Mumbai: Ali Abbas Zafar and Salman Khan share a great relationship, which surpasses that of just a director-actor bonding. In Ali’s words, their relationship is “more like elder brother and younger brother.” This actor-director duo has worked together in three films till date, Sultan (2016), Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) and upcoming movie Bharat.

Despite working together in three movies, Ali reveals why he hasn’t developed a comfort level with Salman Khan.


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The filmmaker told My Nation, “There is no comfort level. With Salman, the point is that he doesn’t change. He is permanent, he is constant like time. So, even if I do ten films, I don’t think he is going to change. Our relationship is more than that of a director and actor, we are more like elder brother and younger brother. Our relationship hinges honestly. So, if he does something, which I don’t like, I never disguise it. Similarly, if he doesn’t like something that I have written, he will let me know on my face, he doesn’t disguise or try to be diplomatic. That’s a good thing because if you are honest on your first reaction, then we can both pull up our socks and try to do something new and something more relevant. That’s a great relationship.”


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Salman Khan has been shown in various looks in the film, as the film shows the life journey of his character, which is named Bharat. A lot of research went into creating Salman’s looks from his youth to old age. At the same time, Zafar also had to keep in mind Salman’s huge fan base, who would not forgive him if any look went wrong.

The director said, “I personally think that fans relate to Salman in the context of the story. Everybody knew that Salman will be shown ageing in the film. My aim was to not let down his fans thinking that the old man is not looking like a gracefully aged Salman Khan. Also, we were very clear that when you see the old man, you should respect his life experience. His physical appearance reflects his experience in life. I feel, Salman knows his fans really well. He would sometimes tell me how a scene can be looked into a little differently because his fans would like him to do that. Sometimes, I used to take it (his suggestions) but sometimes I had to leave it because that’s your call as a director.”


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The movie stars Katrina Kaif in the female lead. Salman and Katrina are known for sharing great chemistry and the duo has delivered movies like Ek Tha Tiger, Tiger Zinda Hai, Yuvvraaj and Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya in the past. Talking about Salman-Katrina’s chemistry, Ali said, “My problem with this is because they share such good chemistry, I have to write scenes which look real on them. The most difficult thing is, when two people have unspoken great chemistry and you write a love scene, it starts looking fake. So, I try and write as real and contemporary scenes as possible, which makes them look more real.”

Bharat, which is inspired by the South Korean movie Ode to My Father also stars Tabu, Sunil Grover, Disha Patani, Satish Kaushik and Jackie Shroff in key roles. The movie, written and helmed by Ali Abbas Zafar hits theatres on June 5.