Uniqueness and variety are two rules Irrfan has stuck to throughout his film career. The acclaimed actor, known for movies like The Namesake, Life In A... Metro, and Paan Singh Tomar, says he wants to continue breaking his own image in the industry with new and fresh projects.
"I would love to do roles which are exciting and I don't want to be bracketed in one kind of definition. I don't want to carry an image. I would rather like to keep breaking my image than creating it," Irrfan, who was recently named the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year for his contribution to the world of entertainment, said.
Rather than waiting for the right role to come his way, the 50-year-old chooses from whatever he is offered.
"My pattern is whatever comes my way, I have to chose from that. I cannot create roles," he added.
In his decade-plus association with showbiz, the actor has not just amassed a filmography of more than 100 but also made a foray into international projects like Slumdog Millionaire, The Amazing Spider-Man and the recently released Life of Pi.
He says his profession has given him an insight to his personal self.
"This field of storytelling has allowed me to reflect on my life. If I would have been in another profession, I wouldn't have been in a habit of reflecting on myself or my surroundings. This is unique because it gives me a chance to see myself. It has added a lot," he said.
However, he believes the industry has too many layers and dealing with it can be quite a challenge.
"It is a multi-layered profession with all its politics and insecurities. It is an insecure business and you have to learn to deal with your insecurities," said the actor.
He has always been appreciated for his acting skills, but his fame went several notches higher with his recent work in movies like Paan Singh Tomar and Life Of Pi.
However, being an actor is not about fame, believes Irrfan.
"When you think about becoming an actor, you think about fame, but that is just one level. There is another thing which is so precious; it is the sense of sharing.
"You do a certain part where your heart cries or you feel nice, or you experience some ecstatic moment and you share it with the audience. It is a great feeling when the audience comes alive and they experience the same thing."
He is yet to do a full-on romance and knows that in Bollywood, romantic heroes are ahead of others.
"The film-going audience is a young audience. For them, romance is a big draw as compared to other genres. So, romantic heroes will always be more popular," he said.
Asked what is a big no-no for him, Irrfan said: "Cliched roles, which don't have uniqueness and freshness."