His is a name that doesn’t need introduction. Maybe that’s why he decided to let go of his last name. Having proved his versatility with each role, true recognition for Irrfan came with Paan Singh Tomar. “I was lucky to be chosen for Paan Singh Tomar. Such scripts don’t come along every day,” says he.
Having received a National Award in 2012 for Best Actor, Irrfan says to be in a position where people expect you to be better is a great feeling. “You may think the responsibility is a burden. But, it’s a great place to be in. I am very choosy about my films, especially about the script and co-actors.”
To prove his specificity, he goes on to add, “In my upcoming spy thriller, D-Day [releasing on July 19], I play the role of an Indian spy on a mission in Pakistan. I knew my wife in the movie had to be a newcomer who could keep the Pakistani authenticity intact. So, I was present all through the auditions, screenings and castings, and Shri Swara was finalised together in the end.”
About Nikhil Advani’s D-Day, he says, “It’s not like your average spy thrillers; I’m not going to turn into James Bond. It is a realistic film which brings to life the actual challenges that a spy faces.”
And portraying such challenges required training for stunts, about which Irrfan says, “Our stunt coordinator was Thomas [aka Tom] Struthers; he has been a stunt coordinator for Hollywood films such as The Dark Knight, Inception, X-Men: First Class and John Carter, amongst others. To be trained to fight physically was a wonderful experience; the training lasted about four months.”
Signing off, Irrfan says he is keen on doing trilogies of love stories. One such upcoming love story is Lunch Box, he informs.