Saif Ali Khan, Langda Tyagi
I thought of him as a lizard, and Vishal agreed with me. In fact, he's like an eel, like a cunning and slippery character. He's envious, and that's why he wears a lot of greens.
When I first met Saif, he had his own image of Omkara. Since we were talking about Othello, he pictured himself in long boots and top hats, like Shakespearean plays.
I made a sample of images -- of the visuals that I had in mind -- and shared it with him at the second meeting. Once we started working on his character, he gave a lot of ideas as well. For example, he wanted jute to tie against his shoelaces and he wanted to roll up his pants a bit.
He wears khadi throughout because university students in Meerut love khadi. The synthetic material suits Kesu (Viveik Oberoi) more, that's why he's called Firangi in the film. Also, he belongs to a higher class than Langda.
I took the liberty of giving Langda a British touch, by giving him khadi waistcoats that you would wear in a three-piece suit. He also wears a khadi akhees, which is typical of UP. During winters, they wear it like a shawl.
He wears big boots to bring out the heaviness of his character. He wanted to have a certain walk, so we helped him achieve that. He tried on different shoe styles, and liked the heavy boots the best.
The short hair was Vishal's idea. When he was writing the script, Vishal said that this is the image he had in mind. But Saif was very scared of cutting his hair. There were so many discussions and arguments! Once, he tied a gamchha (towel) on his head, and wanted to pass on that look.
When the shoot started, we didn't know whether he would come with his long hair, or if he would cut it off. When he entered, everyone started clapping when they saw his short crop.
Also Read: Saif: I thought I would look like an idiot