Internationally acclaimed Indian actor Irrfan Khan who grabbed headlines when he questioned the Ramadan fast and how Muslims had made a “mockery” of Muharram, says he believes that one’s work speaks louder than any buzz created in news.
The actor, who will soon be seen in “Madaari”, was asked during an appearance at the launch of Zee classic’s new show “India’s Finest Films” — for which the channel has acquired path-breaking movies from the National Film Development Corporation — about how much media limelight means to him.
He said: “Sometimes I do feel that being media savvy is important and I think media plays a vital role in shaping your perception, (in) both positive and negative ways.
“But I think the relationships that you maintain from your work matter more. Personally, I think your work speaks more than being in news or creating news does.”
Well known for his versatile and natural acting in movies like “Paan Singh Tomar” and “The Lunchbox”, Irrfan says acting caught his fancy when he was all of 15.
“Nobody from my family is particularly involved in acting. People around me used to tell me I am shy and I wanted to change that impression. I experimented with business for a while but I figured I wanted to do something else.
“I came across certain films where some actors were involved in what was termed as ‘parallel cinema’ and they were doing some amazing and completely new things. I was 15 at that time and I was floored by it, it was so fascinating! They were experiencing something completely beyond their own personalities. And I wanted to do that. That was the start,” he recounted.
Now he is one of the most formidable Indian actors, who has also featured in foreign movies like “Life of Pi” and “Jurassic World”, and stars with Tom Hanks in “Inferno”. One thing the actor is not worried about is competition.
“I have not thought a lot about competition in life. I have observed that in the film industry, people with varied talents come together and work towards a common goal – which is to make the story come alive on screen,” he said.
As for his own acting style, Irrfan said he always makes sure to “personalise the character, give the character something from my life”.
“It is the only way I can make the character my own. If I have my own story to tell, I have to add that to the director’s story without getting intrusive. I try to bring my own colours into the role without losing sight of the director’s palate,” he said, adding that he accepts only about five per cent of the scripts offered to him.
However, he feels “dedication should come naturally to an actor”.
“If the work is not worth your dedication, then you are not doing it right. I don’t force this dedication on me, but select roles that make me feel that way towards my work. And I don’t think anyone has to replace me.
“Everyone should make their own mark. I don’t believe in the concept of replacing people.”