With her debut film, Kedarnath all set to hit the marquee on December 7, Sara Ali Khan bares it all in an exclusive interview with mid-day online
Sara Ali Khan. Picture Courtesy: Instagram/saraalikhan95.
Undoubtedly, one of the most promising actors to look out for in the film industry, Sara Ali Khan, is here to shine! From carrying herself with utmost confidence on a chat show to handling questions about her parents, Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s separation, and also about her equation with Kareena Kapoor Khan like a pro, she has already won hearts. With back-to-back two films up for release – Abhishek Kapoor’s Kedarnath and Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, the star kid confesses that she is “privileged”. Talking about her state of mind before her releases, the beautiful, petite and talented girl talks to mid-day online in an exclusive conversation. Featuring alongside Sushant Singh Rajput, Sara also shares her beautiful experience working with him.
Even before the film’s release, you have been welcomed with so much love and warmth, as not all star kids get the same, how would you describe this phase?
Very gratifying and humbling! A lot of people use this word pressure, I’ve already gone through so much in life, I don’t think there’s any pressure but it’s my duty. There is pressure to prove myself and now it’s my duty to make everybody who has given me love to not feel stupid, whether that’s my mother, mid-day, or whether that’s the photographer outside the gym, everybody has invested in me in their own way, and now, it’s my duty to just make sure that they feel it’s worth it.
On the same note, not everyone bags a big banner film before their first film’s release. So, how does one still manages to stay grounded after being in this position?
I think that if anything, I have become more humble after Simmba because the more you are given, it is your duty to be to what you’re given, the more you must realise what you have been given, and therefore the more you must value, that is of utmost importance. I think having had Simmba, especially without Kedarnath releasing… It is very gratifying. I realise that I haven’t done anything to deserve this. I’m sitting right now next to Sushant Singh Rajput and giving interviews. He has been in the industry for more than 11 years, he deserves Kedarnath, I don’t. Therefore, I must prove it, and with Simmba coming before Kedarnath, I must prove it double.
How was it working with Sushant Singh Rajput?
Total blast! I think when you are on set and you’re working with somebody that is so senior to you, he became a mentor. He was very helpful and kind to me, and it was just very comfortable to have someone like him on the sets. Whether it’s with Hindi or whether it’s with your scenes the way you want, but you can maybe try it like this. So, there was a lot of help. Forget anybody else, so many people from the industry say this that it’s not very typical for actors to do that but he did that. He did go out of his way.
Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara Ali Khan in a still from the film’s song, Sweetheart.
How was your first day on the sets? And what advice did your dad Saif and mom Amrita gave you when they learned that you’ve bagged your first film?
They said that now that you have been given this opportunity, it is your duty to just live up to them. But it is also your duty to have fun while you do this. So, it was a balance of both – Show everybody that you were wanted but also remember that you are here to have fun because this is the most fun job that there is in the world. So, just live every moment of it.
Since you’ve been seeing films since childhood and belong to a film family, how did the definition of films kept on changing with age? And, how similar or different was it from the first day on sets of yours?
I truly understood what being an actor is, only after the first schedule of Kedarnath was over. Of course, at the age of four, it was glitter and glamour, by 18, I was old enough to understand that it wasn’t just glitter and glamour. I wanted to live different lives, do justice to different roles and have the opportunity to explore so much of life that one won’t live and except for my own personality that I don’t necessarily see. That was the reasoning behind becoming an actor! But having actually done it, I think it’s one of the most therapeutic moments in your life. Somebody asked me just the other day, ‘When there were legal issues going on of Kedarnath. How was it to be on that film’s set,’ and I very honestly responded to them saying, ‘Actually, being on sets was the only time that I wasn’t thinking about legal issues because that is not the time for you to do anything but your work.
Your recent Koffee with Karan episode was the most talked-about. You bared it all there. Social media had been abuzz and wasn’t tired of hailing the way you presented yourself, but what did your mother Amrita Singh had to say about it?
When I came back home, the first thing she asked was, ‘How were the rapid-fire questions? Did you win the hamper?’ The second question was, ‘What is the sweet stuff in the hamper,’ the third question was, ‘Can I have it?’ and then we went onto talking about obviously the episode. She was very excited that I was going on Koffee… with my father because I think I’m one of the few people, and I understand the pressure, privilege, whatever one wants to call it… But I understand the predicament of being on the show without even a single release. Even the trailer of Kedarnath hadn’t released at that time. So, both, me and my mom were really thankful that my father was there because that was a way of being semi-comfortable also because he’s my father at the end of the day. So, then it really doesn’t matters where you are when you are with your father. That was very important and I think that people have liked me, which I am so thankful and appreciative of. I think it’s a huge product of that I did have my father over there, which enabled me to give that comfortable real version of myself that everybody is lauding.
Although you’ve discussed the equation you share with Kareena, and how you have grown up watching her onscreen. What kind of conversations do you’ll have when talking?
Kareena is a very cool lady. Every time I am at my father’s house for dinner, she’s there and we have conversations about almost everything. She’s open to hearing about my life and she talks to me about hers. She gives me her advice if and when necessary, and it’s a very open, warm and real equation.
What kind of roles excite you?
Everything! People say that and sometimes they don’t know what they are asking for. But I think having shot Kedarnath and Simmba to completion, they are both very different films with very different opportunities, expectations, and circumstances. And having shot both the films, I love them both equally. I am even more convinced that I am not conning you when I say that the answer is ‘Everything’. If I really am here, my reason still stands, I want to explore life and my personality. Honestly, if you got to know me better, God-willingly if you like my work or if I am still around for you to see that in the future, then, of course, you will understand that in real life there are multiple aspects to my personality. So, it would be very exciting for me to discover them for more.