Grumbles sometimes emanate from Bollywood that the only Indian actor recognized in the west is Aishwarya Rai. However, this is far from the case as both Shilpa Shetty and Celina Jaitley have proved. Another actor who has developed a strong reputation is Irrfan Khan who is winning rave reviews for his performances in Mira Nair’s The Namesake, A Mighty Heart, Darjeeling Limited and more recently for his short performance in Slumdog Millionaire. How did his relationship with Mira develop? “She brought me to Bombay and we did a workshop together and that was a great experience for me because I was full of idealistic notions of acting, and the workshop totally changed my perspective. Suddenly one day she called me for The Namesake and said you are doing this role. And I just happened to be reading the book at the time. And it happened.”
But of course, Irrfan is just as much at home in Bollywood and is looking forward to the release of Billo Barber and Dil Kabaddi. What can he tell us of his role in the latter movie? “I am playing a normal guy who works in a bank and he has a very nice wife. But sometimes you know, when you are nearing forty, you want to relive your youth and become this cool dude again. He is also mentally disturbed because he is not getting enough sex with his wife. He feels that if you don’t get enough sex, then the balance of your mind and body gets shattered. So that is his concern.”
It was Asif Kapadia’s The Warrior that first made his name, followed soon after by a stunning performance in Maqbool. He won a Best Villain Award for Haasil and a Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in Life..In A Metro. Roles lined up include Dilli 6, Acid Factory and what should be a very interesting movie based on the Bhopal tragedy.