Post his recent successes Irrfan Khan’s price for endorsing the Hutch cellphone has shot up. Says Irrfan, "I've done five ads for Hutch and this is my only endorsement. I didn't have to ask them to raise my fee. They did it on their own. I definitely feel that if any product or company is making money out of me I should be paid accordingly. But I'm realistic about my fee. I'd never over-price myself."
The talented Irrfan Khan's career seems to be caught in a curious cul de sac. On the one hand, media sources accuse him of coveting only lead roles. On the other hand, he has recently done guest appearances in two films only because he believed in the director. After a cameo in Wes Anderson's just-released Darjeeling Limited, Irrfan will be seen in a brief but important guest appearance in Yashraj Film’s Aaja Nachle. "I play a single-minded businessman who doesn't have much respect for the fine arts and would happily sacrifice creativity for commerce. It’s a small but significant part and I'm being billed as a guest. Hopefully, it would lead to bigger things with them," informs Irrfan.
This is evidently the actor's way of getting into the glam-league. He seems to be emulating what Lara Dutta had done. By putting in guest appearances in Yashraj's Fanaa recently, Lara landed up with a plum role in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Reportedly, Irrfan is soon to be cast in a major role in a Yashraj film. "Well," he admits reluctantly, "Lots of things are happening after Metro and The Namesake. The big banners now have confidence in me."
In Rakesh Roshan's Krazzy 4, Irrfan attempts comedy for the first time. "Not quite the first time," he corrects the assumption. "I've done full-on comedy in Aditya Bhattacharya's Dubai Returned. In Krazzy 4 the comic element comes out of honesty within the character. You know I try to find an element of humour in whatever I play. Realistic acting is otherwise boring. Even in Metro I found occasions to introduce humour into my rather sad interactions with Konkona."
He says he shares a very special rapport with Konkona. "She's very inspiring. Now I'm working with her in Right Ya Wrong …It's easy for me to work with her because we're collaborative, not competitive. Acting has to be collaborative, otherwise the film suffers. I love to see all my co-stars feel equally for the story. I am done with films where I survive with gimmickry. Even in a film like Pooja Bhatt's Rog where I had to fall in love with a woman in a photograph I felt challenged. On the other hand, some films where I've worked in an ensemble cast where I've just tried to draw attention to myself."
Currently, Irrfan is in the process of completing two ensemble films Krazzy Four and Sunday. "Now I’m longing to work with Sriram Raghavan, Pradeep Sarkar and Rakeysh Mehra."