Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Dinesh Vijan

Some crew members of the much delayed Agent Vinod have opted out of the project for fear of being jobless after signing a contract with the production house

By Sonal Chawla (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 19, 2009)


Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan’s Agent Vinod, which finally seemed poised to take off, has been delayed again. Due to this, some crew members got fed up of waiting for the film to go on the floors and hence opted out of it to work in other viable projects.

The film was supposed to go on the floors in July, but Saif could not find time for Agent Vinod as he was busy with the promotions of Love Aaj Kal. Later, both Kareena and Saif got busy with Kurbaan and the film got postponed. Then Kareena’s dates were given away to the Bollywood version of Stepmom, so the film got delayed even further to January. Now, it is finally reported that the film will begin in the second half of the next year.

A source from the unit, who has backed out of the film, says, “We have been roped in for this project for over six months. We were first informed that the movie will go on the floors in December, which was then pushed to January. Finally, the other day, we got a call from the production house saying that the film might go on the floors by April and we need to sign the contract papers.”

It was the commitment to the project, which seemed on a shaky path that made them back out of it. The source adds, “How can we sign the contract papers? Once we sign the contract, we can’t work anywhere else. So, we will be jobless till this movie goes on the floors. Given this inconvenience, many of us have backed out of the film. We are not signing the contract as we don’t want to be bound with the production house for so many months. If we do sign the contract we will be twiddling our thumbs and not earning money. Some of us have moved on since there is no guarantee of when exactly the film will take off. Meanwhile, we are taking up some other projects,” adds the source.

Producer Dinesh Vijan remained unavailable for comment. Guess Agent Vinod and he were having a fictitious tete-a-tete.

Buzz is that the budget of Agent Vinod has been slashed from Rs 65 crore to Rs 40 crore. Are the makers playing safe or is there more to it?

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 03, 2009)


Considering the fate of some of the recent films bombing at the box-office and the aftereffects of recession, corporate are entirely rethinking their film financing budgets. Apparently, this is why Eros International, the financers of Agent Vinod starring Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, has considerably slashed the film’s budget.

The buzz in trade circles, based on a conversation overheard between a leading producer and a couple of distributors is that Eros International is renegotiating their deal with Illuminati Films, producers of Agent Vinod. The budget of the film has been brought down considerably from Rs 65 crore to Rs 40 crore. Illuminati Films is co-owned by Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan.

Agent Vinod is a spy thriller with Saif and Kareena playing undercover agents. In fact, buzz is that Kareena plays a full-on action star on the same lines as Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

In today’s time, when having a big star in one’s film does not guarantee money recovery, it is not surprising that Eros is having second thoughts about the budget of the film. Apparently, the dismal performance of the recent Saif-Kareena starrer Kurbaan at the box-office has also played a big role in Eros deciding to cut costs. Incidentally, this is the third time recently that the real life couple failed to set the screen on fire.  They had not too long ago worked together in Roadside Romeo and Tashan.

However, our source insists that the slashed budget of Agent Vinod has nothing to do with the box-office failure of Kurbaan. The source says, “It is a wise business decision which can be termed as a precautionary measure. It has got nothing to do with Saif and Kareena per se. For all you know, Agent Vinod may be a hit and a cut in its cost will benefit Eros and Illuminati all the more.”

Sriram Raghavan, director of Agent Vinod, says that the film will be going on the floors in the next two months. Commenting on the slashed budget, he says, “I don’t know if there is any such development, but I can’t downsize my script. There are a lot of foreign locales and action in the film. So, it’s definitely a high budget film. However, I cannot reveal its budget, producer Dinesh Vijan is the right person to comment on it.”

Eros International and Illuminati Films declined to comment on the story.

Sarita Tanwar (MID-DAY; July 31, 2009)

Saif Ali Khan walks in 10 minutes late. He’s looking fresh and surprisingly fit. He gives me a typical filmy hug and announces, “I haven’t had a bath yet.” I tell him that information would’ve been appreciated a few seconds earlier. Even though he is in his gym clothes, he’s not carrying his workout on him.

