Anchor-turned-director Saajid Khan is now preparing to appear on the screen as an actor. He is looking very slim and trim these days to get fit into his character. And that’s not all. He is following the King Khan and, thus, he will soon be seen with his six packs like his friend King Khan. At the same time he is preparing to direct another film, too.
Q.: These days we can see a lot of changes in you. Is there any reason?
A.: Thank you that you are watching my physical change as from within my heart I am still the same Saajid. Actually, it’s only after directing the film that I came to know how it’s required to look good in front of the camera. When I was an anchor I used to think as people are interested in my style and pranks and they have nothing to do with my looks. At the same time, I am impressed with Shah Rukh and Akshay who are not affected with their age.
Q.: Are Shah Rukh Khan and Akshay Kumar the sole reason behind your change?
A.: If not mostly, then of course in some ways. I was little careless about my health during the shooting of ‘Heyy Babyy’. As it was my first film I was too tensed. I used to smoke at least 100 to 150 cigarettes a day. I don’t drink and that’s why I used to release my tension on my food. I used to get my bellyful three times a day. And despite all that I faced problem to sleep. I had only four hours to sleep during that time. When Shah Rukh saw me in that state he said either Farhan or me was pregnant. After that I decided to lose weight and followed Shah Rukh to take care of my health.
A.: At first I seek the help from the trainer of “Biggest Loser Jeetega”. He is the man behind the magic of the show. After attending his training I spend the day on balanced die
t. In that way I eat in the whole day just a tandoori chicken, three glasses of protein and six to seven biscuits filled with protein. I have been living on that diet fro last three months and I would have to live the next six months on the same diet. I have reduced 19 kgs and I have to reduce my body weight to 71 kgs following all the instructions.
Q.: Would you like to have six packs like Shah Rukh Khan?
A.: Yeah, absolutely. For my satisfaction I have signed a film which will be somewhat like “Bheja Fry”. I am the leadoff the film. It’s a small budget movie and I cannot disclose the names of the director and producer of the film. And please don’t ask that to me.
Q.: But you swore not to work in films after your first film “Jhooth Bole Kaua Kaate”.
A.: I never swore on that, but yeah, I decided in that way only. Actually, I didn’t get the story that I was looking for. At that time, no one could even think that someone could make a film like “Bheja Fry” and that would earn crores of rupees. I can remember that I was offered the role of the friend of the hero in a film under a big banner film. Despite the offer of a huge amount of money I rejected the film. I never worked for money. What I think is whatever you do, do it with style so that people can remember you. If you have attitude it’ll get shown even if you are leaving a bus and for that you don’t need a Mercedes.
Q.: Now about your direction. What’s the reason that you started your second film without taking a break after your first film?
A.: Break is for those people who feel tired and think they are aged. I am just 37. I am not married. I wish whatever I do becomes simply the best and super hit. If my wish becomes true then it’ll promote my brand value.
Q.: Please tell us about your new film.
A.: Well, about my new film I would like to say only that it has three heroines and two heroes. I have finalized Akshey Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh, but still I have to think about the leading ladies. But I can say these three ladies will be the most well known actors of our industry. It’s a romantic comedy. We will start shooting in September this year and most of it will be in New York. Milap Jhaveri and Vibhakar have written the film. We are now working on the third drift of the story. We will complete the shooting within seven days and I have decided to release it in April or May next year.
Q.: Your last film, ‘Heyy Babyy’, was rumored as a copied story.
Will you copy a story this time or will that be an inspired one?
A.: Actually, I took that story from a friend’s tale and this time also I am going to take that in the same way. If that matches with someone’s life I have nothing to do with that. I think my life is quite colorful and I would like to input some of that color in my characters. I would love to do that.
Q.: Will Shah Rukh Khan be a part of this film?
A.: No. Till now I have not decided on that. I would like to make a complete film with Shah Rukh Khan under my direction. If I get a story to work with him I’ll start working on that.
Q.: What would you like to say about Saajid Nadiadwala?
A.: He is like my brother, my friend. I am whole heartedly attached to him. He is the first man to believe in me and to invest that amount of money in my film. After “Heyy Babyy” was a hit a lot of producers requested me to direct their movies. They even offered me a huge amount of money, but I rejected all of them. For me the first and the last preference is Saajid.
Q.: How your second film is different from “Heyy Babyy”?
A.: It’ll be much big and a bigger blockbuster movie than the first one. I want to be enlisted among those directors who made their second film even bigger hit than their first one. But, at the same time, if we look back we will find that the second films of the most well known directors have flopped.
Q.: Akshey Kumar is your favorite hero. What would you like to say about him?
A.: He is a habit that no one can give up. I think there are two Aksheys. One is the professional guy and other is the superstar Akshey. The professional Akshey has become a superstar and never the vice versa. In our industry we have four superstars – Shah Rukh, Salman, Aamir and Hrithik. And Akshey is the fifth superstar. All the first four stars became superstars with their first films, but Akshey took 14 years. And I believe he will remain in that state for the next 15 years. The reason behind that is his connection with the audience. To become a superstar one must have that connection. As for example Shah Rukh has a better connection with his family and Aamir has good connection with better films. Akshey is successful because of his punctuality. People have always talked about Akshey as he cuts others role. But after working with him I can say it’s absolutely wrong and I know how he co-operates with his co-stars.
Q.: Both you and Farah are directors. Have you ever thought of working as co-directors?
A.: Kaurav and Pandavas cannot work together. We love each other very much, but we cannot work with each other. We can work together in one condition and that is if any one of us sit at the backstage. We can never be like “Abbas-Mustan”.
Q.: Would you appear on television besides working in films?
A.: Yeah, absolutely. Television is my life and I cannot live without that. Whenever I have time I’ll be back on television.
Rajnee Gupta. - (SAMPURN)