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Journalism of Courage

When Imran Khan spoke about reviving grandfather Nasir Hussain’s legacy, but chose to quit Bollywood

Actor Imran Khan, who rose to fame with films like Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na and Delhi Belly, has quit Bollywood. He was last seen on screen in Katti Batti.

Imran KhanActor Imran Khan is grandson of late filmmaker Nasir Hussain. (Photo: Express Archive)

On former Bollywood actor Imran Khan’s birthday, we revisit his interview where he spoke about his dream to restore his grandfather and filmmaker Nasir Hussain’s legacy. Legendary late filmmaker Nasir Hussain, who passed away in 2002, was tagged as the trendsetter of Hindi cinema with films such as Caravan, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen and others to his credit. He also produced cult classics like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Khan spoke about how he wanted to revive Nasir Hussain’s production house. He said Nasir’s production banner has been silent since 2000. And after Nasir’s death, no one has been looking into production, including his uncle Mansoor Khan, who had directed Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander (1992) and Josh (2000).

“There was a time when it was considered a privilege to work in a Nasir Hussain movie. It has a legacy of rich films. I think it would be a tragedy to let it all slip away,” Imran said. He cited examples of how Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar have ‘remarkably carried forward their fathers’ legacies’ and expressed to do the same for his grandfather, saying, ‘What he has done for our family and the industry is immeasurable.’ But when asked why his uncle Mansoor Khan left Bollywood, Imran cited that he took to farming and ‘never seen him so happy.’

“He never thought about the industry so highly as to let himself be disillusioned by it. Every film he made was from the heart and today he has no more stories to tell. He has given up filmmaking and taken to farming, and trust me, I have never seen him so happy,” he continued.

Interestingly, after being a part of the industry for several years, Imran Khan chose to quit Bollywood. The news of him leaving the film industry was confirmed by his friend and actor Akshay Oberoi. Akshay, who has known Imran for almost two decades, had told Navbharat Times that Imran is ‘no longer an actor because he has quit acting.’ Oberoi said Khan might try his hands on filmmaking. However, that dream did not see the daylight.

Imran was first seen as a child artiste in his maternal uncle Aamir Khan’s films Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. He made his Bollywood debut as a lead actor with Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na (2008) opposite Genelia D’Souza. His last on-screen appearance was in 2015 release Katti Batti. In 2018, Imran debuted as a director with his short film Mission Mars: Keep Walking India. However, post that, he has remained away from the limelight.

In 2021, when his film Delhi Belly completed a decade of its release, indianexpress.com spoke to the film’s director Abhinay Deo. During the interaction, Deo mentioned how Imran was ‘one of the good and talented guys in the industry, whether on the camera or behind it.’

“I feel that Imran, potentially, is a person who should have got a lot more work done, and I say this particularly because I have interacted with him a lot, while we were doing this film. He is such a fine person, such an intelligent man, extremely well-read and well-informed. It is sad that we don’t see him enough, in stuff that we should have seen him in. I am saddened by it, but by the end of the day each person has their own graph in their own life and they go about it in a certain way,” the director said.

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On the personal front, Imran married Avantika Malik in 2011. The two have a daughter named Imara. In 2021, some reports suggested that the two have parted ways.

First published on: 13-01-2022 at 09:50:53 am
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