'I'm an out-and-out romantic'

'I'm an out-and-out romantic'

He is a natural when it comes to acting, has a sense of humour and keeps just the right level of cynicism in his views on the world. Irrfan Khan speaks to Metrolife while visiting the City to promote his upcoming film ‘D-Day’.

Wali Khan, his character in the film, is an undercover agent who was picked up by the RAW chief and sent to Pakistan. “I never knew how these spies worked, what their living conditions were, why they did these kinds of jobs. There’s no reward in it — you don’t get medals or recognition. If you fail or are exposed, the risk is ultimate. But the interesting thing about the story is that at one level, it’s an operation where you have to bring back this guy from Pakistan to India. On another level, there’s a family line — Wali has a wife and kid and they aren’t supposed to know about his profession,” explains Irrfan.

While he agrees that his time at the National School of Drama gave him “exposure and insight to do different characters”, he feels that “every actor has his own method”. “I’m trying to create my own space. You don’t just open a drama school and start teaching. An actor has to convince the industry and audience that they will be entertained when they see him perform. He has to convince the director and producer that he will do justice to the role and bring back the money,” says the actor.

Having worked in Hollywood films like ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, he believes that realism is what lacks in Bollywood. “We don’t reflect life in our films or explore subjects in depth. We depend too much on melodrama. There’s a large chunk of today’s audience which is dying to watch credible cinema,” he expresses, adding, “we are celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema. But do we have a point to celebrate? We can celebrate that we survived. But we didn’t go forward and we still need to evolve.”

Irrfan confesses that he isn’t as serious in real life as his movies portray him to be. “The whole trip of my life is to make things lighter, happier and more enjoyable rather than broody. The industry gives me serious parts. But I try to find lighter elements even in those characters. Maybe it’s because of the way God has made my face,” he laughs.

What few people know is that he is also quite the romantic. “I’m an out-and-out romantic. Romanticism is something that gives you a break from the mundane reality. So you try to find that in music, film, poetry or just create your own form,”
he says.

This side of him can also be seen in ‘The Lunchbox’, a film by Ritesh Batra. “I’ve wanted to do love stories but got few opportunities like with Maqbool and Yeh Saali Zindagi. This is a special film and I suggest that if you are in love and want to increase that feeling, go and watch it. You’ll come out much more romantic,” he wraps up.

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