Akshat Verma: Saif speaks English the way Indians do

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By HT

New Delhi, Jan. 20 -- Screenwriter Akshat Verma, who made his directorial debut with the recently released Kaalakaandi, reveals that while scripting the film, the first actor he thought of casting was actor Saif Ali Khan, thanks to his "certain presence and urbanity". 
 
"Saif's name popped in my head pretty early. He is an urban actor, who completely fitted the role. His comic timing is good. Moreover, I wanted the actor to speak authentic English. Saif doesn't speak Shakespearean English, and he doesn't have an accent, too. He speaks the way we Indians do, which is fascinating. We mix it up, chew it up and twist it to sound in a certain way, which has its own charm," says Akshat. 
 
Praising Saif and other actors of the film - Akshay Oberoi, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Deepak Dobriyal, Vijay Raaz and Sobhita Dhulipala - Akshat says, "It was an absolute pleasure to work with him. He is incredible. In fact, all my actors have done a fabulous job. And, once I got to the shoots, I don't want them to just follow my directions; I wanted them to take a step ahead. And they did bring a lot more to the table. And as for Saif, he went above and beyond. He just made the character and the world around it his own." Talking more about the title of the film that generated quite a buzz and interest among fans, Akshat says that he was keen and anticipated such a reaction. 
 
"It's a Marathi word. Kaala means black and Kaandi is a match stick that's been burnt. In fact, the word Kaandi has multiple connotations. The word, Kaalakaandi has a certain kind of energy. When I was thinking about the title, this was one of the first words that came to my mind. I wanted the consonant to sound harder so that it makes an impact," he explains.