Must be the blue blood. He settles down on the other end of the couch and dons his serious glasses, “This is the Bengali in me finally coming out. Very Basu Bhattacharya.” Point noted and it’s time for some serious business. He orders coffee and me conversation. And then, we talk about his love, aaj and kal. Excerpts….

The last time you did a light romantic film (Hum Tum), you won a National Award. What are you expecting with Love Aaj Kal (LAK)?
I am not in the least interested in awards. It is a kind of celebration that comes much later. I am hoping for a decent opening and a successful run. That’s it.

That’s it?
I am hoping and expecting that people will like the movie and enough of them will watch it so that the people who have invested in us are not disappointed. I think it is a good movie and it has a good story. I think stories are really important parts of our lives, whether it is reading or watching them or listening to them from an old tailor in Bhopal, sitting at the foot of my bed, when I was a baby. My parents would be on the balcony, talking with adults and this old man would tell me tales of shikar and tigers and how it attacked somebody….

A man with stories! Can I steal him?
Yeah, no! He was about 90 then yaar…

Drat! Okay, hoping LAK does well for you as a producer, or as an actor?
Both. I think it’s more important that it does well. I am playing a Sikh character, and also a contemporary character called Jai, which people may or may not connect to, because of his thinking. There was a little bit of that in Salaam Namaste, where he didn’t want to get married just because she was pregnant, which people did not like as it isn’t the most heroic thing to do. Similarly, Jai doesn’t know that he loves this girl, and he certainly doesn’t believe in marriage and wants to be practical. But the story is how he changes from that into something else.

Sounds like you.
Err, maybe. Maybe, I suppose. But actually, not really. Jai seems quite clear that he doesn’t want to commit to anyone. Maybe I am just making him sound like me. But he’s not really so.

Most actors and filmmakers take trips to Shirdi, Vaishnodevi or Tirupati before their release. Have you done any of that?
(Sounds amused) No. but I believe Dino (co-producer Dinesh Vijan) went to Siddhi Vinayak with the print. I definitely believe in God. And I believe in luck. And I understand why people would want to cover all the bases. There is a big question mark as to what would work, so people try anything. I mean ultimately, when there is turbulence on the plane, and my gut clenches, I do start saying the Ayatul Kursi. Let’s not laugh at people who do these things but I would like to have the strength to say that mandir and prayer aside, there’s a whole lot of other stuff that is in the gray area.

Like numerology? Did you check if you title was ‘balanced’ for success?
No. I don’t believe that much in astrology and numerology even though I think it could be fun sometimes. I find some of these numerologically sound titles attractive. Like Himesh Reshammiya’s film, what was the name..?

Karzzzz?
(Grins) No, that was a bad marketing idea. Especially if the film is even slightly boring. Arre, it was his only film that ran. It was called Aap Kaa Surror The Real Love Story and it was spelled with two A’s and Kambakkht Ishq had two K’s and Singh Is Kinng had two N’s. So it is kind of hip. It has an edge to it.  But when people do it to their names that is not cool.

For a brief while, Kareena was Kariena…
Oh no! Really? I am happy she has changed it back.

So you will never be Saaif, with an extra A?
No chance. But for my films, maybe I would try it. Maybe Love Aaj Kal would have looked better as Love Aaj Kall. Maybe it would be funky.

Deepika is the youngest actress you’ve worked with and Kareena is the youngest girl you’ve been involved with. That’s new!
Yes, it is new. Definitely.

And?
(Smirks) And it makes you health conscious. Like on hand, I will say, “I think I should be much fitter and healthier.” And on the other, I am really happy being 38.

When you are with these 20-plus women, do you feel older, wiser and smarter or there is some connect?
Oh, I connect with them completely. Why it works is because I am quite juvenile and they are quite mature. (Laughs) So it balances out just fine. But seriously, I do feel very happy for the people I have met, the things I have seen, and experienced. I really think I have matured. I have had a really interesting history, even though I say it myself. So if you ask me, being with Kareena or working with someone younger than me, it is a non-issue for me. I really like being me. And I am very confident in that. I am so lucky that I am doing okay in movies also. Because it is another world.

