Saif is an accomplished actor. But he thinks in English. And that's a problem in Lucknow where he needs to speak in a colloquial Uttar Pradeshi lingo for his character of a motorbike-borne sharp-shooter.
Apparently, in the bid to get Saif completely into character director Tigmanshu Dhulia and producer Rahul Mittra discourage the use of the angrezi bhasha on location. Everyone speaks only in Hindi, and that too the localized variation of the language.
Director Tigmanshu Dhulia confesses he is Saif's new language coach. "I tell him exactly how to speak and how to avoid sounding distanced from the words he speaks. Luckily Saif is a quick learner very fast on the uptake." It's a grueling process of unlearning for Saif Ali Khan in Lucknow where the actor is currently shooting for Tigmanshu Dhulia's Bullet Raja.
Dhulia feels Saif is well-read enough to imbibe any character, no matter how alien to him. "He possesses a world-view, has a sound knowledge of music, literature and the fine arts. He has taken possession of Bullet Raja's character. He lives the role even when the camera is off. He wants to know what the character is doing when he is not in the frame. That kind of dedication I got when Irrfan Khan played Paan Singh Tomar."
Bullet Raja is a massy actioner with Sajid-Wajid's populist numbers peppering the proceeds.
After Dhulia completes shooting Bullet Raja in and around Lucknow he returns to Uttar Pradesh in May 2013 to shoot Milan Talkies with Imran Khan and Priyanka Chopra.
Interestingly most of Tigmanshu Dhulia's films so far have been UP-based, and he is seriously thinking of shifting base to Uttar Pradesh.
Reasons Dhulia, "So many films are being shot in and around Lucknow. Abhishek Choubey and Sudhir Mishra are coming here for Dedh Ishqiya and Mehrunissa. I am coming back for Milan Talkies right after I finish Bullet Raja. There's no reason why I can't make films out of Uttar Pradesh."