Tom Hanks enjoyed being the "coolest guy" on the sets of Hollywood film Inferno. But it lasted only till actor Irrfan Khan walked in.
At a global media event organised to promote the 2016 film, Hanks had said, "Here's what I hate about Irrfan Khan... I always think I'm the coolest guy in the room, and everybody's hanging on to every word I say and everybody's a little intimidated to be in my presence. And then Irrfan Khan walks into the room. And he's the coolest guy in the room.
"And everybody's intimidated to be in his presence and everybody's hanging on to his every word."
In the film, based on the eponymous 2013 novel, Hanks reprised the role of Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology at Harvard University. Irrfan played Harry 'The Provost' Sims, head of The Consortium.
The film presented a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memory. They race across Europe and against the clock to foil a deadly global plot, and Irrfan joins their mission to save the world.
Hanks had asserted that the worst thing about Inferno was "that I am only in a couple of scenes with Irrfan. It was heartbreaking".
The two-time Oscar-winning star was impressed with Irrfan's acting skills, and had also found a way to ape his style.
Hanks said, "And as soon as I walked up to him I said, 'Irrfan Khan, I'm going to steal from you everything I possibly can. I'm going to start speaking very quietly in films. I'm going to wear very nice suits. And I will draw out the last sound of every sentence that I say.' And by doing that, I will be doing a very pale imitation of the coolest guy in the room."
Irrfan proved his mettle internationally in critically-acclaimed works like The Namesake, A Mighty Heart and Life of Pi, the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and the commercially successful The Amazing Spider-Man and Jurassic World. The actor passed away on April 29 in Mumbai after being taken to the hospital due to a colon infection. He was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018.
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