Saif Ali Khan on Tandav: Not a writer's place to be on set and direct

Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 07:44 IST | Mohar Basu | Mumbai

After Tandav writer Gaurav Solanki rues filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar kept him off set, leading man Saif Ali Khan says director's word should be the last

Saif Ali Khan
Saif Ali Khan

It has been over a fortnight since Tandav writer Gaurav Solanki, in an interview to mid-day, expressed his disappointment at being kept away from the shoot of the Ali Abbas Zafar-directed political drama. The episode is arguably yet another example of how writers, despite their valuable contribution, are kept on the fringes of Bollywood.

Broach the incident with the web series' leading man, Saif Ali Khan, and he emphasises that only the director can have the last word on the set. "It's not a writer's place to be on set and direct [the show]. What a director decides to do with the source material is up to him; he can chuck it or burn it. He can respect it or disrespect it as he deems fit for the story he is trying to tell. Ali has made the most of [the material at hand]. That said, there's no taking away the fact that writers need to be treated with respect and dignity. They deserve more money, praise and love because they create everything we do. Good writers like Gaurav are gems," says Khan. However, it is evident that his allegiance lies with Zafar as he asserts, "Neither he [Solanki] nor I can tell a director what to do. He is the boss. If Ali decides to say, please walk into the room backwards, it's your job to do it. Unless he feels that the material has been tampered with, this shouldn't even be a conversation."

Ali Abbas Zafar and Gaurav SolankiAli Abbas Zafar and Gaurav Solanki

The actor believes that the Amazon Prime offering can be a game-changer. "Shows like this challenge the notion that the big screen is superior to the small screen."

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