‘Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster Returns’: My character won`t call himself a `gangster`, says Irrfan Khan

By Ananya Bhattacharya | Last Updated: Mar 05, 2013, 09:17 AM IST

When it comes to acting, in the Hindi film industry, Irrfan Khan hardly has anybody who can come even remotely close to him. Be it a role as comic as that in ‘Life In A Metro’ or one as gray as that in ‘Haasil’ or one as steeped in reality as that in ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ – Irrfan Khan is an actor who has delivered, time and again, spectacular performances to say the least. His acting prowess has more recently taken him to the international circuit too. Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ saw the actor playing a pivotal role and his stint in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ was much appreciated.

With Tigmanshu Dhulia, Irrfan feels, he is able to deliver his best. They have worked in ‘Haasil’ and ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ earlier and have now come together, yet again, for ‘Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster Returns’. Says the actor, in an exclusive interview with Ananya Bhattacharya of Zeenews.com, “I was in love with ‘Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster’; and when Tigmanshu told me that he wanted me to work in the sequel, I was happy to accept it. In Hindi cinema, what we lack is layering. We have one-dimensional stories, one-dimensional characters and that is exactly what was not there in the first film. It was a much layered film. It is a pretty entertaining, engaging film. The love for that film made me take this one up.”

The actor will be seen performing the Gangster in ‘Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster Returns’. Talking about his role, Irrfan says, “Actually I explored the role while doing it. I didn’t go about preparing for it three months in advance. The story was already set; I had to find my own space. My only concern was that it shouldn’t give one an impression of my character in ‘Haasil’. There were areas where I could have gone that side. The character that I play is committed to his love. But on the way, he gets deviated here and there and that sets people wondering as to whether or not he is actually committed to his love. Unlike characters, who get revealed in the process of the story, mine is one who is a lot more than what can be revealed.”

Working with Tigmanshu Dhulia, Irrfan believes, is more to do with matching wavelengths than anything else. The actor reveals, “You want to work with directors with whom you can connect, with whom you can vibrate. If you find a resonance in them; that is all that really matters. I like the way he pushes me on.”

There was a Gangster in the first part, who is dead in the second. Someone else steps in his place and takes on the part of the Gangster. Speaking about his role, Irrfan says, “He won’t call himself a Gangster. He’s a prince who’s lost his empire, but the princess is left. He wants his empire back – that’s his basic agendum. He’s a Gangster because the name of the film designates him so. If you ask him, he’d beg to differ!”

With Mahi Gill, Soha Ali Khan and Jimmy Sheirgill, Irrfan admits to sharing a certain rapport. “We’ve all worked together earlier. All of us worked for the story. With Tigmanshu, it’s an assured fact that you’re not working for your own part, independent of the film. All of it was very smooth… without any hassle, without any anxiety. Tigmanshu wants behaviour, he wants attitude in the character. He’s very observant about everyone’s true behaviour and when an actor does that, he can sense that. That’s what gives one a kind of incentive or an inspiration to become true to oneself,” adds Irrfan.

‘Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster Returns’ hits the theatres on March 08, 2013. In addition to having let Irrfan explore a different dimension of his acting skills altogether, the film would probably be instrumental in catapulting him several notches higher than the space he currently inhabits. And with every single film of his, Irrfan makes it a point to prove that very aspect of his consummate acting skills – there’s hardly anyone better than him out there!