Saif Ali Khan was once asked to choose between his girlfriend and his debut film. He was supposed to work in Rahul Rawail’s Bekhudi, but the director asked Saif to either leave his girlfriend or do his film, the actor had said in an interview. (Also read: Kajol says Akshay Kumar boasted about cooking skills on Yeh Dillagi sets)
The interview was from 1999, ahead of the release of his film Kacche Dhaage. Kacche Dhaage featured Ajay Devgn, Manisha Koirala and Namrata Shirodkar, alongside Saif. The film was directed by Milan Luthria.
Asked if he had to struggle any less than others, Saif said on the Doordarshan show Subah Savere, “Many people talk about struggle. What does struggle even mean? Struggle ka matlab kya hota hai? Auto rickshaw mein baitho aur 10 chakkar kaato. Kisi ke office mein 3 ghante ke liye baitho. Ise struggle kehte hain. Meri struggle bhi thi lekin alag thi. Mujhe apni pehle film se nikaal diya gaya kyuki mere director saab ne bola ki ‘you leave your girlfriend or you do the film’. It was a moral choice (What does struggle even mean? Sit in an auto rickshaw and go to the same place 10 times. Sit in an office and wait for 3 hours. That’s what they call struggle. My struggle was a bit different. I was fired from my first film because my director asked me to either leave my girlfriend or continue on the film).” Saif was talking about the 1992 film Bekhudi, directed by Rahul Rawail.
Later, Saif had told Lehren that no one wanted to work with him. Saif had said that Rahul felt he was not interested in films and he didn’t want to work. He added that he was affected by the rumours that he showed up on sets drunk.
During the Doordarshan interview he also said that he believes he can act as well as his mom, Sharmila Tagore does, adding that he hopes for less comparison because they belong to different genders.