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Irrfan Khan to work with filmmaker after 13 years

Irrfan Khan to work with filmmaker after 13 years

Within a year of graduating from Royal College of Art, British-Indian filmmaker Asif Kapadia flagged off his debut feature film with Irrfan Khan in the lead. 

The Warrior released in 2001 and went on to bag two BAFTAs, including the award for Best British film. It was also UK's entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars before being rejected on the grounds that it was a Hindi film, a language not indigenous to Britain. 
The film helped kick start Irrfan's now flourishing crossover career. And 13 years later the two are set to collaborate again. This time the actor and the director are working on a screen adaptation of Ethiopionborn doctor Abraham Verghese's 2009 novel Cutting For Stone, which revolves around a pair of conjoined twins, who abandoned by their father, grow up in the home of two Indian physicians, Kalpana Hemlatha and Abhi Ghosh. 

"This is a parallel track to the main story- a beautiful love story- and I've been approached to play the part of Ghosh," says Irrfan, adding that the screenplay has already been written. "The project has been delayed a bit as Asif has got busy with a docu. I'm really excited about it as only a seven-hour film can do justice to the book. I wouldn't mind even if it was turned into a TV series," says the actor. 

Asif, he adds, is working on a few other ideas too. "There is another book, Arvind Adiga's 2011 novel, Last Man in Tower, which I'd given Asif to read and he loved it. I'd want to play the part of Masterji, the lone crusader against a builder's plan to demolish an apartment block. May be we will meet when I am in Los Angeles," says the actor, who has flown off to the US for a month to shoot for Jurassic World in which he plays Patel, the billionaire owner of the new dino park. 

It's a pivotal part and he will return for a second schedule in July. Jurassic World is the fourth film in the popular franchise and Irrfan is hoping to go beyond mere action and big ticket entertainment to touch on more serious issues. 

"Jurassic Park spoke about how science could be both beneficial and destructive. The Amazing Spider-Man's tagline was 'With great power comes great responsibility'. It's too early to reflect on Jurassic World's core themes but I'm looking forward to working with Colin Trevorrow, who looks set to repackage the franchise," he says. 

So, has he met producer Steven Spielberg? "Not yet, but I'm eager to see how we connect. He's a master storyteller and one of the reasons I accepted Jurassic World. I didn't want to let go of the opportunity to do a Spielberg film," says Irrfan. 

Other than the chance to work with some of the biggest names in the world of entertainment, Hollywood's meticulous organisation provides him a welcome change from the chaos and spontaneity of Bollywood. 

"Even their lives are so structured out there. I am not a product of that system and if I plan my life for even the next two months, I feel claustrophobic. But it's good to work with filmmakers in the West, live a life where everything is compartmentalised, imbibe some of their discipline for a while and then return home to the same chaos," he smiles.

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