Saif Ali Khan: In Delhi to save the world!


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, March 25 -- It's hot, crowded and chaotic but that's expected," says Saif Ali Khan from New Delhi, where he is flipping auto-rickshaws for the climax of Agent Vinod. "We've shot all over the world, from London to Latvia, but it makes sense to come to Delhi to save the world. Start in Rome but end back home."

It's said that following creative differences with director Sriram Raghavan, Saif has been re-shooting the film and even been sitting in on the editing.

"Forget re-shooting, we haven't been shooting for a while because I was busy with Aarakshan," he retorts. "The prep was a three-month chore but after that the going has been smooth. Sriram is a fantastic storyteller. There's no question of interfering on the sets or sitting in on the editing. These stories are annoying, but they only make us work harder."

Rumour has it that as a producer, he's been cutting corners and moving to less expensive locales. "Agent Vinod will offer a palate of six countries even though it's not a Hollywood film with a limitless budget. It's a Hindi film made by Saif Ali Khan, not ' 100 crore but not ' 2 crore either. I may sound arrogant but all those who have been saying negative things will feel like fools when the first trailer is out. Agent Vinod is the coolest film ever made and will take a great opening," Saif asserts.

The summer release has apparently been pushed forward to next year? "December 9, 2011, that's D-day," says Saif. "Efforts are on to ensure that we live up to the title. Agent Vinod connects with everyone, from the auto-rickshawallah to the multiplex viewer."

Saif has described his spy thriller as a mix of Bond, Bourne and Tintin. His short crop and action sequences are reminiscent of a dashing Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible.

Talk is that Kareena is a 'desi' Bond girl. "Kareena is very conscious of looking good in every film. She's stunning in this one too. As a producer, I'm particularly impressed with her action scenes given that she's not kicked about stunts," he says.

On Wednesday, Kareena was firing from a chopper when she slipped from the harness and fell, spraining her neck. After an injection and painkillers, it was back to action in the skies. Saif says, "Kareena's really passionate about her work. I'm concerned not just in a personal capacity but as a producer too. I have to admit she's remarkable in Agent Vinod, doing the kind of things she's never attempted before."