May 11, 2011 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan will walk the red carpet at the Festival de Cannes, 2011, courtesy an exclusive invitation from the fest partner and global luxury brand Chivas Regal. The actor talks about the event, Indian films and actors at the Cannes and much more. Read the interview at Calcutta Tube.
You must be excited to walk the Cannes Red Carpet…
See, it’s primarily an extension of my association with Chivas. Yeah, it’s exciting to be a part of the Cannes film festival as there’s a lot of international stars who are going to be present there. It’s nice to be a part of that. Also, it’s nice to be representing my country in whichever way to the best of my ability. But I think the main function of Cannes is to showcase international movies. I hope one day we can take a film there to compete. That will be the real thing.
Why do you think Indian films are not showcased at Cannes?
Most of the films I work in…in fact, all the films I work in, are not really the kind that would compete or will have a place at a film festival like Cannes. We make films for Indians primarily, we make commercial cinema, which is completely different from the ones that they (Cannes) like to showcase.
But on the other hand, you never know, in future may be a film like Agent Vinod (Saif’s next release with Kareena Kapoor), which is a strongly commercial Indian movie, find a place there. I think it’s upto the jury to decide that.
But as of now, I have a feeling that they like slightly different kind of films than the ones we make at the moment.
Given a chance, which of your films would you take to Cannes?
It’s hard to say. But a film that I would take to any festival has to be Being Cyrus…and Omkara. In fact, given a chance, I would take Omkara to Cannes because at times the most international thing you can do is not speak English, but to do something completely Indian. The fact that it’s also Shakespeare (the film is adopted from William Shakespeare’s Othello), the West will have some understanding of the story; yet the treatment and setting in the film is unique.
Generally we see Bollywood actresses at the Cannes. How does it feel to be the only man walking the Red Carpet?
Yes, I am the only man from Bollywood walking the Red Carpet; may be because not too many Indian actresses are going there this year. I am sure there will be many men there from the rest of the world.
What are you wearing at the Red Carpet?
It’s a black-tie event and you can only think of dinner jacket. And in 2012, when you think dinner jacket, thanks to James Bond, you think Tom Ford.
Would you like to do a Hollywood movie?
Yes and no. Today more than before, there are Indian actors who are finding roles in American films. Hollywood is a great industry that has the most amazing technicians in it. So it would be wonderful to do a film like that one day. But to be honest with you, I am very satisfied working in India.
These days most Bollywood heroes are trying their hands at super-hero films. What about you?
I too would love to do a super-hero film. I grew up on super-heroes, I love the comics. But it has to be the right role and right script. In it’s own way, Agent Vinod is super-heroic, but in a human way.
Now-a-days you have almost put a ban on talking about Kareena Kapoor and your relationship. Why is that?
I don’t want to shut people’s mouth because attention will always be there on our personal lives. While I respect that…and also my personal life, I try to concentrate on my work and keep the focus off my personal life as far as possible. Sometimes it’s good to talk about other things more professional.
We won’t talk about Kareena. But when is the most eligible bachelor in Bollywood tying the knot?
I am not the most eligible bachelor in Bollywood. As for marriage plans, we keep planning (Laughs).
-Sreya Basu / IBNS