One-on-one with Irrfan Khan: I will keep surprising you

Irrfan Khan has been known as a perfectionist when it comes to his work. The actor however says that it’s not just about perfection but dedication towards the craft that matters to him. Irrfan is now  looking forward towards creating a niche for himself in international cinema as well.  

He is constantly looking out for challenges. The actor spoke to us about his forthcoming films and Madaari which he has produced himself.

Which film is this new look for (Irrfan has grown his hair)?
My hair has grown and I can’t take care of it anymore (laughs). So I decided to tie a pony tail. I am going to do a film where I need to grow my hair. We will talk about is later…
Madaari is a  basically a juggler who trains monkeys to dance. What is  your role and what is the film about?
In Madaari,  I am making people dance to my tunes and I dance to their tunes too.  It is based on real incidents. That’s all I can reveal till now.

You are producing the film. We heard you approached Nishikant Kamat to direct the film?
We approached Nishikant Kamat because he is a thinking director.
Your wife Sutapa has helped with the script, will we see  her writing your  other films too?
 Sutapa developed it  in the beginning. The writing she does is a little different.

Who is the juggler in the house?
I  listen to her at times and disagree with her many-a-time. Sometimes you become vulnerable when it comes to kids then you succumb to those pressures (laughs) and agree in end. That happens most of the times when it comes to decisions regarding the kids.
Who is the first  one to say sorry?
Sometimes I do.  But when I feel I am right, I stick to my stand, I don’t give in easily. There are times when  I lose my temper and can’t control it.   But when I think about it, I feel I should try to be more giving and say sorry more frequently.  It’s not easy to admit to your mistakes, you need the strength to say sorry. I am trying to arrive at that stage.  I want to  be able to say sorry even when it’s not my fault.   My wife Sutapa is more understanding,  when she realises I am angry she makes the situation  more conducive and deflates it.  I want to be like that. I want to be like her. 

What next as a producer?
Next we have a  romantic movie which  is being written by Sutapa. It’s in the initial stages. We are taking time as I will be playing the lead and  I am particular who will be cast opposite me.
You involved your son in the marketing of the film?
This time my son is involved because it was  my film and it’s a father-son story. I didn’t want to  force him but  the marketing team insisted that he should write the text of the invite (that reached every media house) as a marketing gimmick. I told them (the marketing team) to ask him directly. He agreed and  he asked me whether he should do it or not. I told him I won’t force him  because if  he feels  bored  or disgusted with the work, then he should not blame me. I told him to go ahead only if he feels like it. Well, he did go ahead in the end.

Are you a strict father?
I give him certain liberties but am strict about certain things like how many hours he can spend  in front of the computer. Otherwise I am a friend to them.   I want them to go out and play instead of studying. I tell them that you cannot take us (parents) for granted or the house ( a roof over their heads)  for granted.   I don’t ask them what they want to do. For my son, I think he should become a cricketer because his bowling is outstanding. He is eleven but he doesn’t want  to train hard. Yet,  I don’t force him. I inspire them to do certain things which are important for life. After a certain point, I want him to take charge of their own lives.
Do you feel you are unable to give enough time to your children?
Yes, that is the only grouse. I want to drop and pick them from school. But that is not there in my fate. I cannot give them much time. I try and make time for them.  They miss me when I am not there, which is pretty much all the time. 

Will we ever see you working with Nawazuddin Siddiqui?
There are many talented  actors in the industry, why do people want us together I don’t know. There’s Raj Kumar Rao and Randeep Hooda.   Everyone asks me about Nawazuddin.  There are many other actors from NSD.  I don’t need to ignore him. It all depends on the role. I don’t have problems with anyone. All I want is the audience has to appreciate good cinema. We will come together on screen when the time comes. We have a done an experimental film together, you can find that on YouTube.
How much of a hands-on producer are you?
I feel that I am good enough. I  take care of the project, I select songs and the cast and crew.  I take interest in the making of the film, the script etc.  I am not involved in the money portion of it or  how to raise money. That’s not my look out.

What about Hollywood projects?
I have finished Inferno and I am going to promote the film now. Apart from that I have not signed anything.
What next on the Bollywood front?
I wanted to do Durga Rani Singh but now I am not doing it. Neither have I signed Begum Sumru, I want to do a Marathi film now and looking for scripts. I will keep surprising you as an actor as I am doing lot of different roles. So watch out for me.

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