Director Ali Abbas Zafar says Irrfan Khan played an important role in his career when he worked with the actor on his 2014 directorial “Gunday”.
The 54-year-old actor lost his battle with a rare form of cancer and died in a Mumbai hospital on Wednesday. He was buried at the Versova graveyard in the afternoon.
The movie was the second directorial project of Ali’s career after his 2011 debut “Mere Brother Ki Dulhan”. Besides Irrfan, the film also featured Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor.
The director said the film was a learning experience for him as he got to work with the National Award-winning actor.
“I have been fortunate to have worked with a wide range of actors and Irrfan is phenomenal, I can’t say he was. While shooting for Gunday’ I would often tell him, I can’t take my eyes off your eyes. He had such expressive big eyes we would joke about how big they are for the camera.
“I remember he had said, less is more on camera the more restrained you are the better.’ He is a brilliant actor and he made everything look so convincing. I worked with him when I was fairly young, it was my second film. All this has stayed with me, Ali told PTI.
The director, who later collaborated with superstar Salman Khan on three back-to-back films, said Irrfan would often tease him to write something interesting for him too.
“Even after Gunday’ we would talk over phone often and he would tell me, write something for me also, now that you have Salman Khan don’t forget me, write for me,” Ali said.
The “Tiger Zinda Hai” director said after he learnt about Irrfan being diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour, he would message him regularly to check on his health.
“It is quite sad and it happened all of a sudden. It is a great loss for the film fraternity not only in India but internationally. We will miss him. He has gone too soon. I had a great time working with him. He was a great guy, with a great sense of humour, loved stories, food, we had some great conversations.