Saif Ali Khan played his first ever historical character on screen in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. He plays the main antagonist, Udaybhan Singh Rathod, in this film on the Maratha warrior Tanhaji Malusare.
Saif's first look in Tanhaji, and also snippets from the trailer led some to compare him with Ranveer Singh in Padmaavat. While Saif is appreciative of Ranveer for having set the bar high with regard to portraying historical characters on screen, he says that he has not taken inspiration from anyone.
When Saif was asked for his take on the comparisons with Ranveer, he said, "It wasn't on my mind, when I started playing this role. But I appreciate that Ranveer has set the bar high for essaying a historical character in Hindi films. The roles I play are usually original, and I've never had to take inspiration from anyone, nor have I found my work being compared to anyone else's."
He added, "I'm happy to be compared with another actor's performance. I feel people will realise that both the roles are completely different once they watch the film."
Tanhaji being Saif's first period drama, it was a big learning experience for him. He said that the most difficult part was to make the theatrical performance look natural, adding that the process to develop it was mechanical. He also said that he sometimes gave 15 to 20 takes to get the scenes right.
Tanhaji is directed by Om Raut. It also stars Ajay Devgn and Kajol in the lead. While Ajay plays the titular character, Tanhaji, Kajol plays his wife, Savitribai Malusare. Tanhaji hit screens today, January 10, 2020.