When Irrfan Khan was moved to tears by Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s performance, introduced him to Danny Boyle

Nawazuddin Siddiqui has recalled stories about the late Irrfan Khan, and dismissed rumours of a tiff between them.
Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from The Lunchbox.
Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from The Lunchbox.
Updated on May 02, 2020 09:49 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has said that it was Irrfan Khan introduced him to director Danny Boyle during the casting of Slumdog Millionaire, and would often recommend him for roles. Nawaz and Irrfan worked together in the 2013 film The Lunchbox, among several other projects.

He told The Times of India, “Not many know that it was Irrfan who first directed me as an actor in a film called Alvida in 2000. It was my first film as a lead actor and his as a director. It was his idea to cast me in that film. It was an hour long film that he’d made for the BBC. He didn’t direct much after that but had he done that, he would be as successful a filmmaker as he was as an actor.”

Also read: Irrfan Khan’s wife Sutapa, son Babil pen heartfelt open letter: ‘It’s magical, whether he is there or not there’

He continued, “When Irrfan got to know that Danny Boyle was casting for Slumdog millionaire (2008) in Mumbai, he called me up and asked me, ‘Tu chalega?’ He told me to reach Sun-n-Sand hotel in Juhu. I remember we landed there in the morning and waited in the lobby. He met Boyle and then asked me to go meet him up too.”

Dismissing rumours of a tiff, Nawaz said, “How can I be his competitor or rival! Irrfan ki jagah koi nahi le sakta. There’s no one like him.”

Also read: Irrfan Khan’s wife Sutapa on 35 years of companionship: ‘Ours was not a marriage, it was a union’

Director Kabir Khan, whose 2009 film New York also starred Irrfan and Nawaz, recalled an incident where Irrfan was moved to tears by Nawaz’s performance. According to Bollywood Hungama, Kabir said that Irrfan wasn’t present on set when the scene was shot, but insisted on watching it as everyone was talking about it. And when he did, “he had tears rolling down his cheeks.”

Irrfan died on Wednesday, two years after announcing that he had been diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour.

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