You’ve never promoted a film like this before. Do you find it cumbersome?
(Sighs) Incredibly exhausting. If I see another camera…. (rolls his eyes).

…or a journalist?
No, I think there is a charm to the written word. We learnt early in our careers to speak carefully because the printed word reads differently because it doesn’t like a tone. It can be cold. So you must word yourself intelligently.

Like a text message.
But a personality can be sensed through an sms. I personally don’t like those short forms. I can’t say ‘pls'; I will type ‘please’ (dramatically). And I can’t bear ‘da’ for ‘the’.

Ok, coming back to promotions….
We sat here as a production house and said, ‘Let us make people aware of this film.’ Promotion is such an important part of the film for the producer. Otherwise as an actor, you do the film and then you call the producer and interfere, ‘Where is the hoarding?’, ‘Where is the poster?’.  Now I know that there are 450 million mobile users and 50 million internet users in India and I want to reach everyone. So you get involved in the whole process. It’s better than worrying about what another actor is doing. I see the poster of Kites and think it is phenomenal. I feel, “Wow, Hrithik Roshan is fit, and a good-looking guy. Like an angel sometimes.” It’s not competitive. I am like – let me work harder; let me learn from other people. I put all my energies into producing this movie rather than worrying about what other people are doing.

But you’ve never really worried about competition.
True. Earlier I wasn’t even worried about myself that much as well.

That’s the lazy Leo in you.
Possibly. And it’s also a bit like my father. At some level I don’t want to lose that. When you are successful, then suddenly people start waking up to you. That’s the scary part. I like to put my feet up on ottomans, in Jaipur razais and watch TV and just cut off from everything in the afternoon. But when you are super-successful, then suddenly everyone wants a piece of you. And then they get offended when some top notches of Mumbai society or politician wants to meet you… The challenge is to be successful and yet maintain a balance without offending anybody but keeping your equilibrium.

You’ve not shown the film to your colleagues as well as the media. Why?
I have known you for so long; I can easily call you and say I am having a trial, watch it and tell me what you think. But you are going to sense that my intention is to seduce you somehow into liking it. At the same time, when I have a press show, as a producer, I will invite people and come say a few words and then bugger off. I am not going to hang around till the end and ask people, “Kaise laga, kaise laga.” Because I will be too tense anyway. Even if my friend goes to see the film, forget the press or the industry, somewhere his opinion will start mattering. And I don’t want it to matter.

Won’t your colleagues be upset that you didn’t show them the film?
If you don’t show the film to anyone, then there is no stress. And it is important to be consistent in life. I have never had a trial. I have never called another actor or filmmaker and said, “I want to see your movie, organise a trial, yaar.” Because I think it is more fun to buy my popcorn and go to the theatre and watch the film. The bottom line of the psychology of the whole thing is: If you pay money to buy a ticket, and make a plan to go see it with your family, friends or girlfriend, it is a different psychology than to be invited by me. I am not interested in THAT audiences’ opinion. Someone will be too tense to laugh and the actors would be like, “I would’ve done this scene better.” The producers will say, “Arre, how much money have these guys spent?” The heroines will be, “This girl is rubbish; I am better than her.” So you know there is no barometer.

How do you react when people feel that you are still not established as a solo hero?
I don’t think that’s true. Who can say that now? You are digging out a question from 1992.

No, that is the perception.
What crap! That perception went out with Hum Tum, which was a solo hero film. Then Parineeta was a solo hero.

But you still did Race, with Anil and Akshaye.
Yeah, but if Race had been a flop, it would’ve been only my flop. Let’s get that clear. There are certainly performances that have contributed to the film but I had the most to lose.

Yeah, and even though Race did good business, it was never counted among the big hits. Why?
Dude, I don’t know about that, but as far as the distributors go, they were very happy. It was a 1200 print opening. They opened that film much wider than any other movie of mine.

