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Saif Ali Khan: Interesting to play roles that are edgy

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Saif Ali Khan: Interesting to play roles that are edgy

Uma Ramasubraniam for Mid Day

Don't give him a unidimensional, all-white role mdash he'll probably balk at the idea. Saif Ali Khan revels in playing morally grey characters, complete with vices and vulnerabilities. He cites the example of his upcoming film Bhoot Police, in which his protagonist is far from the typical do-no-evil hero. The actor plays a fake ghostbuster, only too happy to fleece people who believe in spirits.

'[My character] is not all-good or all-bad he has got a nice mix of [traits]. It's more interesting to play characters that are edgy. In life, people are not black or white most of them lie [somewhere in between]. It's more natural to play characters like that,' says Khan. Every once in a while, he veers into the all-black territory, as he did with his Udaybhan Singh Rathod act in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020).

But for now, he is in the mood to make people laugh. 'I enjoy horror comedies. Go Goa Gone [2013] was slightly western since the concept of zombies was alien [to Indian viewers at the time]. Bhoot Police is more desi, and the supernatural elements are rooted in our culture.'

While the horror comedy mdash also starring Arjun Kapoor, Yami Gautam and Jacqueline Fernandez mdash is slated to drop on Disney+ Hotstar, the actor admits he would have loved to see it on the big screen. 'It would have been nice if the film released in theatres because horror and comedy lend themselves well to the collective experience.

That said, we're lucky that we got a platform, and the producers could make a little profit.' Khan doesn't deny that the OTT revolution has changed the dynamics of the business. He is relieved that films now are gauged by their merit. 'It's no longer about day-one numbers. Recently, Farhan [Akhtar] said, 'You can't hide behind the numbers anymore it has to be a quality movie.' I used to think that [box-office] numbers were a good sign, but now the rating system is different. Now, the audiences have also [evolved]. Maybe my film Kaalakaandi [2018] should have released on OTT. I think it would have done better.'

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