Irrfan bowled over by Uma Thurman

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By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 29 (IANS) While everyone is raving about Madhuri Dixit in her comeback film "Aaja Nachle", Irrfan Khan, who has a guest appearance in the film, is more excited about another diva he recently met - Uma Thurman.

Irrfan, currently on a US tour to promote "The Namesake" at the Oscars, had lunch with Uma in New York.He said, "Uma is a big admirer of Mira Nair's work. She had invited the whole team of 'The Namesake' for lunch. I'm not going to gush about Uma because nothing special happened between us at the restaurant. But, yes, the food was exquisite and I got to spend quality time with 'The Namesake' author Jhumpa Lahiri. She told me she's about to publish her next book."

Irrfan recalled how Mira insisted he meet Jhumpa's father before getting into the character.

"I wasn't convinced about my character's Bengali accent. I didn't think a Bengali guy would speak that way after living in the US for 30 years. But after meeting Jhumpa's dad I was convinced.

"I'm here in New York with Tabu, writer Sooni Taraporewala and Mira. Last fortnight we were in Los Angeles. I've realised creating hype around the film is very important. If we don't get noticed, how do we stand a chance at the Oscars?"

And what are Irrfan's chances at the Oscars? "Ha, that's like asking, 'Will this film run or not?' Nobody knows. But, yes, all of us in 'The Namesake' have received tremendous praise in the US. We had another screening Tuesday night. The audience was hypnotised."

About Madhuri's comeback vehicle, Irrfan said: "I wouldn't say I did the film for her. One does a film for the director, not any actor. In fact when the director Anil Mehta came to me I didn't even know Madhuri was to be in the film.

"I wasn't very convinced because it was just a guest appearance. But then it was a Yash Raj project and therefore a tempting offer. Once I worked with Madhuri, I realised she's very charming and talented."