‘Irrfan Khan found beauty even in pain’: Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, Ava DuVernay lead Hollywood in paying tribute
Actor Irrfan Khan’s death has been condoled in both India and abroad. The gifted performer died in the presence of his family, having battled cancer for two years, on April 29.
The actor had appeared in several high-profile international films such as Jurassic World, Inferno, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire and others, over the years. By 2017, the global box office haul of his films exceeded $3.6 billion.
Irrfan’s Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow tweeted on Wednesday, “Deeply sad to have lost #IrrfanKhan. A thoughtful man who found beauty in the world around him, even in pain. In our last correspondence, he asked me to remember ‘the wonderful aspects of our existence’ in the darkest of days. Here he is, laughing.” The filmmaker shared a picture of a laughing Irrfan from his most recent film, Angrezi Medium.
Academy Award nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay shared a black-and-white picture of the actor and tweeted, “A grateful fan of #IrrfanKhan here. Gone too soon. When he is on screen, you can’t take your eyes off of him. He lives on in his films.”
Irrfan’s The Warrior director, Asif Kapadia, wrote on Twitter, “Love you Irrfan bhai,” and shared a picture from their film, which propelled the actor to international acclaim.
Actor Riz Ahmed wrote on Twitter, “Rest in peace one of the greatest actors of our time, Irrfan Khan. I never met him but he was an inspiration and a hero to me and millions of others. His work was consistently transcendent, he was a guiding light for so many of us. If you’ve not seen his work, watch The Lunchbox or The Warrior. A true artist who spanned Bollywood and Hollywood and was acclaimed in both. His words in a letter to a newspaper about his illness are a reminder of his beautiful mind and of life’s fragility. His work will live on.”
The BBC commented, “Khan was known for his nuanced and understated performances, with many calling him one of India’s most talented actors.” Deadline pointed out, “Khan, widely considered one of India’s finest actors, received numerous awards, including the National Film Award and multiple Filmfare Awards.”
“In a career that spanned over thirty years, Khan was a prolific film and television actor famed for his range as well as the humanity he brought to his roles,” The Hollywood Reporter noted in its obituary. “Mr. Khan was among the first Indian actors to make a consistent mark in Western cinema, after earlier crossover pioneers like Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth and Om Puri,” The New York Times mentioned.
But despite his success abroad, Irrfan never left India. “I keep getting interesting offers. If I were younger, I might have thought of relocating to Hollywood. But I never really felt like leaving India. My people are here and so are my stories. Today, small and unconventional films are redefining cinema in India. And I am happy to be part of this brave, new world. Hollywood is just a bonus,” he said in a Hindustan Times Brunch interview.
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