Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone in Cocktail
In Turkey where they are currently shooting for Race 2, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone chatted about their July 13 release Cocktail on The Front Row with Anupama Chopra. Excerpts...
From the promos it looks like this is a Bollywood take on the Archie comics. You’re (Deepika) also called Veronica!
Saif: I think Veronica’s name is what would presumably come from the familiarity of the Archie comics somewhere… the kind of role she’s playing is a very layered role but it’s also primarily someone who is rich and glamorous and also slightly emotionally at the deep end as well.
Deepika: She’s basically a girl who has lived in India for a couple of years but then moved to London. She comes from a broken family, so emotionally she’s not had the best upbringing. And I guess her outlet is to go out there and socialise and party and she’s kind of like the wild child but at the same time that doesn’t make her a bad person. She’s really a warm, friendly, loving girl.
So when two actors work together so often — you’ve done four films together — do you have to work harder to create a freshness or is it just easier because you have figured out the shorthand?
Saif: The films have been different. There have been films like Aarakshan, there’s been Race 2 which is you know this revenge, heist film, an Abbas Mustan movie, so I think they all seem rather different. So in short, yes, someone has to be a little more careful. I’m certainly conscious and I’m sure Deepika is as well.
Deepika: I don’t feel like consciously I’ve to do something different. I don’t even think... and I really think he is one of the best actors India has ever seen.
Saif, you talk about liking darker movies. As a producer, romance seems to be your thing two out of three. Why is that?
Saif: Well, because I have a partner in film production. I put people around me whose opinions I also respect. I’d like to make, maybe a spy thriller. I mean if we were to translate it into Hollywood, I’d love to make a Mission:Impossible, I’d love to make a Sherlock Holmes. Love stories even though I enjoy doing them, you know, I find them to be little bit girlie in terms of movie content. It’s slightly chick-flicky which is wonderful and great fun to act in, (but) I mean I wouldn’t really go out of my way to watch them.
Deepika: That’s really weird because love stories suit him.
Saif: Suit me, I accept that and I love it and I respect it. I don’t mean disrespect to the genre. But like I say I would never go and watch any of these movies and say: ‘Hey, let’s go buy some popcorn and see this.’ So in answer to your question how, it’s because they tell me ‘Shut up, we’re not listening to you anymore. Let’s make this because let’s also make some money.’
| Saif and Deepika on The Front Row with Anupama Chopra
Deepika are you a romantic person? Do you like the chick-flicks, would you watch Cocktail if you were not in it?
Deepika: Absolutely! It’s completely my kind of film, not because I’m in it. It’s really the kind of movie that I’d like to watch as an audience.
The biggest hits now are Singham and Rowdy Rathore — films which are kind of a throwback to the 1980s sensibility. Where do you fit into this?
Saif: In order to make the films that you’re talking about, you need the patronage and whole-hearted support of the single-screen audience. I think a lot of movie stars have something unique about their personalities, whether it’s Ajay Devgn or Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar and so where that leaves me is to find that role perhaps where I play to my strength and at the same time do something that the common man would also find interesting to watch, rather than something that’s a little too polished for his taste. For me, it’s bit of a search because it’s not something that immediately comes naturally to me to do.
Deepika, you were a national-level badminton player yourself. Did it or does it sort of even today influence, perhaps not your acting but just how you deal with situations in life?
Deepika: I think it’s taught me a lot. To begin with, I think basic things like discipline, how to handle failure and success, how to be competitive in the right spirit. So you know I think a lot of things I’ve learnt, thanks to being Prakash Padukone’s daughter and also the fact that I’ve also been an athlete.... I can wake up early in the morning!
Saif, is marriage on the cards this year?
Saif: Yes, I hope and think so yes, for sure.
Is there a date?
Saif: Yes, there is a date in October. I would like to discuss it with Kareena (Kapoor) and my family before I say it on television.
Are you nervous?
Saif: I’m not nervous, yet maybe naturally so. I think people should be a little nervous about momentous occasions of their life. That shows that they’re taking them seriously. But no I’m not nervous, I think I know what I’m doing. I’m quite looking forward to it actually.
The Front Row with Anupama Chopra airs tonight at 8.30pm on STAR World