‘I DON’T LIKE BE­ING CALLED A STAR KID’

Sara Ali Khan talks about her de­but Kedar­nath – film – this week’s re­lease, her than and how there’s more to child be­ing just her il­lus­tri­ous par­ents’

Mail Today - - BOX OFFICE - by Ahana Bhat­tacharya

SAIF Ali Khan and Am­rita Singh’s daugh­ter Sara Ali Khan is all set to make her muchawaited en­try into Bol­ly­wood with not just one but two big releases this month. While her de­but film Kedar­nath op­po­site Sushant Singh Ra­jput re­leased to­day, she will be seen with Ran­veer Singh in Simmba later this month.

Sara said her de­but film is spe­cial.

“When I read the script of Kedar­nath, I felt that it was supreme,” Sara told Mail To­day. “Grad­u­ally, when I got to learn the de­tails of my char­ac­ter from Kanika [Dhillon] ji , the writer of our film, I felt even more at­tracted to it.”

The ac­tress also doesn’t feel that to­day a love story is a “safe launch” but as an ac­tor one should “work hard” what­ever the genre of the launch film may be.

“I have barely spent five min­utes in the in­dus­try, so I am not in a po­si­tion to com­ment. But noth­ing is safe in the present day. How­ever, if you work hard with sin­cer­ity and ded­i­ca­tion, then it shows.”

And the “hard work” be­gan for the new­comer on the first day of shoot­ing.

“We were in Si­ta­pur in Ut­tarak­hand. My first shot was on the sec­ond day of the shoot. It was eight in the evening. They had ar­ranged for false rain as you will see in the film. I was shiv­er­ing with cold,” said Sara. “I told Gattu [di­rec­tor Ab­hishek Kapoor] sir that I am feel­ing cold. He said ‘are you feel­ing very cold?’ I said yes. He said ‘okay, then you don’t need to do any­thing else; your look is there and we start the take right now’. I was like ‘what?!’ So, I did the en­tire shot shiv­er­ing.”

Kedar­nath is a love story of a Hindu girl who vis­its the place of pil­grim­age and a Mus­lim porter who guides vis­i­tors. It is set against the 2013 Ut­tarak­hand floods that prac­ti­cally de­stroyed the en­tire area.

Just be­fore the film’s re­lease, the Ut­tarak­hand High Court on Thurs­day dis­missed a PIL seek­ing a ban on the film with the plea that it hurts Hindu sen­ti­ments

The court left it to the dis­cre­tion of the Ru­draprayag DM to take an ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion ac­cord­ing to law and or­der sit­u­a­tion in the area and ad­vised the pe­ti­tioner not to see the film if he so wished.

The pe­ti­tioner had ob­jected to the film due to a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, in­clud­ing its pas­sion­ate love scenes and al­leged pro­mo­tion of love ji­had.

But, Sara does not feel the film pro­motes love ji­had.

“Had it been the case then we would not have done it. There was no at­tempt to do any such thing from my end. The film has been made with a lot of sen­si­tiv­ity and sin­cer­ity. Be it re­li­gion or caste, ev­ery­thing has been shown in a sen­si­ble man­ner. You will also feel the same [when] you watch the film.”

Com­ing from a fam­ily of ac­tors, with not just her par­ents but also her grand­mother, Sharmila Tagore – who was one of the top ac­tresses of her time – tak­ing on the pro­fes­sion came nat­u­rally to the Kedar­nath ac­tress.

“Yes, I al­ways wanted to be­come an ac­tress. I was wait­ing for some­one to see some qual­ity in me and ap­proach me,” she said, smil­ing. “Af­ter my stud­ies abroad, I came back with a de­ter­mi­na­tion to be­come an ac­tor.”

But the debu­tante re­vealed that she is most in­spired by dad Saif Ali Khan.

“I look up to ev­ery­one in my fam­ily for their work. How­ever, the per­se­ver­ance with which Dad works in­spires me. If some­times the film doesn’t do well, it doesn’t de­ter him and he con­tin­ues to keep prov­ing him­self. I think that’s truly amaz­ing and that’s some­thing I as­pire to im­bibe from him.”

View­ers and fans of­ten raise their ex­pec­ta­tions from star kids. But the young ac­tress even though she says “there’s no pres­sure” about the re­lease she feels she needs to prove her skills to “my­self, to my par­ents, to you peo­ple and to the au­di­ence”. “With­out do­ing any film, I have re­ceived a lot of love and ac­cep­tance from peo­ple. So, I feel it is my re­spon­si­bil­ity to show my work to ev­ery­one.” More­over, Sara does not like be­ing ad­dressed as a “star kid” but be­cause she is one, she has to deal with it.

“The term ‘star kid’ is so big in it­self, that when it adds to your iden­tity, then your other qual­i­ties are not vis­i­ble. I am not run­ning away from the iden­tity given by my par­ents – I am very happy and proud of it – but at the same time, I am some­thing else apart from be­ing just a star kid,” Sara ex­plained.

The film has been made with a lot of sen­si­tiv­ity and sin­cer­ity. Re­li­gion or caste, ev­ery­thing has been shown in a sen­si­ble man­ner.

— SARA ALI KHAN

‘With­out do­ing any film, I’ve re­ceived a lot of love and ac­cep­tance.’

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