'The past two years have been dramatic, rather then traumatic.'
'I had bigger challenges that I have ever faced.'
After undergoing treatment for cancer, Irrfan returns to the movies with Angrezi Medium.
Directed by Homi Adajania, the film is a tender take on a father-daughter relationship, where the former does everything he can and more to fulfill his daughter's dreams.
"I don't think it was easy to perform," Irrfan tells Rediff.com Contributor Subhash K Jha, and explains why.
The audience will get to see you in the film that you shot after your illness. What are your thoughts on this?
I'm happy to be back to tell another story.
Stories well told have always been my weakness.
Homi Adajania is an unusual story-teller. He is quirky and has an unusual sense of rhythm.
I am happy I am reconnecting with my audience with this story.
What was it like shooting for Angrezi Medium? Was it different from the way you shot your films earlier?
It was an extraordinary time for me.
I have shot in Rajasthan before, but essentially, it was the landscape earlier.
In this film, it was more of the people's heartbeat.
In Asif Kapadia's Warrior, I shot in extreme weather, but in the same country, for Angrezi Medium, it was a different continent.
Irrfan, the past two years have been traumatic for you and your family. What has been your biggest takeaway from this experience?
The past two years have been dramatic, rather then traumatic.
I had bigger challenges that I have ever faced.
But I realised the bigger the challenges, life exposes you to the limitlessness of your capacity to endure them.
You just need to learn to hear yourself, your body and your mind.
You spent nearly a year away from home, getting your medical procedure done. During this period, what kept you going?
It (the illness) was overwhelming with its suddenness, but then you form a rhythm and delete things irrelevant to you.
The definition of necessary changes, evolves.
Irrfan, you were always a compassionate human being. How has your 'unwellness' changed your attitude towards family, friends and colleagues?
It has changed my attitude towards myself.
Most of the time you are not tuned to yourself, whether you are well or not.
Everyone needs healing.
We don't do it because we are not clinically ill.
In Angrezi Medium, you play a simple, down-to-earth man who craves for nothing more than his daughter's education. Did you enjoy the simplicity of your character after all the complex characters you have played in recent times?
It is very difficult to play a simple man in today's times, especially if you stay a city.
The humour, the fun, the non-cultivated passion... I don't think it was easy to perform.
What do we see in next?
I haven't seen myself in the next as yet.