It has been established beyond doubt that Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor are pretty much a ‘Jai-Veeru’ pair for ‘Gunday’. However, in a story with such characters, there is bound to be a ‘Gabbar’. In this Aditya Chopra production, the baton is held by Irrfan Khan.
“However, the idea was to make this Gabbar look decidedly different from that one would presume in a film titled ‘Gunday’,” says a source, “For starters, Irrfan had to come out of his realistic zone. You know, the kind that he has perfected so very well, as recently as in films like ‘The Lunchbox’ and ‘Life of Pi’. Instead, he had to get into an out and out commercial zone where despite being an antagonist, he had to be nothing short of a hero.”
This is the reason why a complete makeover was planned for Irrfan so that he was not just presented in a lot more stylish manner, but also came up with a performance that came with a mix of class as well as mass.
Says director Ali Abbas Zafar, who is himself making a transition from a frothy ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’ to an action drama ‘Gunday’, “The idea was to make Irrfan come across as a lot more massy by being flamboyant and mainstream. This is reflected in his dialogue delivery as well. See, he has been so strong in realistic cinema and in ‘Gunday’, I wanted him to come across as a lot more heroic and stylised.”
Irrfan was cool about the idea as well. “Well, all of us are Gunday in the film. If Ranveer and Arjun are the ones who consider them as one, then I am not behind either. I am a ‘gunda’ for them and in my own way,” he chuckles.
Ali is happy that Irrfan, who had earlier acted in another Yash Raj film New York, chose to pick up his next with the production house with him as a director. “I am fortunate that Irrfan liked the script and he did it. Because of him, Ranveer and Arjun are looking much stronger. Wasn’t it the same when Gabbar made Jai and Veeru look better in ‘Sholay’?”