An actor par excellence, Irrfan Khan’s roles are always remembered for the awesome impact they create in the audience’s mind. His trademark obsession with detail and authenticity inevitably ignites the screen each time he graces it. Irrfan is a versatile actor who is the backbone of contemporary Indian films.
What is Madaari all about?
The film is based on a real life incident that resulted in people getting injured and it also led to losses of lives.Madaari is based on the real life event, taken place at the under-construction overhead Metro bridge on Andheri-Kurla Road in suburban Marol. And for this, the ace director Nishikant Kamath has undertaken immense research for an extensive period of time for the movie. I will be playing a vigilante in the movie.
How did you get into acting?
Nobody from my family is particularly involved in acting. People around me used to tell me I am shy and I wanted to change that impression. I experimented with business for a while but I figured I wanted to do something else. I came across certain films where some actors were involved in what was termed as ‘parallel cinema’ and they were doing some amazing and completely new things. I was 15 at that time and I was floored by it, it was so fascinating! They were experiencing something completely beyond their own personalities. And I wanted to do that. That was the start. I searched for schools where I could learn and there was a place in Delhi where all the actors were churning out from. I know my parents wouldn’t approve of it. I told them I’ll become a drama teacher to keep them happy. Infact, I lied to get into drama school too. There was a prerequisite to do 10 plays before you can qualify for admission and I had only done only four to five. But I told them I have done 10. I had to do it. So I enrolled into drama school and things started happening after that.
Do you bring any interpretation into your character on your own?
I personalize the character, give the character something from my life. It is the only way I can make the character my own. If I have my own story to tell, I have to add that to the director’s story without getting intrusive. I try to bring my own colors into the role without losing sight of the director’s palate.
What would you say has been your toughest role?
Life of Pi—because it was not realistic acting. It was a presentation of the story under given circumstances. As an actor, I couldn’t have moved a single alphabet. There was a set context given to me by Ang Lee, and I had to emote, engage and bring about a performance within that. It was one of the characters that could have been interpreted in different ways. If you look at the older Pi, some might say he is cooking the story up while some others might think he must have gone through that experience. That believability was a difficult thing to achieve.
How many scripts, on an average, do you accept?
Only 5 percent in most cases.
What made you turn producer?
I had this script with me which I liked very much and even Nishikant Kamath, the director liked it and the film was completed in no time.