‘With the way the film industry is moving, I hope it makes a mark in world cinema’ – Irrfan Khan

He’s finally getting his due! After being in this industry for a long time, the ‘unconventional’ actor Irrfan Khan, thanks to his recent spate of critically and commercially acclaimed movies, The Namesake and Life In A Metro, is now considered in the upper league.

Now with Hollywood movies – A Mighty Heart and The Darjeeling Limited, and Hindi films like Rakesh Roshan’s Krazzy 4, Rohit Shetty’s Sunday, Mukta Arts’ Right Or Wrong and a Vishal Bharadwaj film under his belt, the going seems to be getting better.


In conversation with Businessofcinema.com, Khan speaks on how he takes up certain films for their rich content and others simply to better his positioning as an actor.


Excerpts:


On one hand you act in international projects and on the other you act in small-budget films like Apna Asman which release theatrically only in India. So how do you pick up such variation?
The basic necessity is that I have to connect with the script. Sometimes it is the integrity and attractiveness of the story that hooks me. Occasionally I select a project keeping in mind how it will help my career. At times the film’s story may not work for me but it may help my position in the market and at times it’s only the script or the character, which allures me.


So name those films that you took up to better your stake in the industry.
To define that will become a little controversial (laughs).


What made you choose Apna Asman?
I read a lot of scripts almost everyday, but after reading 10 pages the stories don’t hold interest. The story of Apna Asman seemed very real, like someone has lived this. It didn’t appear like it had been written from the mind, this element that attracted me.


Looking at your current film graph, do you think this is your best phase as an actor?
Now I am doing a variety of roles, from entertainers to clean family films to message-oriented films. I think it is a very interesting time and I am enjoying it. With the way the industry is moving, I hope it can reach where it should, where it can really make a mark in world cinema. The audience for our films is still limited to Indian audience, be in our country or NRI’s. 


Do you think you have reached a mark where you have proved your merit as an actor?
I am looking for a time which keeps me engaged. I need more options. So, I am working towards that, vis-à-vis positioning myself, vis-à-vis doing interesting projects. I am trying to explore more options where I can just work on two films a year and concentrate on that.


Are you planning to restrict your creative instincts only to acting or do you want to venture into direction or production of films as well?
No, I cannot direct films. I love music but I cannot create music and I cannot even write. I was producing serials and telefilms but my life pushed in the right direction and ‘The Warrior’ happened. Those two and a half months changed my perceptions about my life, although a lot of money was at stake.


Many actors seem to clinching film deals with corporates. Have similar offers come your way as well?
There were some offers earlier. But unless and until you start enjoying working with somebody and having a connection, when you completely trust someone and have a good relation going all through these film, till then it is difficult to sign such deals. So if it happens and I have faith in the person and can work mutually, I will sign a deal.

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