Interview: Saif Ali Khan jokes he joined Marvel’s Wastelanders as a result of ‘they pay properly’

Saif Ali Khan is formally getting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Effectively, kind of. His voice is not less than, because the lead of Audible’s new Hindi unique podcast collection Marvel’s Wastelanders: Star-Lord. Saif voices who else however Star-Lord himself (performed by Chris Pratt within the live-action Guardians Of The Galaxy movies).

Wastelanders is ready in an alternate way forward for the MCU the place the villains have lastly received and the heroes are nothing however a nasty reminiscence. The audio collection contains a formidable voice solid together with Kareena Kapoor Khan, Masaba Gupta, Prajakti Koli and Jaideep Ahlawat, to call a number of.

Superhero-ing apart, 2023 additionally marks 30 years of Saif on display. At a suburban Mumbai movie studio, he spoke to me about getting into the Marvel universe, staying related for 30 years and the present shaky state of Hindi cinema.

Edited Excerpts:

What are the sorts of ideas, calculations, and questions that come up in your thoughts if you’re provided to voice a preferred Marvel superhero for an audio collection in Hindi? I think about that is a really particular provide.

How a lot, how lengthy and what’s it? Like with every little thing I do (laughs). Not essentially in that order. And it labored as a result of it’s Marvel in fact. They pay properly. It’s a good quantity of labor. It took a few week. We did two episodes a day. And the content material was nice. It’s so properly written and simply that concept of telling a narrative simply by means of audio with results and issues like that. There’s no restrict to your creativeness with one thing like this and I used to be simply comfortable to do it.

What’s the artistic course of like on a collection like this? How is discovering your character in an audio undertaking totally different from on-screen? Are you being directed?

Yeah, I’m being beautifully well-directed by Mantra who’s very skilled within the audio world. In a film, you’ve numerous instruments at your disposal to convey sure issues, however right here it’s simply your voice. But it surely’s just about the identical artistic course of. Your voice is the top product of a thought or an emotion you’re making an attempt to convey. It’s the identical factor as a film just about besides there’s no hiding behind the rest.

This 12 months marks 30 years of you on display. At this level, you’ve accomplished all of it just about when it comes to style and sensibility. Whether or not it’s drama, romance or darkish comedy, throughout each movies and streaming. At this stage in your profession is there a bucket record of the sort of roles that you have not had an opportunity to do but?

No, as a result of every little thing retains altering. Who would’ve thought I might’ve accomplished a Sacred Games? And even Adipurush, for instance, which is influenced by Marvel when it comes to the results and scale of the film. And it is all altering proper now, and we’re fortunate to be in an business that is in flux and nonetheless rising. However I’ve by no means had a bucket record of who to work with and what I need to do. I am simply fortunate folks nonetheless need to work with me. I am presently doing a Crimson Chillies Productions film with a younger director known as Pulkit and he stated everybody within the film was his first selection. It feels good when a younger director says you are the primary selection for the position.

I additionally think about that when somebody has labored so long as you’ve as a number one man, one of many greatest challenges is staying related particularly when issues are continuously altering and evolving. What’s the important thing to staying related by means of a lot change?

I feel it’s a must to be fortunate. It is all luck. You need to be fortunate sufficient to have a worldview that strikes with the instances, so you aren’t getting dated and jaded in your method and elegance. You need to keep fluid and pay attention to adjustments in efficiency type. You talked about darkish comedy so doing a movie like Kaalakaandi, for instance, which places you in a distinct zone. And even simply working with totally different sorts of actors. I’m presently capturing with Sanjay Mishra in Punjab, for instance, and enjoying a Haryanvi cop the place it’s a must to work in your accent. Issues like that simply hold you in your toes. It is like sports activities or understanding. You simply need to hold practising and pushing your self.

So, I feel staying related is a mixture of individuals eager to work with you and also you eager to experiment and play totally different elements. However in the end it is the viewers who must have some curiosity in you. And, I used to be simply telling somebody the opposite day, they do not inform you this stuff if you be part of the business. It’s not about performing actually, it is about having an X-factor that retains folks considering you.

Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan (R) attend the press convention for the Hindi model of Marvel’s Wastelanders.(AFP)

Talking of the viewers, there’s loads being stated about the place Hindi cinema is at presently, how movies from the South are dominating the field workplace and the concept widespread Hindi cinema is out of contact with the viewers proper now. Is that one thing that worries you in any respect?

I imply it is by no means actually anxious me. It most likely ought to however I by no means actually fear about my work. It has its relevance in my life however I love to do different issues and concentrate on my household and mates and issues like that. However I do really feel we misplaced that join a while in the past. We used to have songs in our movies, for instance, after which I feel there was a wave of makers who stated ‘let’s not do this’ and I don’t know if that was a very good factor. We’ve got a variety of rising to do, however I do really feel we may very well be making higher movies. We simply have not made movies that individuals are having fun with.

I do suppose we’re on the fitting path although. I by no means dreamt that we’d be making Adipurush and even the opposite movies I am doing now, that are very absorbing. There are a bunch of proficient younger administrators within the net area. And it is good that the net has come as a result of we’ve all the time had a extra nuanced, inventive breed of filmmaker and a extra industrial eye-on-the-box-office sort of filmmaker. Let the primary group rock it on the internet and the second group rock it on the massive display. We launched Kaalakaandi in theatres, for instance, and we shouldn’t have. That ought to have been on Netflix. However we simply didn’t realize it on the time. However I feel this a section for the business and we’ll study shortly and regulate and I’m fairly positive we’ll get out of it.

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