While Irrfan Khan has established himself as a prolific actor in Bollywood with powerful performances in films like Maqbool (2003), Paan Singh Tomar (2012), and Piku, among others, his foray in Hollywood has been impressive as well. The 48-year-old is gradually gaining a foothold in the American film industry, and his roles in movies like A Mighty Heart (2007), Life Of Pie (2012), and most recently Jurassic World, is a proof of that. Here, Irrfan talks about his journey in international cinema, his video with comedy collective, All India Back**d (AIB), and more.
Your recent video with AIB takes a dig at item numbers and party songs that objectify women. Are such songs important for a film?
Party songs and fillers in films are not always bad; they could be a source of entertainment at times. But yes, we (Bollywood) are now stuck in a formula.
Was there any hesitation before saying yes to be part of the video?
I found the concept quite interesting. I have seen the AIB members doing intriguing and rib-tickling work in the past, and I thought this would be a great surprise for the audience.
Did the members of the industry take the video in the right spirit?
I am overwhelmed with the response that the video has received. My colleagues from the industry have really taken it sportingly, and have also appreciated the video.
How has your journey in Hollywood been so far?
It has been great. It has been a learning experience for me - as a person and as an actor. In all these years, and with all the films that I have done, I have grown as an actor, and I will continue to do the same.
Do you think that you got typecast as a 'serious actor' very early on in your career?
I have been doing character roles all my life. But I am not in support of the term 'serious actor'. The audience has enjoyed my performances [till now], and I know I can continue to give them a variety with the choices that I am making now.
You will be sharing screen space with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in her comeback film. How is she to work with?
Aishwarya is a pure soul. She has explored herself a lot more as an actor over the past few years.
You'll be working with Tabu in a film as well. Do you think off-screen camaraderie comes through on the screen too?
In certain cases, it does bring a natural feel to the character, especially if your co-star is a friend. Tabu and I have shared an amazing bond over the years, and working with her definitely makes me very comfortable.
Among the young actors today, who do you think is the most promising?
I feel Deepika (Padukone) is here for the long run. She has beautifully made her way from commercial to new-age cinema.
In the coming months, the actor has American director Ron Howard's Inferno, based on author Dan Brown's book by the same name. The film will have him share screen space with the likes of Hollywood actor Tom Hanks and English actress Felicity Jones, among others. He will also be seen in a Japanese-American TV show.
*Top of the game
Irrfan's latest Hollywood release was Jurassic World, in which he plays Simon Masrani, the owner of amusement park. The film saw a massive opening across the globe, and is reportedly the fastest film to cross the $1 billion mark worldwide.