Irrfan Khan has cut a niche for himself both in Hollywood and Bollywood with films like Life of Pai and Paan Singh Tomar. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu chats up with the actor in Mumbai
Your character in your upcoming film Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns has been given unconventional hues.
Absolutely so. Tigmanshu (Dhulia, director) was experimenting with me in this film. Instead of giving me the kind of lines we generally expect in films, he gave me different ones. It was something new for me. The interesting thing about my character (Indrajeet Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya) is that nobody knows where he is headed to, where he will show the hardness or softness of his character. I am really waiting to see the full film and find out how the audience reacts to him.
You are paired opposite Soha Ali Khan in the film. How was it working with her?
Soha is a fantastic actor. Just that, she should put on a little more weight.
Now that Hindi cinema is going global, what is that one thing Bollywood still lacks today?
I think we are in need good writers. They are a very important part of filmmaking. We have more good writers now than before, but we need more of them.
These days, a lot of films are adaptations of popular novels; even your film Life of Pi was one of them. Do you think films can do justice to the original novels?
See, both are completely different mediums, so differences are bound to happen. I remember, before the release of the film, somebody asked the writer of Life of Pi (Yann Martel) how he thought the film would be and whether it could do justice to the book or not. He said: "If the film is good I will say it is based on my book; if it's bad, I will say 'read the book'." So it's normal to have creative differences and when a book is going out to be made into a film, the writer should be ready for these things.
Since we talked about 'discovering self', writers and novels, have you ever tried your hand at penning your thoughts?
I can never become a writer because whenever I have tried to give words to my thoughts, they no longer remain my views, but become something else.
What is the importance of awards in your life?
That depends on an award's credibility. If it has credibility, the award matters to me, else not.
We hardly see you in romantic films. Do you prefer dark roles to romantic ones?
Honestly, I really wait for romantic roles. I have not done many of them, but I really want to do more of them. I believe nothing is more beautiful than loving someone ... nothing is more magical and mystical.
How romantic are you in real life?
I am very romantic in real life. Love is that road which can lead a man to God.
How will you describe yourself?
I am still in the process of discovering myself. These days, nobody is happy with himself, his job. It's very unfortunate to say that I hate my job. You have to discover yourself to say that you love your job. You have to discover yourself to know what you really need.