'For Shoojit Sircar, the story he wants to tell is more important. His choice of a subject in not based on viability of the film.'
'Amitabh Bachchan seems like an enthusiastic student who has just come out of an acting school and wants to explore.'
Irrfan Khan talks Piku and his Hollywood projects in the offing, Jurassic World and Tom Hanks starrer third Da Vinci Code movie Inferno with Rajul Hegde/Rediff.com.
Top image: Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan in Piku.
Irrfan Khan, who garnered much praise for his turn as the mysteriously ominous Roohdar in Vishal Bharadwaj's Haider, shares screen space with Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in Shoojit Sircar-directed Piku.
While the delightful first trailer shows him flirting seamlessly with his onscreen love interest played by Deepika (in the titular role), the underlying tension between his interactions with the Big B, who plays an ageing Bengali with irritable bowel syndrome, are exciting in their own right.
Talking about his new film, Irrfan reveals that he has immense respect for Sircar.
“If he had come to me with any other subject, I'd have been interested in it.
“I love the way he chooses his subject and conducts his own life. I like his integrity as a human being and as a director,” he says.
He also points out that after making a successful comedy like Vicky Donor, Sircar could have made more films in the same genre and made money.
“But for him the story he wants to tell is more important. He doesn’t choose the subject just for the viability of the film.”
The Namesake actor feels audiences are waiting for Bollywood to redefine itself.
“We desperately need the kind of writing Juhi Chaturvedi (Piku scriptwriter) is bringing to the Indian film industry.
“Audiences are waiting for Bollywood to redefine itself. And we should incorporate the intelligence of the audience.”
He adds, “I was working with all the actors for the first time, including Mr Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and Moushumi Chatterjee, so it was a great experience.”
He likes the idea of being Deepika Padukone’s love interest in the film as their love story features engaging moments and gestures.
“I was anxious how Deepika might approach the character and strike the chemistry -- a lot depends on the chemistry. Also, there is so much that is unsaid between the characters in the film.
“I was pleasantly surprised by her first reaction after our first shot.
“I could see the dedication in her to play the character. She is very excited about exploring her other side, which is more about character rather than just glamour.
“She wants to flourish as an actor. That’s very interesting.”
Since Deepika is a badminton player, they played a lot of badminton during the shoot.
“We wish to play a serious match some day. Let’s see when it happens.”
Despite its heavyweight cast, Irrfan feels that the star of the film is the story.
“Shoojit told us at the beginning that the story is the star of this film. It’s an ensemble cast which is going to make it happen. And that’s the power and the uniqueness of the story.”
He is all praises for Amitabh Bachchan and loved every moment of their scenes together.
“Outstanding! He is such a delight to work with. He seems like an enthusiastic student who has just come out of an acting school and wants to explore.
“He gives 200 per cent to his job and does it obediently. The director says it and he does it.”
After the much acclaimed The Lunchbox (which had a lot to do with good food), did he think a story on constipation (Piku’s tagline is ‘Motion Se Hi Emotion’) was well-timed for him?
“Constipation is just one aspect of the film,” he laughs. “Your connection is interesting, but it’s just the flavour of the film.”
Irrfan will be seen in the Hollywood film Inferno, directed by Ron Howard.
“I recently went to Budapest to prepare for Inferno. We did a look test, costume trials and reading.
“I also met Tom Hanks and the entire cast.
“We all had a great time discussing the script, talking about Life of Pi and The Amazing Spiderman.
“Tom is a wonderful actor and I am looking forward to working with him once the shooting starts in June,” Irrfan says.
Irrfan is looking forward to the release of his international film, the Colin Trevorrow-directed Jurassic World (as part of the Jurassic Park franchise) that opens in June.
“I am excited. The director is fantastic. He did his first film with $70,000 and the second film with $100 million. The transition is mind blowing.
“I play the role of the park’s CEO, Simon Masrani. It’s about the conflict between the morality of science and the human tendency to market it,” Irrfan said.