Irrfan Khan is not exactly a newcomer to Gujarat. Apart from coming here for movie promotions, he's just wrapped up a schedule of 'Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster 2' in Devgadh Baria some months back. Now he's back shooting for Nikhil Advani's 'D-Day'.
When TOI caught up with the versatile actor in a city hotel, he talked about his Ahmedabad experience, revealed why he is happy not being a highly paid actor and why he is not part of 100 crore club, but 1000 crore films!You have been shooting in Ahmedabad for some time now. What's the experience been like so far?
This is my second visit to Ahmedabad and honestly, I haven't had much time to explore the city. When I was in Devgadh Baria, I was impressed to know that such heritage places exist in Gujarat. It's nice to know that our filmmakers have realised these places have a lot of potential if used intelligently for cinematic purposes. I have been in Ahmedabad for some time now and am trying to explore the nightlife. Culturally this city really intrigues me. I guess the unique thing about Gujarat is the fact that it is a dry state. I am not craving for a rocking nightlife during my stay here, I am content taking a heritage walk around Sarkhej Roza, and think that will be a more memorable experience for me than drinking in a pub! These days it's a nightmare to even take a relaxed walk or a leisurely drive in Mumbai! That way Ahmedabad puts me in a more relaxed mode. I wish I could be here during Uttarayan. I really want to fly kites!You had a humble beginning with films like Drishti and then moved on to character roles, comedy. Now you are doing some interesting work in the West.
I think my work in the west is perhaps my compensation for not getting lead roles here. OurBollywood
stars who talk of being part of 100 crore films, I think I belong to the 1000 crore club. If you consider the kind of business Slumdog Millionaire, Namesake
and The AmazingSpiderman
did or the kind of budget Life of Pi
has, then my films are much beyond 100 crores. But I am still not a highly paid actor and I am not demanding that kind of money either because the kind of people I am associated with are not spending money on frills, they are making quality cinema.You recently mentioned that you'd love to do romantic roles.
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. Indian cinema is open about intimate scenes, but I don't want to be part of a film where women are showcased as commodity and nude scenes are shot to attract audiences. That's not my idea of romance!What kind of cinema excites you?
I think, the Bollywood filmmaker is in two minds as to whether he should make an out and out masala film for front benchers or attempt something like Barfi
and score well with the audiences. A filmmaker who is passionate about his work, does not believe in paisa vasool
films is someone I want to work with.