Also, you didn’t get due credit for its success.
I got the due credit from Ramesh Taurani, who will be happy to pay me for Race 2 and that is the kind of due I am interested in. And the fact is that the audiences have seen the film, and loved it. About the internal politics, I am not really concerned as long as it doesn’t affect my job.

Looking back, do you feel it was a wrong decision to do so many two-hero projects?
No. I have also chosen what I thought were the best roles.

But you’ve even played second fiddle to Madhavan in Rehna Hain Terre Dil Mein.
Yeah but that was not a particularly great time for me. Like any actor, I’ve always chosen the best from what I was offered that year. Some years have not been very interesting, while some have been great. Your aspirations change according to your success ratio. In the beginning, you are just happy to be working. That you have a job, and you have been accepted. Your standards are pretty low. And pretty soon, after a while, you want to be the best there is. The best there has ever been (laughs); you know there is no end to that kind of ego shit.

You recently said you and Kareena didn’t plan to stay engaged forever. Does that mean you’re already engaged?
No. I mean I feel like I am engaged. But I don’t believe in engagements as such; they are a bit old-fashioned.

Your mom said in a recent interview that you both have the family’s blessings.
I am sure mom wants me to settle down. Parents like to tie up everything and they think it’s done. But it is not done even if you are married. Today, marriage is another form of engagement. It is a legal commitment that it is quite easy to get out of. It’s not like: It’s all over and now we can all go to sleep. And anyway it is very important in a girl’s career for her to focus on that. And marriage — let’s be honest — alters your image, your marketability and people lose interest in you. I’d much rather people kept asking, “When are you getting married?” The minute you are married, you are yesterday’s news. And I am not in any rush to get married. Because I am loving this.

Is it tough to manage being together with your tough schedules?
We are balancing our lives beautifully. We are working hard and Kareena is more than a wife, because she loves me. There are so many wives who don’t love their husbands because they are pakaoed after 10 years of being together. Bebo gives me all the time in the world. And when I get done with these two days and the film releases, I will give time. We manage. People laugh at us saying, “Oh you are turning up on the set; she is coming here” but that’s how we manage.

Oh, you are aware of people laughing?
Yeah, of course, but what to do? Initially when the relationship is starting, you want to make each other secure, and you want to tell the world that we are serious about each other. We are not a fly-by-night kind of a thing. So we make commitments on paper, and we say things but before you know it, it gets blown out of proportion.

What if Bebo says she wants marriage?
For an actor and for a working person, it must come at the right time. You must do it when you want to do it, or when you want to have children. We’ve waited for a reason. It is not the 1920s when it was like now we can live together or now we can spend time legally. We can do all that now, without that. People must understand her priorities. She is a film child. She has grown up watching films. She has always wanted this and she has finally achieved it. And I absolutely forbid her to even want to. Tomorrow if she says, “Let’s get married”, I will tell her, “I think you should work for a few years.”

She has been flaunting her ring for a long time.
She can flaunt many rings. I will give her lots of them. Even I wear rings.

What’s going on between you and Shahid? He was quoted saying that you and Bebo were using his name to get publicity.
I am really glad you asked me this because enough has been said now. Shahid seems like a really well brought-up guy and I mean no offence to him. And let’s stop it now. We are both gentlemen and whenever we have met, we’ve shook hands, and that’s it. So I will not listen to anything anybody says. And it sounds so fake to say I sincerely wish him all the best but I want him to know that I have only heard good things about him. And that too from his ex-girlfriend, which leaves me with a sense of respect for the past and God bless him. He seems like a strong man, and a good kid. That’s it.

There were reports that you were offered Kaminey?
I would like to clear once and for all that Vishal Bhardwaj did not offer me Kaminey. We talked about a film about twins. That film might not even have been Kaminey. I hope it is a good film. But right now, I am more interested in my film running. And I am not interested in other people’s downfall because it doesn’t help me in anyway. When Sanjay Dutt went to jail, it didn’t benefit anybody. It just hurt him. So tomorrow, if something happens to an actor, it does not increase your saleability.

All actors say they don’t watch other actors’ films. What about you?
I genuinely don’t watch many Hindi films. But when I do, l like to see what other people are doing and how they perform. Maybe not at a competitive level. Maybe I will learn from them.

