This could be the biggest casting coup for a Bollywood actor in the West since Om Puri signed on Roland Joffe's City of Joy. Irrfan Khan, who did the incredible Warrior with the Britain-based Gujarati director Asif Kapadia, is all set to do his next film True North.
"It's a film called True North set in Norway. I've never read a script like this. Though I'm not the central character as I was in Asif's Warrior, the story of two women and their relationship fascinated me. I'm very excited about being part of this film. Asif's cinematic language is incredible," Irrfan told IANS.
So is Irrfan's bonding with Kapadia.
"Yes, he does seem to like my acting abilities. In fact, after Warrior he shot a film called The Return without me in Texas while I was shooting Mira Nair's The Namesake in the US. He wanted me in The Return, but the studio wanted an American actor. He wanted to make True North right after Warrior. But we got busy with other things."
The actor, who impressed as a Bengali NRI in The Namesake, agrees he has never been able to equal his performance in Warrior.
"I've never been presented in that way. Asif's films are shot in strange and tough places. After the harsh desert of Rajasthan in Warrior, Asif is going into freezing snowy country in Norway for True North. A friend of mine, who came back from Norway, says you can't move your hand even in your woollen gloves."
The young director's talent impresses Irrfan.
"So young and so talented. He had offers galore after Warrior. He chose from his heart. Very frankly, when he chose me for Warrior he confessed he wouldn't have cast me if he had seen my work on television."
Bollywood is still confused about Irrfan.
"That's the story of my life. Something good should come out of these confusions. Warrior should've gone much further. But Miramax, who decided to market it, suppressed it because Asif didn't agree to direct a film for Miramax."