Saif Ali Khan is game for playing unconventional roles.
For years, filmmakers have seen him as an actor ideal for romantic capers but Saif Ali Khan is eying roles which are challenging and unconventional. Unlike many heroes who yearn to portray larger-than-life characters, Saif is enthusiastic about getting work in socially relevant films where he can infuse life into characters written keeping in mind small town men. He has been happy to portray an oppressed Dalit character in Prakash Jha’s Aarakshan and a scheming conman in Vishal Bharadwaj’s Omkara.
One meets the seasoned actor inside the green room at Kingdoms of Dream in Gurgaon. To break the ice one starts by complimenting him for his portrayal of an urbane happy-go-lucky character in Dil Chahta Hai, even though the film was released many summers ago. After a long thank you, the actor says, “Well, Dil Chahta Hai was a turning point but I think Yeh Dillagi would better fit that description. In fact, Yeh Dillagi was the turning point in Indian cinema. Having said this, I would like to mention here that Dil Chahta Hai changed the style of portraying hero in our films. My character was a confused chap, a young Bandraiite who people in Mumbai and other cities were able to identify with. Yes it was a happy-go-lucky type of character.”