Ever considered direction?
Not really. Not at the moment. It is a completely different kind of a ball-game. It is a huge commitment. I like to cut off and stop for a while. But a director is always thinking, writing, then making and then editing – it’s never ending. I think it is a single man’s job. I don’t know how they manage to be in relationships. Is that wrong to say? I think it’s like being a cop; then the girl really needs to understand.

Many would say that about an actor’s job too.
No, an actor can make time and say, “Ab pack up ho gaya and I can go home.”

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DON’T EXPECT JAB WE MET IN LOVE AAJ KAL!

This weekend is bound to be very interesting. Whatever response may tomorrow’s release Love Aaj Kal (also one of the most awaited films of the year) get from the audience (and critics), it’ll surely result in an exciting situation. The film is expected to take a hurricane start and if the film manages to connect with the audience, it can easily be Saif’s biggest hit ever!

When it comes to Love Aaj Kal, discussions are only centered on the lead man and producer Saif Ali Khan, actress Deepika Padukone, director Imtiaz Ali and also Kareena Kapoor (even though she’s not a part of the film!)! However, two important people connected to the film are miles away from the limelight. One is the second actress of Love Aaj Kal (LAK), whose identity has been deliberately kept a secret by the makers and the other is Saif’s producer-partner Dinesh Vijan (see pic) who is ignored by the media, since he’s not known name.

Dinesh VijanHowever, the fact is Dinesh Vijan is as much a producer of LAK as Saif. Dinesh’s first film as a producer was Being Cyrus, which also starred Saif. Dinesh and Ambika Hinduja were two of the four producers of Being Cyrus and had formed a production company, Serendipity Films. He and Saif realized on the sets that both have similar tastes and views regarding films and felt that they should jointly make movies. Post-Being Cyrus, both of them went their own ways. Dinesh then produced Shiney-Esha Deol starrer Hijack along with its director Kunal Shivdasani under the banner, Aleya Motion Magic. Finally, Dinesh and Saif got back again and made their own production house, Illuminati Films. However, they won’t be parting after LAK’s release. They have decided to jointly produce more films, which are qualitative as well as interesting. Their next film is already on the cards. Titled Agent Vinod, it stars Saif and Kareena and is produced by Johnny Gaddaar director, Sriram Raghavan. There are also plans to produce a film of Being Cyrus director, Homi Adjania.

Mystery girl3

Regarding the mysterious girl in Love Aaj Kal, there are around 10 people who have asked me as to who she is and her name, because she looks beautiful and I am the one who’s supposed to know everything about Hindi films! Unfortunately, this time, even I am ignorant since the producers have wonderfully kept her under wraps! Her name has not been disclosed and she has not made any public appearance till date. Only her screen name is available-Harleen Kaur. Hopefully, one would know who she is in 24 hours, when reviews start pouring in. Check out her pic!

Finally, the film is hugely awaited also due to its director-Imtiaz Ali, who impressed everyone with his last film, Jab We Met (JWM). One may feel this time things would be easy for him but I feel that things would be even more difficult. One didn’t had much expectation from JWM as no one expected it to be such a brilliant film in all respects. Viewers would naturally expect a lot from LAK. However, one should not expect something like JWM from LAK as both films are as different as chalk and cheese. That’s why, Imtiaz was even against the idea of inserting the card ‘Fromthe director of Jab We Met’ in the promos of LAK!

Saif, Deepika, Imtiaz, Dinesh, mysterious girl, Pritam (music), Irshad Kamil (lyrics)…all talented and all are youngsters. So LAK is surely a film for the youth, by the youth! Here’s wishing lots of luck to everyone associated with this fresh-looking film!

P.S.: Neetu Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rahul Khanna and comedian Vir Das are also a part of the film!
——————————
CHAL CHALEIN SEEMS IMPRESSIVE!

