MUMBAI: While other actors run after meagre parts in Hollywood Irrfan Khan, who has to his credit pivotal roles in global films like Asif Kapadia’s ‘Warrior’ and Mira Nair’s ‘The Namesake’, has just turned down the main villain’s role in ‘The Last Knights’, a period action-drama featuring the stalwarts Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen.
Reluctant to revel in the raga of rejection, Irrfan says, “I take my time to say yes. Yes, I said no to ‘The Last Knights’. I am not a Hollywood actor. My survival as an actor doesn’t depend on what I do there. Today I am in a situation where I can seek satisfaction from myself as an actor. I want to do characters I believe in.”
Irrfan was to share the main lead with Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman. But the role left him unhappy. “I felt my character was not getting enough to do in the climax, so I said no.”
Instead Irrfan has said yes to his first Yashraj film. “I am doing Ali Abbas Zafar’s ‘Gunday’ which has Arjun Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. I’ve a substantial role. I play an intelligence officer. I have good space in the film. It’s a larger-than-life character.”
About opting for Bollywood over Hollywood, Irrfan comments, “I am often asked if my success abroad translates into something comparable in Bollywood. The answer is no. It definitely provides a certain perception back home when I do films abroad that are received well. But it doesn’t affect my market here either way. The only I reason I do films in the West is because I get a chance to work with directors like Ang Lee, Danny Boyle, Mira Nair. They enrich me as an actor.”
Irrfan is indebted to Mira Nair. “ I owe my Hollywood career to Mira. She introduced me to the West. She never screen-tested me for any of the roles that she has given me.”