Irrfan Khan has put almost everything on hold till June end for his two international projects – Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, based on the Booker winner by Yann Martel, and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man. He says, "I have received calls from top directors but I have humbly bowed out of projects that need to start immediately."
Irrfan recently refused Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Midnight’s Children, titled Winds Of Change. "I don’t have dates, it’s my loss." He has promised to do a film based on Bangladeshi economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, Mohammed Yunis, but says him being part of the film is "subject to availability and negotiations."
Tightlipped about his role in The Amazing Spider-Man, Irrfan, who plays the villain Nels Van Adder, says, "I am under contract to not reveal anything. The makers have a policy about how they want to start releasing the information about the film."
He has recently returned from LA after completing a schedule of The Amazing Spider-Man to promote his film, Thank You. He will be going to Taiwan, Taipei and Montreal to shoot the remaining portions of Life of Pi in which he plays the adult Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi). He has already done one small schedule of the film in Pondicherry and met the cast in Taiwan. "It feels good to spend time with my kids and watch movies. I hated lived in an apartment surrounded by concrete buildings. Now I have a bungalow in Madh Island where I can feel one with nature."
Irrfan recalls exploring jungles near Jaipur with his father. The trips continued even after he became an actor. He remembers one particular jungle in the North that looked like it had not been visited by a soul in 100 years. “We saw tigers there. Unless we preserve them, tigers will completely vanish.”
Irrfan adheres to Pi’s spiritual beliefs. “I was amazed when the role came to me because Pi’s views on God reflect my own. Pi starts to follow Hinduism, Christanity and Islam as he “just wants to love God”. For me religion is something that brings me closer to God and not a means to deal with my insecurities.”
Irrfan, who plays Tabu’s son in Life Of Pi, says, “Ang’s interpretation of the character, observing how he works, thinks and practices his art is a learning experience.”
The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Variety recently interviewed him. “I consciously try not to be in awe of directors like Marc and Ang whose works I have admired. Life is wonderful right now. I have been receiving praise from Bollywood and the international media. Nothing is better than getting appreciation for your work.” His feet however are firmly planted on the ground. “I prefer to stay humble. Who knows tomorrow this may not stay?”
Irrfan’s international projects
A Mighty Heart
The Amazing Spider-Man
TV show, In Treatment
The Darjeeling Limited
German film, Shadows of Time
New York, I Love You