A small film releasing next week, Chal Chalein, seems to be very impressive and interesting. It deals with the topic of suicide committed by students, due to the fear of either their parents or of scoring less marks in examinations. The film centers around eight friends, studying in Class 11. One of them commits suicide after he is unable to bear the pressure burdened on him by his parents (Kanwaljeet and Rati Agnihotri). His friends realize that not only parents, but even the education system is to blame for such suicides. They start a movement and manage to take it to court, with the help of a lawyer (played by Mithun Chakraborthy). Chal Chalein also stars Chak De girl Shilpa Shukla. The film seems meaningful and if handled well, can manage to impact the viewers greatly. However, like every small film, it is not well promoted and the promos on TV don’t show what the film is actually about. Please spare some minutes and watch the exclusive theatrical promo below. The film is releasing next Friday, Aug 7.

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Saif Ali Khan’s producer partner Dinesh Vijan explains the presence of lion in their company Illuminati Films’ logo apart from talking about `Love Aaj Kal’ and their next couple of projects

EVERYBODY is talking only about the trio Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and director Imtiaz Ali whenever there’s a mention of Imtiaz Ali whenever there’s a mention of their upcoming flick `Love Aaj Kal’. Hence we caught up with Dinesh Vijan, the producer of the film, for something different. Excerpts from an interview with the partner of Illuminati Films Pvt Ltd, Saif Ali Khan’s production house…

You are associated with Saif since `Being Cyrus’ days…

Yes, we had worked together on that film as I was the producer. Back then as we chatted on the sets and otherwise, we realised we wanted to make similar kind of films. I think he likes the way I run the film. We scheduled it for 30 days, worked on daily routines and finished before time. We kept in touch even after the film and finally we sat up Illuminati Films. We decided to develop some content and see where it would go. First we came along Imtiaz Ali and then Sriram Raghavan who narrated stories that connected to both of us.

What kind of similar ideas are you looking at?

If you look at `Being Cyrus’, it was a different film. We don’t want the philosophy where we decide how much actors are going to charge and how much production is going to cost and then proceed with things. We want it to take it ahead from the script and what its appeal is. In `Love Aaj Kal’, it tells a story of two generations. Hence it will appeal to both the generations. `Love Aaj Kal’ deals with issues we have not dealt with as yet. As producers the most important thing is to decide which story to take.

Don’t you think the audience would end up comparing `Jab We Met’ and `Love Aaj Kal’ and that would hamper the business?

There will be comparisons but we can’t help it.
The two are very different films and the audience will realise when they watch `LAK’. So there won’t be any point comparing.

The next film is `Agent Vinod’…

Yeah, it is. It sounds almost comedy but it is not.
It is a straight fast paced thriller. It will have an appeal. Saif will play a RAW agent. It will be larger than life and yet real. If you have to compare, then you have to compare it to films like `Casino Royale’ and `Bourne Ultimatum’. After that we are making an English film next year with him Homi Adajania who made `Being Cyrus’.

Sriram’s `Johnny Gaddaar’ didn’t do as well as it should have been.

Marketing comes into play here. It is the tool which helps you bring your product into the market. It is as important as the film. Of course if the product is not good then marketing does not help.But to do justice to a good film it needs to be promoted well too.

Talking about marketing and promotions, why has the other girl in `Love Aaj Kal’ been kept out of public eye for so long?

There has to be something post release! We have enough cards to open pre-release. So we keep that for a later time.

What’s her name?

Her screen name is Harleen. And the rest we shall disclose only after the film.
While on to names, why is your firm named Illuminati Films?

We are taking the thought ahead with which Illuminati was set up. That is to believe in something which no one else was willing to do. Plus we are both Leos and hence the logo has a lion in it.

So how many prints is `Love Aaj Kal’ releasing with?

It will be a worldwide release. Physical prints would be around 700 — 400 would be oversees. Plus there is digital media which would be in around 500-600 screens. So we should open with around 1500 screens.

By NOYON JYOTI PARASARA (FREE PRESS JOURNAL; July 28, 2009)

By Taran Adarsh, July 28, 2009 – 08:38 IST

Saif Ali Khan
Click above for more movie stills

Saif Ali Khan is getting the jitters, but is equally confident as LOVE AAJ KAL is set to test his abilities this Friday.

