Irrfan Khan opted out of the Ridley Scott sci-fi spectacle The Martian which recently released to raves. Says Irrfan, “Yes, I was offered The Martian. The director Ridley Scott and I met. I had a memorable conversation with him. What an inspiring man and talent. He is so many things at the same time and yet he told me he had seen my The Lunchbox. I asked him how he could find the time to see films after being a producer, director and so many other things. He said films like The Lunchbox were his bedtime stories. Can you believe it?”
Speaking of the role that was offered to him Irrfan Khan says, “It was that of a NASA scientist. While Matt Damon was in outer space my character was very much on earth. But meri baatein hawa mein ho rahi tthi (but I was talking in the air).”
Irrfan says this is not the first time he has been offered a role by Ridey Scott. “He had earlier offered me part in film with Russell Crowe which too I couldn’t do due to time constraints. Maybe I’ll be third time lucky.”
So why did Irrfan say no to Ridley Scott?
“For Piku,” comes the prompt reply. “I had committed my dates to Shoojit Sircar’s film, and no regrets about that. Piku is an important film in my career. For the first time I was seen in an overt romantic role. Not that I haven’t played romantic roles. I have, in Maqbool and The Lunchbox. But in these films I didn’t get a chance to romance my heroine with poetry and banter. Shoojit is a good filmmaker, and I’d love to work with him again. But more importantly, he is a wonderful human being.”
Irrfan Khan has no regrets about losing out on The Martian. “If I had done it I’d be at this moment running around promoting three films all over the world. If I had done The Martian that would’ve been another experience entirely.”