Irrfan: As a character actor you don't count in Bollywood
The 46-year-old actor feels that Hollywood is expanding its market.
New Delhi: Irrfan Khan, who has been to the Oscar red carpet twice in five years for 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'Life of Pi', believes it is a good time for Indian actors to work in Hollywood as the country is in fashion there.
The 46-year-old's recent Hollywood venture 'Life of Pi' won multiple Oscars including the best director trophy and Irrfan feels that Hollywood is expanding its market.
"Hollywood is the biggest market. They know how to expand it and they have been doing it for years now... Spain was in fashion so they had actors from Spain after that China came... They are trying to see different possibilities, they want to go beyond... they want to give variety to the audience.
"India is the biggest market... India is in fashion now. They are looking for possibilities, there will be lot many films which will be made in India, story will be based in India and actors will be from India," Irrfan said at the India
Today Conclave 2013.
The actor, who is famous for his out-of-the box roles in movies like 'Paan Singh Tomar' and recently released 'Sahib Biwi Aur Gangster Returns', said he did not mind playing character roles but such roles are not counted worthy enough in Bollywood.
"As a character actor you don't count in Bollywood. You are just there to prop the protagonist. Here, being a character actor is no fun, since you are worth nothing. But in Hollywood as a character actor also you have an existence, you
are an equal part of the story," he added.
While addressing the session 'Global Indian Icon: India ignores till the world applauds?', Irrfan said he never felt sidelined in the industry ever and blames himself for not trying to fit in.
"It wasn't that India didn't applaud. India wasn't the problem, I was. In my case the problem was the kind of work that I wanted to do. The issue was unless and until my films made money, they wouldn't be picked anywhere let alone in the
West. The difference is that now there is marketing and hence films make more money."
Irrfan says he likes to make his own path in the industry rather than being a part of something that has already been made. "I want to walk on my path and whenever you walk on your own path, it is going to be difficult. But I also realise your films have to make money for you to be able to work your own
Irrfan started his acting journey with a brief but impressive role in Mira Nair's debut film 'Salaam Bombay' but it was Tigmanshu Dhulia's 'Haasil' in 2003 that first got him noticed in Bollywood. He was noticed globally for his powerful performance in British film 'The Warrior' in 2001.
His international projects include Angelina Jolie starrer 'A Mighty Heart', 'The Namesake', 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'New York I Love You', 'The Amazing Spider-Man' and 'Life of Pi' besides a TV show called 'In Treatment'.