Saif Ali Khan on Rangoon and what has affected his choice of films over the years

The last time Saif Ali Khan was seen on the big screen was in August 2015. The film was Phantom. Post that, Saif took a conscious call to pick up diverse genres. One such film was Rangoon. Even though he was well aware of the fact it would be a while before the film hit the screen — given that it was made on an epic scale — he was game for it all. Excerpts from our interview…

Rangoon is your 50th film as a lead actor. Comment.

These milestones are nice to know. Good to see one achieve it. When I look at my contemporaries like Akshay or the three Khans who started before I did — they’ve raised the age barrier — that’s something impressive for me. Internationally, too, artistes are doing that. They are working harder and looking better. I am looking forward to doing that as well.

You seem to be enjoying the era.

I enjoy this time period. The ’40s was a stylish era. Today, the world has become casual in some departments. I wasn’t always comfortable playing a part like the one I play in Rangoon. The truth is, over the years I have grown and evolved as person. I am more sure about what I like and what I don’t. I have been in the industry for a while now. I have been reading and travelling. So many things have added to this persona of mine that you see today. All of that combined has made me much more comfortable slipping into the world of Rangoon. I know it better now.

You have gone back in time for films like Parineeta (1960s) and Hamesha (’70s) though. What can you tell us about doing the same for Rangoon (’40s)?

Even though I was born in the 1970s, I was exposed to the life and times of the ’40s. At that time, many films based on World War II were being seen. The Guns of Navarone, The Bridge on the River Kwai, A Bridge Too Far — these were very popular films and I grew up on them. There are so many heroic stories of that time. With Rangoon, that era is being revisited, and I am glad to be part of it all.
This will be your first film that arrives after the birth of Taimur. Does that make it special?

I don’t really think in those terms. As much as possible, personal life goes on and works goes on, too. There isn’t really any connection. Moreover, he is also far too young to realise that his dad has a film releasing this Friday.

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