“My mother Amrita Singh guides me about the kind of lipsticks..” Sara Ali Khan
“My mother Amrita Singh guides me about the kind of lipsticks that I should see and whether the color I choose is good or not but does not at all interfere in my work” –
SARA ALI KHAN
Sara Ali Khan tells JYOTHI VENKATESH humbly in this interview that she considers herself a newcomer though she has delivered two hits consecutively – Kedarnath and Simmba in a span of just one month
Sara concedes that her role in Simmba was smaller in comparison with her debut role in Kedarnath! “My role in Simmba was smaller but then I was calmer in the film than I am actually in real life. The film had an ensemble star cast and I played the role of a cop’s daughter in the film. Her life was totally different from that of mine. I had to make it a live character by mingling easily with the world of cops and running a catering service for the cops.”
Talking about her role in Simmba, Sara exults, “Though behavior wise, it was a calmer character, she was very strong from within. She was a sweet girl who was capable of giving a tip or two on encounters and shoot outs to even the tough cops.
Sara reasons that she is of the opinion that every film that one sets out to do as an actor is by itself an entirely different experience. She goes on to add, “You feel different while doing the promos and the actual shoot of a film on the sets. Even for a minute, I never felt that it was cake walk for me and instead on the contrary I felt that there was more pressure on me after Kedarnath in Simmba, though I had become an actor by then. I want to keep the love and affection that I got from the audiences after Kedarnath forever. I feel that though I have been given a degree after Kedarnath, chapter one is not yet over even after Simmba”.
She describes herself as a lucky actress. “I consider myself lucky. I did not expect smooth sailing. I have seen many ups and downs during the shoot of Kedarnath. I remember I had been to Rohit Shetty’s office many times to seek work. He thought that I would visit him with my mother and manager but I surprised him totally by visiting him solo all alone with folded hands”.
I interrupt Sara and remind her that it was Abhishek Kapoor alias Gattu who had given her big break with Kedarnath even before Rohit Shetty handed her Simmba. She quips, “I did not get Simmba on a silver platter easily! I am grateful to Gattu Sir because he had offered to cast me in Kedarnath but I’d also be thankful and eternally grateful to Rohit Shetty Sir for having given me work even without having seen my performance in Kedarnath. I got my first offer very easily but there was definitely a lot of pressure in delivering the second time”.
Talking about how Rohit Shetty and Ranveer Singh are different from one another, Sara says that Rohit Shetty Sir and Ranveer Singh are undoubtedly the biggest stars in our country today, especially after the phenomenal success of Simmba but she frankly never thought of them as huge stars on the sets because both behaved with each and everyone on the sets with a lot of genuine affection. Sara continues, “Can you believe that Ranveer used to look at the monitor regularly but was never complacent? He used to serve ice cream on his own at his own expense to the whole crew. I do not think anyone would give Rohit Sir or Ranveer bad-dhua. When I shot for the song Aankh Maare O Ladka which was choreographed by Ganesh Acharya Master, I used to feel that I was going back home after a fun-filled party every day after work.
Sara remembers that all of them used to work on double shifts on the sets of Simmba but not a single person used to say that he or she was tired at the end of the shift. “I remember in Switzerland, it was biting cold and we were shivering while facing the camera on location. It was what I’d say phaadke tandi but Ranveer was shooting twice the time that I did but he never grumbled or said that he was tired. Ranveer does not waste his energy but conserves it. I did not need any other mentor on Rohit Sir’s sets, because I kept on learning from Ranveer just by looking at him working on the sets. The film belongs equally to the light boy and the spot boy as it belongs to Rohit Sir, Ranveer or me. Many centuries ago, my great grandfathers were maharajas in their kingdom but today I am of the opinion that Rohit Shetty Sir alone is a maharaja in his own right”.
When asked whether anyone in her family is her hardcore critic, Sara confesses that honestly, no one in her family is critical towards her. “I am glad no one has given me the pressure. They cannot view my work unbiasedly as I am a part and parcel of the family. Sara rubbishes the fact that she sets out to address her stepmother Kareena Kapoor as Poo and quips that she is her ardent fan and can never bring herself to call her as Poo and only calls her Kareena, and not Poo.
Talking about her approach towards her work on the sets, Sara says that she feels that she is very new even now though she is already two films old as she does not have much experience of work or for matter a method to perform as she has not done different films with different directors. “I just work on my conviction. If I am not convinced, I won’t be able to work in a film. And as I see all films, I also consider myself an ardent cinemagoer. After working in not one but two films consecutively, I have now realized that different films offer the actors different kinds of challenges and it is not at all easy for one to give a full-on performance in between Action and Cut”.
Sara confesses that frankly each and every actor has inspired her to date. “I feel scared to say a particular name because I am inspired but just cannot become like them. I have seen and been impressed by Sridevi as she has always done different characters differently like in Sadma and Chaalbaaz. I am also a fan of Shabana Azmi and have seen her films like Arth, Sparsh, and Masoom but at the same time I just cannot say that I have been inspired by them because I cannot reach up to them their great heights as of now”.
Admitting that her mother does not accompany her everywhere, Sara says that her mom Amrita Singh’s dream is to see how successful her son or for that matter daughter is in life compared to every other mother today. “My mother helps me a lot. She guides me about the kind of lipsticks that I should see and whether the color I choose is good or not but does not at all interfere with my work. As such she has struggled hard to bring me up in life, why should she accompany me wherever I go? If I were a doctor instead of an actor, do you think my mother would have accompanied me wherever I went?”
Sara agrees that today there is a lot of comparison between her and other newcomers like say Janhvi Kapoor. “Being a debutante, I understand the pressure that is involved with a debutante actress. I have seen Dhadak and I should say that Janhvi Kapoor and Ishaan Khatter were superb. Though the media likes to pit us against each other, the truth is that Jhanvi and I are very comfortable with each other and we understand b that people who compare us also are doing their own job at the end of the day”. (Laughs)
“It was a different experience while working with the late Sushant Singh Rajput and Ranveer Singh. Sushant Singh Rajput played more of my mentor as Kedarnath was my very first film whereas while working in Simmba, Ranveer was very helpful by way of being my inspiration,” says Sara, who does not hesitate to tell that the media has always behaved warmly with her and also written nice things about her. “People used to feel that she is very arrogant and haughty and does not at all give them time but that is because she feels that there is a lot of difference between being an actor and a joker.
After having acted with actors like Sushant Singh Rajput and Ranveer Singh, Sara says that today she wants to work with every actor in the industry, be it, Salman Khan. Aamir, Shah Rukh or Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Akshay Kumar. “I have absolutely no ego at all and would not mind knocking at everyone’s doors with folded hands. I feel that though Kedarnath was appreciated and Simmba is a huge hit, I know within my heart that I am nobody and hence I also know that when I seek work, it does not at all mean that I am begging. Honestly, I feel that beyond a certain point, it does not matter when two of your films are released one after the other with just a two-week gap. The point is that you have to work hard and nothing is there in your hands whether it is your hair, your dialogue, or for that matter your film’s release date. To tell you the truth, if I am convinced about my character, I am game to play any kind of a role but I still think I am far too raw to know what my method is. Even if I make a mistake, I want it to be my own mistake because I want to learn from my own mistakes and go on improving my craft”.
Sara signs off with a flourish “I still consider myself a newcomer even today after having worked in four films- Kedarnath, Simba, Love Aaj Kal and Coolie No 1but I confess that English is limiting me now after I had studied in the USA. “Since I work in Hindi films, my attempt is to think in Hindi and not English. My advice to newcomers today