Ever since he started shooting for Vishal Bhardwaj’s Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola in Jaipur, Imran Khan has been almost inaccessible. In town for only one day to participate in the MTV Power of One Youth Forum, Imran has had long shooting hours and continuous outdoor shoots for more than a month. But he doesn’t mind the hard work. In fact, he’s thrilled to be working with a director of the calibre of Vishal Bhardwaj.
“Working with him has given me immense creative satisfaction,” says Imran. “This is the first time in my career that I’m working with a seasoned director. Ever since Jane Tu... Ya Jane Na (2008), I’ve only worked with first time directors and as much as I’ve loved working with Shakun (Batra), Punit (Malhotra) and others, they were still figuring things out. Whereas with Vishal, he already knows what he wants and how he wants it.”
In Matru…, Imran plays a tough guy from rural India and had to create his look in a distinctly non-urban way. “I could not have gone to the gym and worked out,” he explains. “Had I done that, I would have got the typical muscular gym-made body and that really wouldn’t have suited my character. So I sat with my trainer and worked out a plan, or actually, he did. We did ‘akhada’ workouts. That’s simply functional training. And it gave me what I was looking for.”
He also worked on acquiring the correct accent for the Haryanvi dialect his character uses. But ask him if he gave his co-star Anushka Sharma tips on how to speak the language and Imran says, “Who gives tips? I don’t know where you get this from! You can give tips about stock broking, not acting, because what works for one person may not essentially work for the other.”
After Matru…, Imran will start work on Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2, an action film. But is action really his kind of movie? “I don’t think anyone has a particular genre,” he says. “It’s always good to experiment and play different roles. But it’s not an action film per se. It’s more on the lines of a drama and thriller. I’ve still got about 10-12 days of outdoor shooting for Matru… to finish, so I’ll start preparing for Once Upon… only after that.”