Right before film shoots across the country were stalled, actor Saif Ali Khan was filming with Rani Mukerji for Bunty Aur Babli 2. The two actors have starred in several films in the past, including the popular Hum Tum. This is also Khan’s return to Yashraj Films after long. Our editor Anupama Chopra spoke to the actor about the film. Excerpts:
Before the lockdown happened you were shooting for Bunty Aur Babli 2. What’s it like to be back at Yashraj Films, where your career started?
It was nice to reconnect with Adi (Aditya Chopra) again. We had a couple of disagreements in the past and I think he was slightly disappointed in my attitude towards certain things and we hadn’t worked together in a very long time. This just meant that there’s peace again and everything is fine. That is the most important aspect of this.
Also, there is this really nice angle of working with a producer that kind of knows what they are doing. Because I have produced films, (I can say that) it’s really a relief to work with someone who has all the headache of choosing the right music, figuring out how to shoot and release it and you just do your work as an actor. I mean getting a SMS from Adi saying ‘Welcome back home’ means a lot to me.
And what’s it like working again with Rani? You’ll have done so many films together in the past?
Working with Rani is like we never left really. I think I have changed quite a lot. I think she finds me less annoying and I have more respect for her than I probably had in my 30s because I wanted to know then was to go home and all.
Why were you annoying?
She is very grounded and serious and we are very, very different people. One of the reasons we have worked as an interesting pair on screen is because we are fundamentally very different people, which means on set we may not agree with each other’s worldview because we are just different people. But today I admire her a lot more because we have kids at the same age and I have changed a lot. I was a little more impatient and in a rush back then due to which she looked up to Aamir Khan as sensible and mature actor. So I don’t know if I was particularly impressive in that way even though we worked a lot together.
You said on Kareena’s radio show that when you’ll started dating, it was Rani who told you to approach it as though you were dating another man.
I think what she meant is don’t think of it in a chauvinistic kind of a way. Think of it as two people who are working and need to be respected equally, which has never really been an issue with me. She meant think of a female actor as a complete equal …. I remember we were shooting Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic in LA and I had just started going out with Kareena. I remember Rani saying, ‘I’m so glad. I’m really fond of that girl.’ In fact, Rani has seen me through turbulent times and a couple of relationships.