Irrfan Khan: The Man, The Dreamer, The Star
Widely regarded as one of the finest actors in contemporary cinema, Sahabzade Irrfan Ali Khan aka Irrfan Khan is known primarily for his work in Bollywood. In a career spanning over three decades, he has appeared in around a hundred films across all major film industries in the country, besides appearing in a number of Hollywood and other international productions. Consequently, Irrfan is easily one of the most well-known faces of Indian cinema, especially to the global audience. For his immense contributions to the field of arts, the Indian government honoured the celebrated actor with a Padma Shri in 2011. Besides this, he also has a National Award, four Filmfare Awards and several prestigious international honours to his credit.
Born in a Muslim family on 7th January 1967, Khan spent his childhood in Rajasthan. His father, late Jagirdar, ran a tire business and his mother, Sayeeda Begum, hailed from the Tonk Hakim family. While Khan was pursuing an MA degree in 1984, he earned a scholarship to study at the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi.
Irrfan Khan is married to Sutapa Sikdar, who is a writer and was his fellow graduate at NSD. The couple got married on 23rd February 1995 and they have two sons: Babil and Ayan.
After studying at the National School of Drama, Delhi, Khan moved to Mumbai and began his acting career with TV serials. He made his debut in a teleplay, Laal Ghaas Par Neele Ghode, which was adapted from a Russian play written by Mikhail Shatrov. he, later, went to be a part of a number of TV serials including Bharat Ek Khoj, Chandrakanta, Chanakya, Darr and Bhanvar. During the early days of his film career, Irrfan did quite a few offbeat projects such Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1990) and Such a Long Journey (1998). However, it was London-based director, Asif Kapadia` s movie, The Warrior (2001), that gained Irrfan Khan worldwide recognition post the release of the movie. Later, in 2003, Irrfan appeared in a short film, Road To Ladakh, which was received with positive reviews at many international festivals. In the same year, Irrfan starred in Maqbool, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. The movie was critically acclaimed and Irrfan`s performance was praised by the audience. In 2004, he won the Filmfare Best Villain Award for his role in the movie Haasil (2003).
A couple of years later, Irrfan`s first Bollywood lead role came with the movie, Rog (2005). Although movie failed at the box office, Irrfan`s performance was highly praised by the critics. After his break as a lead actor, Irrfan went on to appear in many movies either as lead or supporting actor or a villain. He further impressed the audience with another powerful performance in the movie like The Namesake (2006), Life in a …Metro (2007) and Oscar Award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008). In the same year, he was also part of `id – identity of the soul`, a performance art produced by Martin Rod. He featured as the narrator and toured worldwide.
Continuing to deliver hits, Irrfan appeared in movies such as Acid Factory (2009), and New York (2009). One of Irrfan`s career-best performances came with the biopic on the real-life athlete turned dacoit, Pan Singh Tomar, which received rave reviews from the critics and won him a National Film Award for Best Actor.
After being part of international movies such as A Mighty Heart (2007), and The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Irrfan portrayed the role of Dr. Rajit Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). He has also worked in the HBO television series, In Treatment.
In 2013, Irrfan starred in another critically acclaimed movie, The Lunchbox, (2013). The movie went on to win several international awards and Irrfan`s role as Saajan Fernandes, a widower, was applauded by the critics and audience alike. Then, in 2014, Irrfan was part of the movies Gunday (2014) and Haider, which were massive hits both commercially and critically. In 2015, he starred alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in the much-acclaimed movie Piku. The movie, directed by Shoojit Sircar was a big hit at the box office and went to win several awards. His next big hit was the Hollywood film Jurassic World, which also featured Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in the leading roles.
Further, Irrfan delivered a power-packed performance in Meghna Gulzar`s Talwar (2015).In 2016, Irrfan Khan starred in Nishikant Kamat`s Bollywood film Madaari and the Tom Hanks starrer Inferno. While Madaari was generally well-received, Inferno – the third installment in the Robert Langdon series – failed to make an impression both with the critics and the audience. The actor subsequently appeared in two light-hearted comedies: Hindi Medium (2017) and Qarib Qarib Singlle (2017), both of which opened to positive reviews and fared well at the box office.
In 2018, Irrfan was paired opposite Kelly Macdonald in the American drama film Puzzle, where he essayed the role of a reclusive competitive jigsaw puzzle solver. This was followed by the black comedy Blackmail (2018), where he portrayed a cuckolded husband on a quest for revenge. In the same year, Irrfan starred alongside Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar in the comedy-drama Karwaan, which was directed by Akarsh Khurana. His 2020 release includes Angrezi Medium.