happened as well. But this is what happened. And I realised with all clarity that there is nothing in the dark except darkness. And I’ve never been scared since.
Except now I think it’s worn off. It’s an art form to frighten someone anyway but like a subtle shiver you get and its gotta be short obviously. It’s gotta be scary and it’s gotta be well written and descriptive. The great writers sometimes weigh-in and kind of write a ghost story. It’s like singing summertime, you know where all the singers have done. It because it’s a song with range where you can show-off your skills. Similarly, Charles Dickens, Emily Edwards and various people, everyone’s written. A ghost story and that’s the time you can see their class.
The Oxford book of ghost stories has a great collection that starts from the first ghost story. It written to one of the most recent ones, they’re just really good and lovely to read at night before going to sleep.
According to Saif, Kareena’s autobiography will be called – Balancing Act
According to Saif, Sara Ali Khan’s autobiography will be called – Namaste
According to Saif, Akshay Kumar’s autobiography will be called – Chest hair is coming to mind. I think I’ll call it Khiladi No 1
According to Saif, Kunal Kemmu’s autobiography will be called – Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Tune in to #NoFilterNeha Season 5 only on JioSaavn