When Irrfan Khan revealed why he never moved to Hollywood: ‘My people are here and so are my stories’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times

When Irrfan Khan revealed why he never moved to Hollywood: ‘My people are here and so are my stories’

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent
Apr 29, 2020 07:57 PM IST

Irrfan Khan was among the most sought after Indian name by Hollywood filmmakers and yet, he chose to stay and work in India. In an interview to Hindustan Times, the actor had revealed the reason.

Irrfan Khan was among the handful Indian actors who got great and significant roles in Hollywood films and got them often. From Slumdog Millionaire to Life Of Pi, the actor was a part of Oscar-winning films and impressed everyone with his performances the world over. With his death, the world has lost a supremely talented actor and India has lost a man who loved his country and its people immensely.

Irrfan Khan starred in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.
Irrfan Khan starred in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi.

In an interview with Hindustan Times Brunch in 2016, Irrfan talked about why he never crossed over to Hollywood full time. He said, “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.”

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Also read: Irrfan Khan, actor extraordinaire and India’s face in the West, dies at 53

Irrfan had worked in films such as Mira Nair’s The Namesake, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Ang Lee’s Life of Pie, Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, Ron Howard’s Inferno and many more. In these, he worked with stars such as Tabu, Dev Patel, Chris Pratt, Tom Hanks and others.

Talking about playing Simon Masrani, the owner of the park in Jurassic World, he had said: “It was very important to own the part; to be this flamboyant character. It is like that guy who recently fled the country,” referring to Vijay Mallya. Trevorrow also tweeted about Irrfan’s death and wrote, “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.”


In the multiple Oscar winner, Life Of Pi, Irrfan played the older version of Pi Patel, who is recounting the story to a writer. As he regrets not saying goodbye to his co-passenger – a tiger named Richard Parker – a single tear settles in the corner of his eye. And the actor teared up in the scene.

About working with Ang Lee, he said, “After watching the shot, Ang Lee told me it was one of the best moments of his cinematic career. He thought what made the scene so impactful was the moment I chose to cry.”

He also considered Slumdog Millionaire a game changer. “If today, Indian actors are being cast in roles that are not quintessentially Asian, much of the credit should go to this film,” he said in the interview.

The Bollywood star, who was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, was admitted to a Mumbai hospital earlier this week with a colon infection.

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