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Irrfan Khan was Zen-like while shooting for Angrezi Medium, says Dinesh Vijan

The Angrezi Medium producer and director Homi Adajania spoke to film critic Rajeev Masand about the recent release and how they worked around Khan during the shoot to make sure he was not tired.

Our Correspondent

Irrfan Khan returned to Hindi cinema yesterday with Angrezi Medium (2020). The actor was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour two years ago and has been in treatment since. In a video interview with film critic and anchor Rajeev Masand, director Homi Adajania and producer Dinesh Vijan discussed getting Khan on board and how zen he was during the process.

"I am also very impulsive, but there was [no] fear," Vijan told Masand, saying the journey changed them all. "I knew this film will get made with Irrfan."

Adajania said he was attracted to the film's bizarre story. "It’s got the comedy and the madness that I like to pursue. It’s got a beautiful soul and I said that to be able to do a comedy, which is as crazy as I am, and still ground it and anchor it with a heart, there is no way I am not doing that."

The film worked around Khan's diagnosis in shorter shifts to make sure the actor was not tired or inconvenienced.

With Adajania during the shooting

"We definitely were extremely sensitive towards Irrfan’s predicament. On good days we had a blast and even on bad days energy levels were high. But Irrfan will never tell you, you have to always be in tune with what’s going on," the director said.

When Masand asked if there was a very different Irrfan on the set, Vijan replied, "He felt so much of the character in a strange way. He was almost like Zen. Maybe the earlier Irrfan still had a little erratic nature."

"I think an actor draws from what they are going through in their life," said Adajania, "and somewhere his drawing brought out a very sensitive side which was so incredible for the character because he plays the child’s father, but more importantly the child’s mother and the child’s friend. And to be able to balance those layers effortlessly, with no false notes, it has to come from somewhere."

The interview ended with Masand asking Vijan if there was the possibility of yet another instalment in the series, as the producer has spoken about making Chinese Medium.

"Depends on my friend Irfan, if he wants to do it," Vijan said. "[The] idea is Chinese Medium because I went to China for my first film, Hindi Medium (2017), and was surprised to see how it was doing so well in China."

Angrezi Medium, also starring Radhika Madan and Deepak Dobriyal, is now playing in theatres.