Saif Ali Khan explained why he turned down a role in Kapoor & Sons

A day after it was revealed that some of Bollywood’s biggest male stars refused Fawad Khan’s role in Kapoor and Sons, apparently because it was of a homosexual character, Saif Ali Khan has reached out with his reasons for declining the part.

In a phone conversation, the actor said, “I did not say no to the role because it was a homosexual character. I genuinely wasn’t too impressed with the script and felt a mainstream Hindi film hero playing gay in a mainstream Bollywood film deserved a better representation. I felt the character wasn’t set in the right context.”

The Omkara actor also said that it would be very ‘silly’ of any actor to refuse a part owing to a character’s sexuality.

He said, “I’m not a petty guy with a narrow-minded mentality. I’m very liberal in my views and can look beyond things. It’d be amazing to have a gay character as one of the roles in my portfolio and I look forward to playing one. It’s got nothing to do with being perceived as an alpha male, like your article argued, as I don’t think I have a particularly macho image. At the time when Kapoor and Sons was offered to me, I didn’t feel it was the right project for me to get into.”

But now that the film has released to much critical acclaim and decent box-office figures, does he feel differently about it? “I haven’t found the time to watch it so I can’t really answer that. But from what I hear people have liked the film and I’m happy for Karan and his team,” said the actor who’ll be next seen in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon which features him alongside Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut.

What does he think about his peers – Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar – refusing the film on those grounds? “I can’t speak on their behalf and don’t know what their reasons were for not taking up the film, but it’s very sad if people have perceived my rejection of Kapoor and Sons as something to do with homosexuality, something that I wholeheartedly support. Everyone makes mistakes, but when Karan (Johar, film producer) and Shakun (Batra, film director) came to me, I just didn’t feel like doing the film… just like when Sajid Khan came to me, I had felt like doing Humshakals, which now I know was horrible. Shit happens.”

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