During his stint as the anchor of 'Ikke Pe Ikka', one of the longest running countdown shows on TV, Sajid Khan dressed as his female alter-ego Sajida once a month and had the audience in splits. The director is now pulling the drag trick in his fifth film, 'Humshakals'. But this time it is his three lead actors—Saif Ali Khan, Riteish Deshmukh and Ram Kapoor— who are dressed as women and have their male lookalikes romance them in a song.

"For me, the two most memorable performances in Hollywood films was Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie and Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire. Back home, it was Kamal Haasan in Chachi 420 with the actor becoming a woman to save the day," Sajid says, admitting that the cross-dressing act is an essential part of his screenplay.



"Such sequences are good, clean fun not only for the actors but also for those watching them," he explains. "Humshakals is my biggest and hopefully my best comedy. I want to give the audience a laugh-a-minute not only over this picture but the big picture too," he says.

All three actors shared his excitement and happily went through multiple look tests, taking an inordinate interest in their clothes, wigs, make-up and accessories. Saif and Riteish's costumes were readymade, Ram's was tailored to his measurements. They even prepped for the sequence with hair removal cream.

Riteish who has played a woman before, was the experienced one. Ram and Saif were blissfully unaware of what was expected of them. "Saif and Ritesh's wives, Kareena and Genelia, were present on the first day of shoot and almost fell over laughing. It was amusing to watch Kareena adjust Saif's skirt and Genelia pat a curl into place," laughs Sajid. The three-and-a-half minute song was shot over eight days at a hotel and beach in Mauritius. "Normally it takes no more than four days but in this case the boys had to transform into girls and then back every time the shot changed and that made it exhausting for all of us. By the end of the week, Saif was completely confused. He'll admit that Humshakals is his most difficult film as an actor," says Sajid. He'd promised his actors he'd direct in drag too but then backed out with the the lame excuse that he couldn't find a costume his size.