If you have got talent, it ought to transcend boundaries and fetch you a worldwide fame. In Bollywood we have but a few gems who have ably established themselves far and wide. Wise ones like Shabana Azmi, adept ones like Naseeruddin Shah and agile ones like Irrfan Khan. There are many more but these have assiduously made space for themselves in the world cinema. They are adored and admired. While it may have taken Azmi and Naseerudin quiet sometime, for Irrfan it seemed like a cake walk. With mechanisms of a skilled actor being drilled into him, he came into focus lithely.
Despite his cameo in Mira Nair’s film, Salaam Bombay, being edited out, he not only landed himself a leading role in Nair’s film but went on to work with, and continues to work on many, highbrow international projects. He is one contemporary actor in the industry who promises intellect and delivers intellect, all others either try really hard to act intelligent or end up playing fools. However, it’s the opposite with Irrfan Khan. Irrfan might play a fool on reel but that role too is likely to leave an immense impact on the psyche of the audience.
Following are a few quotes from the artist that only prove his prowess as an actor.
I’ve played many characters that have consumed me and owned me.
You cannot reduce the power of story with the tag of money because it’s not a share market. So you must know the seriousness of the power of storytelling.
I want to entertain people, but with some substance.
I am not ready to fit into the mould of commercial cinema.
A film engages you emotionally and intellectually.
I don’t want to do romantic roles where I have to lip sync to a song. A role that explores romance on a new level would suit me.
It surely gives you a high to be an international actor with quality work.
It’s always an inner wish of every actor to reach out to maximum audiences.
We don’t have a culture of realistic acting in India.
The sign of a good society is where talent is respected.
Our Bollywood stars who talk of being part of 100 crore films, I think I belong to the 1,000 crore club.
Maybe to become famous is to reassure yourself that whatever you’re lacking inside, you’ve fulfilled that.
What happens with every role, you have to trick yourself, you have to creatively find ways to explore the mental state of your character.
When you come out of the theatre and you don’t even talk about that film or remember it, then it disappoints me.
For me, acting is becoming naked in front of people, you know? And when you know in the back of your mind somebody is testing you, you cannot really bare yourself. That’s a feeling I always have when I’m auditioning.
Sometimes when you’re playing a very intense character, a disturbed character, you find other layers. That’s much more interesting to me, rather than just playing ‘intense.’ I find it too boring.
No other actor can warm up and speak aloud such thoughts like Irrfan does. His observation of the world and world of cinema is gritty. His words hold truth and his actions flexibly bring this truth to fore through his skills. His vanity in his talent is not in vain. His has the utmost understanding and knowledge of the waters he is wading. Amongst the plethora of talent and pseudo talents hunting the industry grounds for recognition, the talent of this artist stands out. It stands out shimmering in the light of his poised and perfected personality. Such is the man!