In conversation with Irrfan Khan:
When I spoke with Irrfan Khan, me in Srinagar and he somewhere on the highway between Mumbai and Pune, the conversation flowed organically. It picked up from his latest release Madaari to creativity, then discussing the unrest in Kashmir, to God and ended with how faith plays with people. In Madaari, he is at the receiving end of a man-made disaster that triggers some nasty repercussions. Inspired from real life incidents, the movie address the concerns of the common man. Excerpts from the interview:
When doing real-life cinema, does it matter that your stance matches that of the characters you play? Do you identify with these characters?
I think as an actor you must be able to convey the gravity of the situation—that is important. Whether you have the same perspective is not as essential. The objective is to convey what the story is trying to say, to recreate those experiences for the audience. So matching the stance sometimes does not matter, unless you are talking about an incident that shook people worldwide… something very well known.
What was the biggest challenge in playing this character?
The narrative of the story was very different from usual Bollywood movies. It has a structure which is quite unique. And also being a thriller with an emotional lacing, that combination was tricky. So putting it all in place, all these different elements—the emotion, the humour, the angst—bringing everything together was challenging for me. The purpose of a thriller is to thrill people, but in Madaari there was an emotional story running parallel to it. So combining all these elements was difficult. I think now we have to coin a new term for a movie that moves you emotionally and keeps you on the edge at the same time.
Read the actor's full interview on his latest movie in our all new Music issue that hits stands this week. Madaari releases across India this weekend.
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani
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