It isn’t often that you spend an afternoon by the sea, overlooking the rain and striking up a conversation with Irrfan Khan…oops Irrfan! It is enlightening meeting a cinematic gem as him. Grounded, modest and humble perhaps his USP drips from his demeanor- his simplicity! He is a natural actor which is evident from his films, telling you the story from the perspective of a person whom you are well acquainted with.
Shortly before the release of his film D-Day, we caught up on a wonderful candid conversation about the man who prefers being an actor more than a star. With international acclaim and critical laurels in his kitty, the actor is eyeing the commercial realms of Bollywood with seriousness. Quite early in his career Irrfan drifted towards substantial cinema, away from grime of Bollywood. “I work as per the rhythm of my film and character. I have done commercial films like Dil Kabaddi but it is the story that reigns for me!”
He continues linking it up with Nikhil Advani’s D-Day, “This film is way more commercial than you can believe. We trained for 2 months for our roles, did our own stunts. Bollywood hasn’t showcased a story about the unsung heroes with such vigor ever before in mainstream films. It is an entertaining and engaging film which tells an action drama in an intriguing fashion!”
Ask him about typical Masala films, he smiles, “Masala films are loud and that’s what we celebrate in Bollywood. Such films are very important to our industry.”
I insisted on discussing with him his life before he became Irrfan Khan of international acclaim. There is no denying his prowess over his art. From working with Academy Award winner Ang Lee in Life Of Pi or working with Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart, the man has worked with the creme de le creme of world cinema. From the onset, he has been sure of his kind of cinema. Amongst his first roles, he is remembered for his stint with Pankaj Kapur in Tapan Sinha’s Ek Doctor Ki Maut. He reminisces, “Tapan Sinha was very ill when I worked with him. He wasn’t keeping well. But working with a director like him is always a privilege. He, according to me, was an underrated director. Now, is the time when India is really ready for his kind of cinema.”
Talking about his television days, he has a warm grin on his face. “I was a known face. People were appreciating my work. I once heard from someone that Subhash Ghai was interested in working with me. That made me feel elated but eventually that never solidified. The call never came!”
Well, now eventually it doesn’t matter. With National Award in his pocket and Padma Shri in his side, the actor has finally founded his niche! Irrfan symbolizes simplistic style, minimalist words and conveying emotions through expressions only! As the meeting concluded, a line from Irrfan’s film Namesake seemed true to his career! In the words of Jhumpa Lahiri, “Remember that you and I made this journey together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.” Perhaps, Irrfan has reached that stature and with D-Day he will simply enhance his versatility.
Now, enjoy reading koimoi.com on your Android Smartphone. Download the FREE App right here.