‘I CAN’T BE­COME PAPA LAUNCHER’

Saif Ali Khan talks about daugh­ter Sara Ali Khan’s film de­but

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - Hindustan Times (Jaipur) - City - - Front Page - Sneha Ma­hade­van

With 25 years in Bollywood be­hind him, Saif Ali Khan is now one of those ac­tors whose off­spring are ready to join the ranks of ‘ris­ing stars’. His last film, Chef, had all the right in­gre­di­ents but the fi­nal dish wasn’t so ea­gerly lapped up by viewers. Nev­er­the­less, the 47-year-old ac­tor feels con­tent. “What I need to be happy is to chal­lenge my­self cre­atively,” he says. “Chef was the least chal­leng­ing — almost like it was writ­ten for me.” His next roles do meet the cri­te­rion of “chal­leng­ing”. Saif says, “Bazaar has me as a Gu­jju busi­ness­man with a dif­fi­cult ac­cent. Kaalakandi is a dif­fi­cult role. In Sa­cred Games, I play a Sar­dar and that’s great fun. I’m deeply sat­is­fied; I un­der­stand life and I know it’s a bless­ing to have a cre­ative job.” His most dif­fi­cult role yet might be play­ing the fa­ther of the bride — not in the lit­eral sense, be­cause Sara Ali Khan, Saif ’s daugh­ter from his first mar­riage to Am­rita Singh, isn’t get­ting mar­ried. But she’s on the cusp of her Bollywood de­but, and one won­ders, would Saif walk her down the in­dus­try aisle? He says, “If we had a pro­duc­tion run­ning, I could’ve thought about [a role for Sara]. We’re both pro­fes­sion­als and I also have my own work to do. I can’t sud­denly be­come ‘papa launcher’. It’s for the best that she finds her own way.” Son Ibrahim, who had a role in Tashan (2008), has his eye on act­ing, too. Saif says that all his friends’ chil­dren see act­ing as “an at­trac­tive pro­fes­sion with re­spect, af­flu­ence, and some priv­i­lege”. But “how many are in­ter­ested in act­ing, I don’t know”, he adds. Sara has a Lon­don School of Eco­nomics de­gree and has still cho­sen Bollywood, “so there’s some­thing at­trac­tive about this life­style”. About his youngest child, the sen­sa­tion­ally pop­u­lar in­fant Taimur Ali Khan Pataudi, Saif de­scribes how he and his wife, ac­tor Ka­reena Kapoor Khan, di­vide time be­tween work and par­ent­ing. There are the fam­ily hol­i­days, and then the baby boy some­times stays with dad, some­times keeps his mom com­pany, such as for her Delhi shoot sched­ule for the film, Veere Di Wed­ding. That gave Saif some me-time, too! The ac­tor adds, with dis­arm­ing hon­esty, “Ka­reena and I are lucky we have help and we have dis­trac­tion, be­cause I do think that some­times hav­ing a child can be over­whelm­ing if you don’t have breath­ing space.”

PHOTOS: VI­RAL BHAYANI

Saif Ali Khan says that he and daugh­ter Sara Ali Khan are both pro­fes­sion­als

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