A New Gangster in the town

After the success of Life of Pi,Irrfan takes up another demanding role in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns.

Written by Alaka Sahani | Published: March 6, 2013 2:12 am

After the success of Life of Pi,Irrfan takes up another demanding role in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns.

Last week,actor Irrfan missed the celebrations that Life of Pi’s Oscar feat warranted — the movie won four awards,including Best Director. Though he was in India,the actor was closely following the film’s triumphs at the Oscar ceremony till director Ang Lee collected his trophy. “Had I been there,I would have loved and enjoyed the experience. But I have no regrets,” he says.

This,however,does not mean he is not relishing the cinematic high that Life of Pi has given him and his career. “I had never imagined that the movie would be such a huge hit. It’s my biggest commercial success so far,” he says. The movie that gave him wide exposure has also heightened the prospects of getting some interesting international projects. But he is not willing to share details yet. “It will take time to see how this movie benefits me in tangible terms,” he says.

Till that happens,Irrfan is ready to play other roles. Coming up next is Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns,written and directed by his long-time friend Tigmanshu Dhulia. The movie that releases on March 8 has Irrfan as the “gangster”. The actor,however,contradicts that. “Since ‘saheb’ and ‘biwi’ are already defined,the third person is the ‘gangster’. You can call me the ‘gangster’ but I won’t call myself one. I am basically playing this character’s love life on big screen. His agenda is to achieve his love and his throne and place that love on the throne,” he says. The promos show him getting intimate with Soha Ali Khan and Mahie Gill.

“The way the movie is written,” says Dhulia,“Irrfan has the most complicated character to play.” His actions are very unpredictable. He does not have too many punchlines and the characterisation gives more importance to his behaviour. The actor,who enjoyed the challenge of playing this role,says,“Tigmanshu keeps writing difficult roles for me.” Last year,along with Life of Pi,Dhulia’s Paan Singh Tomar — which had Irrfan in the title role — gave a significant boost to the actor’s career. In coming months,he will be seen in D-Day and two international collaborations titled Lunch Box and Kissa.

In spite of being largely considered to be an intense actor,he has done a good mix of roles. His choice of projects has largely been dictated by the kind of “kick” it promises. “While selecting a movie,I consider several factors—whether it carries a challenge that I have never faced before or is it going to revive me as an actor and so on,” he says. While signing on an Indian film,there are some added concerns. “One has to see whether the producer can do justice to the release. Money is another deciding factor,though that’s the last thing one considers,” he says.

After being in showbiz for nearly two decades,he does wish for a break from movies. “Once I am done with a movie,I wish to shut myself out. I have not been able to do that. Movies keep spilling over into my life,” he says. But then that does not seem to bother him much. “It’s a world of stories which you enjoy. You really don’t need to take a break from it. It’s not a mechanical job,” he concludes.

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