Without doubt, the expectations from LOVE AAJ KAL are humungous and this makes actor turned producer Saif Ali Khan anxious. He’s got a lot riding on this film, which is predicted to toss him into the industry’s Top 3 slot, if luck sides him. “LOVE AAJ KAL gives me very positive vibes. But, trust me, I don’t like the number game. We should be our own competition,” Saif tells me.

LOVE AAJ KAL has got a near perfect mixture — hot properties in Saif and Deepika, one of the finest directors in Imtiaz Ali, music that’s already set hearts pacing [Pritam] and a story that’s rather intriguing. But people are bound to compare it with Imtiaz’s JAB WE MET.

“It’s an unfair comparison. Comparing the two films is like comparing two different people, even though the maker is the same. This film is an individual by itself. Why, Imtiaz even wanted to get rid of the card ‘From the director of JAB WE MET’ in the promos, but I insisted on it,” Saif reveals.

Industry watchers predict LOVE AAJ KAL will be Saif’s biggest opener ever, the position earlier held by RACE. “It’s flattering, but scary. It’s like, I’m throwing a party, but am scared too. What if no one shows up? It’s so unpredictable these days. See how RACE shocked us all, its opening was mind-boggling,” he states.

Let’s go back a bit. What made Saif turn producer? “The credit goes to Eros. There was a period when everyone wanted to grow and Eros said they wanted to back my decisions. So they gave me money and we agreed to make two films. Alos, eventually, you do like to have a control over your films,” he reasons.

Saif also gives complete credit to his producer-partner Dinesh Vijan. “I was merely an actor on the sets, while Dinesh took all production-related calls. Imtiaz too wanted me to be just the actor on his sets, so that I could concentrate. Sure, I was aware of what was going on… [pauses] Dinesh and I think very much alike and we’re doing this for the love of films. I could’ve opted for someone more experienced and prolific, but the wavelength wouldn’t have been the same,” he admits.

Now that LOVE AAJ KAL opens this Friday, Saif and Dinesh are ready to move on to their next project — AGENT VINOD. “After that I begin shooting for RACE 2,” he concludes.

BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM

Saif’s portrayal of a sardar in Love Aaj Kal comes under fire for sporting a beard that’s too trim, the star hopes that the film will sail through without problems
By Mumbai Mirror Bureau (July 21, 2009)

Love Aaj Kal

While the Punjab Cultural And Heritage Board is still fuming over Saif Ali Khan’s portrayal of a sardar in the forthcoming Love Aaj Kal, Saif is least perturbed. Saif is confident that the objection will die a natural death once the board has seen the film.

Explaining their stand, Charan Singh Sapra, President of Punjabi Cultural And Heritage Board had told Mumbai Mirror on Sunday, “We are objecting on the grounds that Saif is shown with a very trim beard. Sardars don’t wear this look. While Imtiaz represented the sardars in Jab We Met very well, why has he not done the same in Love Aaj Kal? We have sent a memorandum regarding this to Saif, Imtiaz Ali and Dinesh Vijan (co-producer of Love Aaj Kal).”

Charan had categorically told us that they will stall the screening of Love Aaj Kal until they are satisfied with Saif’s look. “We have also written to the Censor Board not to pass the film until the rectification has been made. Otherwise, the Censor Board will be responsible for the ire of the Sikh community,” he said.

Last evening, Saif, Kareena Kapoor and Imtiaz Ali met the Punjabi Cultural and Heritage Board to sort out the matter.

We spoke to Saif while he was in the middle of the meeting. Saif said, “To begin with, there is nothing to be offended about. In fact, when they see the film, they will be very proud of the way sardars have been depicted. This is the most authentic and romantic sardar ever.”

Saif added, “No one has seen the film yet and so we have decided to show them the film in a couple of days. I am sure once that is done, there will be no problem at all. I understand that in our country we have to keep everyone’s cultural sensitivity in mind and not do anything to upset any community. They just want to be represented well and that is exactly what we have done. There will be no question of reshooting.”


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