Irrfan Khan: "I Won't Comment on Nawazuddin Siddiqui or His Book"

Irrfan Khan: "I Won't Comment on Nawazuddin Siddiqui or His Book"

The actor speaks about films, biographies, love and the casting couch!
Irrfan Khan: "I Won't Comment on Nawazuddin Siddiqui or His Book"

Irrfan Khan

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After his last romantic venture Piku, Irrfan Khan is now coming up with another love story Qarib Qarib Singlle. The actor says he's enjoying this phase of doing romantic films.  Being an intense actor he also loves the perks of the job. He is all set to surprise you with his romantic role in Tanuja Chandra's Qarib Qarib Single. The actor says that the film touches on significant issues of gender dynamics play out in a sexually repressed society. Irrfan says he wants to do more and more romantic stories.  But rues that the topic has not been explored well.

We saw you river rafting in the film in the chilly waters?

I enjoyed river rafting and I love water and sometimes you get chances to learn and do a few things. I got a chance to do this and I fell into the water. I kept falling three times it was chilling. I went to Rajasthan, Gangtok, Delhi, Varnasi. Now, I want to go sky diving and learn music. I want to keep wild animals of all types, Wild Cats, Elephants, Tigers. We are not allowed to do that here. People feel I am like a wild animal that's why I love them. Maybe I will buy a house and do it abroad.

How was it working with Parvathy?

My chemistry was great with her. But because she was a south Indian that it added colour to the film. She asked a lot of questions as she didn't want to do things mechanically. She is the kind of actor who loves to absorb things and work on it. Every good actor does that. It's a collaboration of your journey and your experiences. I ask a lot of questions too. We have very few actresses in the industry and they are not free all the time. For me I have to find actresses from other countries. I found a heroine from, Pakistan and one from Iran for a film too.

What is love to you, it is said that people are ready to die for love?

We misuse the word love. We keep learning about love all our life. No one has understood the meaning of it. Some people make use of love for their gains. When I was young and not working I used to like girls and often felt that should fall in love with every beautiful girl that I met.  But now I am not interested. I profess love through my work.

How do you deal with heartbreaks?

I used to fall in love and I used to dream about them but then I have had heartbreaks. "I cry, I write poetry and sad songs.

How was it working with Tanuja Chandra, a woman director?

It's a great experience working with female directors.  They have a fantastic ability to multitask. It's a natural instinct they can pay attention to five things.  Men cannot do that.  When I take up a job I only concentrate on one particular thing.  I was watching Parvathy now and during the interview and she was paying attention to someone's flash while giving interviews. That's how women are they pay attention to small things.  It's also difficult to argue with a woman. They will listen to you but ultimately they do what they want to do. Want to learn?

This is your second romantic story?

I love romantic stories and want to explore it. I didn't get a chance to fall in love, so I try to do it through my films.

Do you feel we lack good writers in the industry?

We don't have good writers and they should get paid more.  Hollywood writers are given a lot of importance.  New writers are coming out and they are reflecting their lives. They are giving it a personal touch.

Do you feel your potential as an actor has been tapped?

Even I am not aware of it. I didn't know if I could even become an actor in the first place. Now I don’t know how much potential I have and how much I will explore it. But I hope that I will surprise myself and others too.

How do you choose your movies is there any formula to it?

There are no formulas. Whenever they come with ideas I love it and jump at it. It does not happen often it's very informal and instinctive.  Earlier I used to do films to make my presence felt but now I don’t want to work for money or to consolidate my position. The stories should resonate with me.

What do you think of the younger generation of actors?

They are very smart and have a lot of exposure. They are quick to learn and I hope a lot of young writers and directors will come up and will take cinema to another level.

What inputs does your wife Sutapa give you?

I get a lot of inputs from her. Her understanding of  drama and acting is much better than me and I feel good that someone  is better than me  in understanding of this  because I can take tips from her.

How do you plan your career or life?

My life has been spontaneous and I have stopped making any plans. Whenever I have planned anything and taken advice from people and tried it, it has never worked. When I did things out of the blue they have been successful.

Do you ever plan to write an autobiography?

I was approached by someone to write it, but I don’t have much to say. To present my own version of my life would be boring for me. If someone were to write about me critically, in a style that is entertaining and engaging, maybe I’ll think about it. For now the focus is on acting.

Nawaz had written a biography and now he has withdrawn it, your comments?

I have not written the book. He has written so ask him about it. Why should I comment?

What’s next?

I am doing a web series, Ministry and it's an interesting concept. It's still in the planning stage. I have already completed Abhinav Deo's film which will be releasing in February. I am excited about Vishal Bhardwaj's next film which will be directed by Honey Trehan. I am excited to work with Deepika Padukone after Piku. I am waiting for the final script. I am also waiting to work with Shoojit Sircar and Anurag Basu again.  I am doing Ronnie Screwvala's next with Malayalam actor Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar and Amla. I met Amla for the first time and she’s doing some wonderful work.

We heard you have been approached to play Sahir Ludhianvi's character in a movie?

I understand the poet-lyricists passion and sensibilities. He was a genius. If it’s in my destiny I will play him in the biopic. If I don’t get the chance, I will bring shades of Sahir into my other roles. In the morning I was in the shower and was ruminating on another film, and I remembers Sahir's lines , “Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khyaal aataa hai. ”. “I’m always looking for opportunities and excuses to recite those lines that resonate with the love Sahir believed in, which I believe in.

Tell us about your English Bengali bilingual Doob: No Bed Of Roses, is finally opening in India, US, Canada, Australia and Bangladesh.  You have received a lot of flak for it?

The film is about love and loss, he plays a character who gets married for a second time to a woman who’s years younger and was once his daughter’s friend. The subject invited the wrath of conservatives, leading to a ban on its release in Bangladesh which has since lifted. Sexuality shouldn’t be hidden behind the façade of religion or judged by age. It’s not a crime to be in a relationship with an older man or a younger woman. Love is already complicated in today’s times, with arranged marriages and joint families that gave a couple plenty of buffers, making way for singular families, and the social media giving both the sexes equal opportunities to mingle. Let’s not complicate relationships now with all these diktats.

What do you think of the casting couch, were you ever approached by anyone?

When a man from such a society comes close to a woman, he brings along with him plenty of misconceptions and has to be educated on how a woman should be treated on a date. The equations vary from society to society. In a male-dominated one like ours, the woman is the victim. Yes I have faced the casting couch. It is sad that when people whom you know well approach you and then you tend to lose your respect for them.. Even women have approached me. But then it's up to you to say yes or no. They should be exposed.  Our society is sexually suppressed society. They want to exploit the other gender.  Indications are many and they tell us that if we compromise things will work in our favour.

You have also done Puzzle with Kelly Mcdonald?

It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story of a woman, played by the amazingly talented Kelly, which gave me a chance to explore a different aspect as an actor.

Hindi Medium did very well at the box office, we heard that a sequel is in the offing?

I’d be happy to be a part of it. My only condition is that we should not encash on its success but get a plot that is better than the first and will take the franchise forward with an equally relevant issue.

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