Saif Ali Khan: I’m not on social media but I don’t have a problem with it

The last time Saif Ali Khan teamed up with filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj was for ‘Omkara’ in 2006, when he played Langda Tyagi. His portrayal of the character was widely appreciated by his fans. Now, the two are back together with ‘Rangoon’, which also stars Shahid Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut. timesofindia.com caught up with Saif and got him talking about the controversy that blew out of proportion when he named his son Taimur, his daughter Sara’s film debut, his views on social media, movies and more.

How would you describe this phase of your life?

I am content in every way. I’d like to balance my life – I am healthy, I have a good personal life, good friends and I am financially secure, touch wood! I am missing doing some creative work. I would definitely like to do some creative and good work.

Vishal Bhardwaj extracts great performances out of his actors. What do you think is his secret?

Vishal is a creative director. He is a very graceful and an elegant person. Even if he is smoking a cigarette, you should observe the way he smokes, it’s worth filming. He will pull it out of the packet slowly, he will enjoy it, it’s like a performance. He improves your performance tremendously just because of the way he is. When people go to watch ‘Rangoon’, please don’t expect Langda Tyagi kind of a character. We are the same combination but it’s a different film, remember that!

How is Kangana Ranaut to work with?

I found her very charming and lots of fun. She is very relaxed and down-to-earth. When she is doing her work, she does it with a lot of seriousness. She is very subtle in her work.

Almost every celebrity is on social media. How have you managed to stay away?

I don’t have a problem with social media, but I would rather speak to someone like you and have you ask me questions and I answer them than just going on my own and sharing my thoughts on a public platform.

You are also a part of the Indian adaptation of ‘Chef’. Are you interested in cooking at all?

Oh! I love cooking; it’s like alchemy, like magic. You have to take all different things and make one good thing out of it. Add a little bit of spices, a little bit of this and that, and then prepare a wonderful dish, isn’t that magic? The process is therapeutic; it requires concentration and all your attention when you are doing it. I do it because it’s meditative.

You’re also doing Akshat Verma’s ‘Kaalakandi’…

Yes, and I know it sounds like an off-beat film. It’s a very interesting film. It has three different tracks and three different stories. It’s set in Mumbai, across three different classes of society. What’s interesting is how they all interconnect.

Have you seen any change in Kareena’s confidence from the time you met her first till now?

Yes, there was a change, but it was from the time I first met her to the time I started going out with her. She is a very wise girl and she has got her priorities right. She also sees the difference in how she used to be. I think that’s true of me also. There has been a fair change in me as well.

After naming your son Taimur, did you anticipate such a backlash on social media? Do you know he is an internet sensation already?

See, you don’t need to be on social media to hear it. I never wanted to do anything controversial or upset anyone. My wife and I liked the name and the way it sounds. We also think it suits him. It’s Taimur and not Timur, the ruler that people are associating it with. Also, there are a lot of names in history and people on the internet are very opinionated. I would like to know who is getting upset and what’s their educational background. I know that in the most civilized society, a name like this would be accepted. If someone is too right wing or too political, then I am not interested in debating anyway.

Your daughter Sara will be acting in movies. Are you looking forward to watching her on the big screen? And what dos and don’ts have you already shared with her?

Nothing really! I believe every generation has its own energy and own feeling on how to work and what to do. I only tell her the basics. She does talk to me. I tell her what I feel and she listens. Of course, I am looking forward to watching her in the movies and I’m also a little nervous.

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