Irrfan Khan talks about Slumdog Millionaire and experience of working with International Projects with Rajan Singh
A. R. Rahman is important not only for this film but he himself is a very important man. The way he connects with the masses with his music and the kind of level he has achieved is all very commendable. Its always a pleasure just to listen to his tunes. He has reached a position and now he is outgrowing himself again and again. The bhajan that he had composed for Lagaan was fabulous and it was so nice that till today I have still to listen to any bhajan better than it. He just enters you and Slumdog Millionaire is no exception. You try and see the film from anywhere, just about anywhere, and in flat 30 seconds you are a part of the film because of the fabulous music he has created for the film and the kind of visual you will get to see. He of course is very special.
Irrfan, how important is it for a film to garner awards?
Its not always the creativity factor which comes into play its also the market out there which compels it to strive for awards. You have to earn lots of money, and thats simply because a producer has invested lots of money into it. So awards play a very important role, its all about making the right noises. Somebody has said this that the more you make noise with your instrument; more people will hear and take notice of you. Sometime awards are recognition of your talent and sometime they are recognition of your efforts. Awards help the market, they help as excellent tools.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in Slumdog Millionaire?
For me the only interesting in the role was that I play a person whose mindset is so tiny that he just cant see beyond things. He is a Police Officer who is not much educated. He has a biased approach towards things and he is someone who believes in violence. So its such a character and the film also shows his transformation. It was a journey for him. In the film he realizes things which he has never realized before, and that was the most interesting aspect of the character.
Your birthday just passed by; did you wish for anything on that day?
I dont ask for any wish on my birthday. I keep asking for wishes every other day.
How important is this film for you in your filmi career?
For me it was the experience of working with Danny Boyle who has directed the film. As far as the audience is concerned its definitely an important film for them and thats so because they normally dont get to experience such a film on a regular basis. Its one film that has swept the whole globe and is being lapped up by everyone.
How is Dev Patel in the film?
Dev Patel is a fantastic actor and has done a fantastic job in the film and I wont be surprised if he goes on to win some big awards later on.
Slumdog Millionaire Music Launch
How was the whole experience of working with Anil Kapoor for the film?
It was an entirely different experience. When I had worked with him for the first time, it was a different experience altogether and when I worked with him for Slumdog Millionaire it was an entirely different experience quite a contrast to the first experience. We had worked together the last time in Chocolate and we argued most of the time as to whose is a bigger role in the film. All such things keep happening between us when we were shooting for Chocolate. But in this kind of films the character becomes very important. The story takes an important position and thus in such an ambience, working for such a film is always a fun. Anil is working in such short of a film for the first time and he was just not aware of the impact this film would make. I think its a great beginning for Anil Kapoor in the international circuit. On the very first day of my shoot for the film, I was supposed to shoot a scene with Anil Kapoor, but the scene later on was chopped from the film. The scene was brilliant and fantastic and it almost overpowered the whole film. This was an inside information which was revealed to me later on. Our first experience Chocolate was a horrible film. After the film got canned completely, I was talking to Anil and told him that its gonna be a great film and we should feel proud that we are part of it.
Working with Danny Boyle must have been some experience!
There are very few films, whose script when you read appeals to you instantly. You know this immediately that its a special film. And this was one of those films and there are only few films made across the globe that capture your heart like this one. I was fortunate to be a part of this film that I could share some time with Danny Boyle. Danny Boyle is a special man. And I have never seen such a kind of involvement ever from any director. Its difficult to define his involvement. The consistency Danny has showed all along through the shoot of the film was marvelous. I feel very fortunate to have worked with him.
Lastly, how is the whole experience of working in an international project? You have worked in so many till now.
The most special thing about international films is that the people involved with such films bring along a different world with them, be it people like Michael Winterbottom or Mira Nair. These people bring a different world with them and get completely immersed into it. One good thing about such films is that while shooting, you dont impose your personality on others; you get such an atmosphere where you discard your ego and become a part of the story. You get such a thing only when you are a part of any international project. Its always refreshing to forget yourself for a while and touch the hearts of others; you add something to your own life. And this is what which exactly happens with me. If I had not done Namesake, I dont think that I could have ever behaved or understood or emotionally connected with any such sort of person. In the absence of such an experience such a person will seem boring to you. I had expressed all my reservations to Danny in the beginning itself.
Thanks a lot.