Saif Ali Khan has been a part of the film industry for twenty-three of his forty-five years. That’s half his life! He started out in the Neanderthal Nineties, when dancing around trees and crying on cue were part of the job description. Despite these challenges, Saif shone like the star he is with several hit films and songs (remember ‘Ole, ole‘?) under his belt. With the turn of the century, Bollywood blossomed and so did Saif’s career. Everyone realised that he’s not just a pretty face with his role as Sameer in Dil Chahta Hai– a film which changed the course of Bollywood and Saif’s career for good. Here’s a look at how the only Real Royal in Bollywood, the man of many remarkable firsts, has fared over the years…
1992: Saif enters the industry with Parampara. No negative points if you’ve forgotten this film. Bet Saif has, too.
1994: Saif’s first big hit- Yeh Dillagi– happened. Overnight, he became a heartthrob with a playboy role that he played to the hilt. Saif & Akshay Kumar came together again in Main Khiladi Tu Anari. It was probably the most succesful pairing Saif has ever had in films.
1999: He joined the Barjatya household with Hum Saath Saath Hain, a weak attempt to recreate the magic of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun.
2001: Dil Chahta Hai released. And Saif won everyone’s hearts with his comic timing and adorable smile.
2004: Saif played his first out-and-out negative role in Ek Hasina Thi. He was also probably the first truly sexy villain in Hindi films.
2004-2006: Ek Hasina Thi, Parineeta, Being Cyrus, Omkara– a spate of films in which Saif went from being a star to being an actor.
2007-2009: And back. So many films that under-utilized his talents and overplayed his looks. Scratch that, his looks can’t be overplayed. The Nawab’s hot!
2012: Agent Vinod was Saif’s second big film opposite his wife-to-be Kareena Kapoor and definitive proof that off-screen chemistry doesn’t often translate into on-screen chemistry.
2013: Saif played India’s first zombie hunter in our first, and possibly last, zombie movie- Go Goa Gone. Saif, the risk-taker, was back after many stereotypical roles, and fans rejoiced!
2015: Phantom‘s release will mark his return to the slick action thriller space. Let’s hope Kabir Khan‘s luck rubs off on him!
Happy birthday, Saif. Keep them coming!