Bollywood actors often describe their shooting schedule as a picnic. But "cold and depressing" is what Saif Ali Khan has to say about the US shoot of Kurbaan, speaking for not just himself but also girlfriend and co-star Kareena Kapoor.
"Kurbaan was hard work. Period. In fact, the Philadelphia schedule was plain hell. It wasn't anything like a picnic shooting for the film," shudders Saif, who is glad that the film is complete and ready for release.
Saif says, "It gets dark there at 4 pm itself. Moreover, it's so cold and at minus 10 degrees it can actually get really depressing. Since we were shooting in sync sound, it was extremely difficult to get the pitch and tone right while delivering our dialogues."
The film by Rensil D'Souza also stars Vivek Oberoi, Dia Mirza, Om Puri and Kirron Kher and will be released November 20.
It was during the shoot of the film that Saif and Kareena got news of the terror attack in Mumbai last year. "Because of that, it was so difficult to concentrate on the film's shoot. Thankfully, Bebo (Kareena Kapoor) was there with me at that time but still both of us were very depressed," says Saif.
As it was quite cold in Philadelphia, Saif and Kareena were required to wear layers of clothing. Later, for continuity purpose, they had to wear the same clothes in the summer of Mumbai.
Saif and others also had a hard time adjusting to the locations chosen for the film's shoot.
"We were shooting in a tube and that's anything but fun," he remembers. "We had to shoot a subway sequence but being in a tube for hours at a stretch is like being in an underground prison. Really, it is very disorienting. Who says shooting for a film is like being in a picnic? Kurbaan certainly wasn't one."
When asked to name one film which was fun to shoot, Saif names Abbas-Mustan-directed Race.
"Now that's what I call a real picnic", he says. "Doing the film was quite easy since the working hours were quite comfortable while locations were nice, easy and comfortable. It was really simple work and I enjoyed a lot. It was really entertaining to drive fast cars, saying cool lines, be a hero and stuff like that.
"On the other hand, Kurbaan has me playing this complicated character which only makes it further difficult as an actor," says the star.