Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri is extremely saddened by the demise of his ‘first friend in Bollywood’, Irrfan Khan. He speaks at length and recalls the good old days when they shot together for Vivek's debut film, Chocolate.
Says Vivek, “All of us understand the meaning of the first thing in your life; the first love, the first job, the first salary. Similarly for me, my first film was Chocolate. The first actor I signed was Irrfan Khan. My first friend in Bollywood was Irrfan Khan. When I had signed him for Chocolate, at that time he wasn't a film star, he did some small roles in films here and there, but primarily, he was a TV actor. And when I told my producer that he is the person I want to sign first for the main role and actors like Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty will do the other roles, the producer couldn't believe it but I said 'If I have to do this film, then he is the only person who can do this role.' So, I took him for that role. And I didn't know that for the next 6-7 months that we shot the film, I would end up spending the maximum time with him.”
Oh my dear friend @irrfank, why?— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) April 29, 2020
I was waiting for your best take. But you fought like a real hero.
My prayers for Sutapa and family.
Rest in peace, my friend.
He added, “Our rooms were next to each other. We were staying in the same hotel. And Irrfan Khan had little issues with bigger stars as he used to feel that they get more attention than the real great actors, so I used to spend all my time with him to make him feel comfortable. Aur shaam ko packup ke baad, Irrfan ko shauk tha raat bhar gappe maarne ka and we used to talk till 5-6 in the morning. I think I have had the best creative discussions and the best time of my life working with Irrfan for the reason that Irrfan never ever repeated his take.”
Vivek also recalled an interesting conversation between Anil Kapoor and Irrfan. "I remember specifically, when we were shooting for a scene with Anil Kapoor and he said ‘Let’s rehearse and then Irrfan said a dialogue. Anil said 'Cut!' I said ‘Kya hua Sir? He said ‘Isko pata nahi, rehearsal nahi chal raha, take kar rahe hai.’ Irrfan said ‘Haan pata hai, take chal raha hai. So Anil said ‘Toh dialogue bolna’. He said 'Aise hi bolunga dialogue'. Because in those days, logon ko pata nahi tha that in feature films, you can say dialogues so casually. And that scene turned out to be wonderful.
And second thing I remember, Irrfan had to come to India for some emergency situation and he was there just for 2 days. He shot with us through the entire night and took a flight straight to India, quickly wrapped up his work, returned with the next flight and straight from the airport he came and shot with me for 12 hours. That was his passion and dedication. Also, what was a problem for many actors with Irrfan, became an asset for me, that Irrfan kept so quiet, nobody knew kya ho raha hai. Uski bas aankhein chalti rehti thi. He would observe. And jaise hi aap Action bole, Irrfan ekdam se character mein ghus jaata tha. He used to live his life. There will be nobody like Irrfan Khan in the industry. There is no parallel to him and he will keep inspiring millions of young actors for a long time.”
Irrfan Khan breathed his last on April 29, 2020 at Kokilaben Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, where he was admitted for a colon infection. The actor fought a long battle with neuroendocrine tumour, which was detected in the year 2018.
Image Source:- Instagram/anilskapoor/irrfan/vivekagnihotri
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