Ritesh Batra, Mindy Kaling, Kal Penn Lead Hollywood In Paying Tribute To Irrfan Khan

When I had to edit out a few of his scenes from Salaam Bombay, I walked up to him and said that I was sorry. He had tears in his eyes, it was his first big break and it seemed like it wasn’t going to materialize.

Ritesh Batra, Mindy Kaling, Kal Penn Lead Hollywood In Paying Tribute To Irrfan Khan
Ritesh Batra, Mindy Kaling, Kal Penn Lead Hollywood In Paying Tribute To Irrfan Khan

Directors Mira Nair, Ritesh Batra, Colin Trevorrow and Ava Duvernay and actors Kal Penn, Mindy Kaling and Freida Pinto led Hollywood in paying tribute to actor Irrfan Khan who died in Mumbai on Wednesday. He was 53.

Batra, who directed Khan in The Lunchbox, said “the light in our lives is gone”.

Freida Pinto, who worked with Khan in Slumdog Millionaire. wrote: “A VOID that can NEVER be filled because there was simply no one like Irrfan Khan. His grace and dignity along with his monumental talent as an artist, actor – a portrayer of humanity in all it’s shapes and forms made me not only have deep admiration for him but I instinctively wanted to emulate that grace in my career as well.”

 

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This one has hit me hard. A VOID that can NEVER be filled because there was simply no one like Irrfan Khan. His grace and dignity along with his monumental talent as an artist, actor – a portrayer of humanity in all it’s shapes and forms made me not only have deep admiration for him but I instinctively wanted to emulate that grace in my career as well. . . There is a picture from the SAG awards( Irrfan, Dev, me and Anil) that sits on my book shelf in Mumbai and everytime I look at it, I am taken down a memory lane of all things so beautiful and joyous about Slumdog Millionaire and the awards celebrations. And in all of it I have this one beautiful and powerful memory of Irrfan – Unfazed by the glitzy glamour, no matter which Hollywood icon walked past us. Quiet but not silent- his responses to every interviewer were so meaningful and never lacking humour. He was representing India with achingly high levels of grace and dignity. He stood grounded in reality on every world stage, every red carpet- Grateful and so collected! How lucky was I, a complete little mess of a newbie, to have him as a role model! . . For those who know of his talent, you know it cannot be replaced. For those who have not yet been introduced to his talent…Oh, do not deprive yourselves please! His repertoire has something for everyone. Warrior, Namesake, Piku, Maqbool, Life of Pi, The Lunchbox, Paan Singh Tomar and ofcourse Slumdog Millionaire. Start somewhere, anywhere! I promise you…Irrfan Khan will be FOREVER carved in your memories too!

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Actor Kal Penn who worked with Khan in Mira Nair’s The Namesake said “Irrfan’s art and humanity will be badly missed.”

Director Mira Nair told Divya Unny for Open Magazine:

“I remember this scrawny young boy auditioning for me during Salaam Bombay (1988). He was unassuming, almost unaware of the fact that he was performing. He had this unique ability to just embody the environment he was part of, so much so that you would not notice him on set, unless you were really looking for him.

When I had to edit out a few of his scenes from Salaam Bombay, I walked up to him and said that I was sorry. He had tears in his eyes, it was his first big break and it seemed like it wasn’t going to materialize.

When the film was out, he called me and cried once again, and this time it was out of joy. We did The Namesake after that, and I will never ever forget the moments I spent with him. He made me and my stories better, and there will be nobody like him.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, called Khan an “incredible talent”.

Colin Trevorrow who worked with Khan in Jurassic World recalled the last correspondence he had with the actor.

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