Having nearly wrapped up work on two new Hindi films Megha Gulzar’s Talwar and Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa and also completed the shooting of a new Hollywood film Inferno with Tom Hanks, the very versatile Irrfan Khan is now on to one of the biggest challenges of his acting career.
Irrfan plays a pivotal role in a television series entitled The Tokyo Trials recreating the events and courtroom procedures during the Tokyo War Crimes Trial in 1946 when World War 2 criminals were put on trial.
Irrfan Khan plays one of the 11 judges at the trial. Shedding light on his role for the first time Irrfan says, “It’s a role that I know nothing about. It’s a real-life role of an Indian judge who presided at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial. This judge did not believe that putting individuals on trials for war crimes was a solution to eradicating war crimes. He wanted to go to the root of the crimes.”
Irrfan was deeply fascinated by the part. “I’ve read up a lot on him. He is a real-life character. But I don’t know how closely I can model my performance on the real guy. When Van Kilmer played Jim Morrison in The Doors he played the real man exactly the way he was. But Ben Kingsley played Gandhiji in his own way. Even my Paan Singh Tomar was not a replica.”
He leaves this week to shoot in Japan and then is likely to join Meghna Gulzar at The Toronto Film Festival in September for a screening of her film Talwar.
“So I am away from India for quite a while now,” smiles Irrfan as he gets packing for his long trip ahead.