'I want to redefine entertainment'

Candid Chat

'I want to redefine entertainment'

Starting his career with television shows like Chanakya and Bharat Ek Khoj, and gradually moving to Bollywood, Irrfan Khan is one of the most critically acclaimed actors of Hindi cinema today.

The actor, who is in limelight these days for his performance in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, was recently in the City to receive ‘CNN-IBN Indian of the Year Award’ in the entertainment section. Metrolife caught up with the actor for a one-on-one chat.

“Awards are always precious. It is, obviously, exciting when you get any award but those which are given by people’s votes always surprise me,” says Irrfan. 

Every award comes with a set of responsibilities but Irrfan says he is already ‘burdened’ with other things in life. Ask him what kind of burden he is talking about, the actor laughs and says, “I don’t want to fit into a particular category.

I want to define my own image and just want to constantly challenge myself. I don’t want to have a comfort zone because I get bored with it. Breaking that monotony is itself a risk in film industry. Don’t you think it’s a huge burden on actors?”

Is responsibility to prove himself a different actor affect his movie selection? “It is important that a role should connect with me and my heart,” says Irrfan. 

He, however, believes that his unconventional look has played a great role in his success.  “It is a plus point that I don’t look like a ‘chocolaty boy’ or a ‘hunk’. I believe the unconventional look will never reach a saturation point.

It has its own appeal,” shares the actor, citing the examples of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna, who were initially rejected for their looks. “It is not the looks but the inner charm of an actor that works for the audience. That’s why Amitabhji and Rajesh Khanna are legendary actors.”

Be it the unconventional looks or his intense acting, today Irrfan is one among the prominent faces in international cinema. Movies like The Namesake, The Warrior, A Mighty Heart, The Darjeeling Limited and recently-released Life of Pi, have brought him international acclaim.

So, is Irrfan concentrating more on Hollywood projects these days?  “No,” he replies swiftly. “I am doing all kinds of cinema; Bollywood, European and American as well. It feels good that my movies are travelling in all the continents of the world. The only thing I strive for is redefining entertainment where we can take social issues and entertainment together. ”

Being part of the world cinema, Irrfan believes the way of storytelling distinguishes Indian and international cinema.  “Hollywood movies have a worldwide market and therefore have a different way of storytelling. Both cannot be compared.” 

Quiz him about the small roles of Indian actors in Hollywood movies, the actor says, “I cannot speak about others but I think I am making a ground for them,” he laughs and signs off.

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