Saif Ali Khan is one devilishly handsome actor that has become the flag bearer of class and style. He's been a constant force in the industry for more than two decades. Saif has consistently maintained a sense of royalty status that has helped him his wildly uneven career. He constantly surprises the audience with his choices, and we love him for it.
Saif Ali Khan is by all means considered an extremely privileged individual, and he lived quite a sheltered life. However, as a young man, the once-great wealth had significantly reduced from the past glory. As Saif Ali Khan described it, We had landed here and there, but there was never an inheritance one can sit, live off. Even the great Pataudi Palace was out of his grasp as a chain of hotel owners owned it.
He had to work extremely hard as an actor in the 90s and, piece by piece, managed to acquire back their ancestral home. Like many great royalty families post-Independence, their great days were behind them. Saif Ali Khan is more of a self-made man than some like to credit him for in many ways.
Khan used to be highly rebellious and mischievous when growing up. He lived life on his terms and didn't listen to his parents. His father used to be a big fan of Faiz and Ghalib, constantly reading it in his house. When asked about whether he had an interest in reading their poem, Saif sarcastically said
"I like Faiz and Ghalib; no this is rubbish, this is not my age to read such poetry."
He was aimless in life and used to live largely carefree. Saif's first marriage happened at quite an early age to Amrita Singh with more than 12 years age gap. His parents were against his marriage, so he even ran off the house at 20 and married.
Saif, now older and wiser with lived life experiences, understands what his parents were trying to say. He is currently the biggest fan of Faiz and Ghalib, reading it all the time as his father did.
In the 90s, he was considered more of a dancing star than an actor. Saif was doing movies where he couldn't quite understand or relate to his roles. In the 2000s, however, once films became more urban, he came to his own.
He started experimenting with his performances and role choices. Movies like Ek Hasina Thi and Omkara showed him being the antagonist character. He did period films like Parineeta and Ekalavya showing off his royal charm.
Saif is one of the rare mainstream actors who's utterly free of the trappings of the industry. He can play the most outlandish character like Boris from Go Goa Gone and still have the aura of a star. It's one of the reasons why the new directors are excited to work with him because you get the best of both worlds.
Vikramaditya Motwane considers Saif as the quintessential 90s hero in many ways. In the show Sacred Games, right from the beginning, Sartaj Singh wasn't the typical hero. He is depressed, his job sucked, Out of shape, and he even considered suicide in the first episode. Saif constantly felt that Sartaj should be more heroic, but Motwane wanted him to journey.
Vikramaditya has a working style where he doesn't say much to the actors on whether the shot is good or bad. Saif comes from the culture of big movies where after every attempt, people congratulate you for it. One day Motwane was told by one of the actor's associates that he should say encouraging things about Saif. Vikram found the whole thing quite amusing.
Saif Ali Khan has found himself in hot waters many times throughout his career. He's been in physical brawls with journalists and random strangers, leading to legal trouble for the star. Khan then has had to apologize to deal with the controversies and even settle things out of court. Saif has recently got into trouble for his opinions and speaking too openly. He commented on the concept of India not being fully formed until the British came. He's playing Ravan in Adipurush and said that they would show the human side of him.
Saif Ali Khan has lived quite a life both on-screen and in his sphere. Khan, who's at the age of 51 with four kids, is still one of the most hardworking actors in the industry. He's now expanded his reach to the digital space and continues to play interesting characters.