New Delhi: Irrfan Khan seemed to be at ease with new found success of his film ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ at the Osian’s Cine Fan Film Festival here. Dressed casually in a white shirt and denims with sneakers, the actor looked a stark contrast from the role that he had essayed in the Tigmanshu Dhulia film in which he played a former athlete who turned into a dreaded bandit later.
The film, which was lauded by the audience as well as critics, was this year’s surprise hit. Ironically, the film was in cans for one and a half years as it was unable to find a distributor. But Irrfan is glad that the film released in a year when films based in small towns of India were doing well at the Box Office.
“The audience is changing every week. They like to watch new genres of films and that’s why ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ worked. I wish ‘Haasil’ had released now, it would have definitely done well.”
‘Haasil’ was Tigmanshu Dhulia’s first film which starred Irrfan as a local student union leader. Although the film did not fare well at the Box Office, it catapulted Irrfan’s career and got the actor meaty roles.
Director Tigmanshu Dhulia, who was also present at the film festival for an open house session admitted, “I may sound pompous here, but had there been no ‘Haasil’ ,there would have been no ‘Maqbool’. Vishal (Bhardwaj) saw ‘Haasil’ and decided to cast Irrfan for ‘Maqbool’.”
Speaking about his love for cinema, Irrfan candidly admitted that he hasn’t seen many of the classics. “I wasn’t allowed to watch films during my childhood. Just one odd film in a year would be allowed when my uncle used to come visit us. I was never interested in studies but I did my graduation to make my mother happy. When I joined NSD, I realised that acting was my true calling. I started watching movies quite late, during my college years.”
The versatile actor, who was last seen in a small role in ‘The Amazing Spider Man’, said he did not expect the role to have any kind of impact on the audience. “I never had any expectation from Spider Man. I was happy that the film was being made and I was offered to be a part of it. The director (Mark Webb) is a talented young man who had just made one movie before he was signed for Spider Man. I knew it would work well for Andrew Garfield. He is a very talented guy and I am glad people liked him.”
Khan, who will be next seen in Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’, said that the film was a difficult film to make as the book on which the movie is based on is a very intelligent book. “The film has been shot in 3D format and it isn’t easy to shoot in such format. But it is a well-made film and I hope people like it.”