Irrfan Khan: Lesser-known facts about the late actor
Coming from a humble background and starting out small in the industry, Irrfan Khan defeated all odds to become one of the most loved actors in the country. An artist par excellence, the man just wanted to entertain his audience. He wasn't looking for stardom. Today, India grieves the loss of one of its finest artists. In his remembrance, here are some lesser-known facts about Irrfan.
Irrfan Khan's real name was Sahabzade Irfan Ali Khan. However, the actor admittedly did not like the length of his name, and therefore shortened it to Irrfan Khan. He added that extra 'R' to his name as he liked the sound of it. In movie credits and otherwise, he is often referred to, simply, as Irrfan.
It is said that Irrfan initially wanted to become a cricketer, however, his parents were not too keen about it. It was only after he earned a scholarship at the coveted National School of Drama (NSD) that he decided to pursue a career in acting. He made his humble movie debut as a letter writer in Mira Nair's Academy award-nominated classic film Salaam Bombay!.
When Irrfan first arrived in Mumbai, he took up a job as an air-conditioner repairman. Further, the story goes that one of the first houses that he visited as part of the job was that of late superstar Rajesh Khanna's.
Long before Irrfan garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of Simon Masrani, the owner of the Jurassic World in the 2015 movie by the same name, the actor admittedly shared a connection with the popular franchise. He had revealed that during his struggling days in the early 1990s, he had wished to watch the first Jurassic Park film, but did not have enough money.
Christopher Nolan's Interstellar went on to become one of the greatest science-fiction movies of all time. But guess who rejected a role in it? Irrfan had to turn down a crucial role in the movie due to prior commitment to other projects such as The Lunchbox and D-Day. He also rejected roles in other Hollywood movies such as The Martian and Body of Lies.
Irrfan was a lucky charm for the Oscars. Through his career, he starred in two Academy award-winning movies, viz. Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi. The landmark films collectively won as many as 12 Oscar awards. Rest in peace, Sir.