“Irrfan taught me to become more instinctive director”: When Nikkhil Advani opened up about working with the great actor
Nikkhil Advani directed Irrfan in D-Day
Every time I talk about the opportunity of working in this industry with great actors the first name that comes to my lips is always Irrfan Khan.
He is a director’s actor but he is also a consummate actor. If he has chosen the script, he knows his character, its graph, and where he is taking it to. He knows what he is doing. I can talk a lot about Irrfan Khan. The way I direct today is because of Irrfan Khan. He taught me to become more instinctive director and not be somebody who was all the time like an assistant director who is only interested in doing his homework and prep. He said try and be more instinctive and more spontaneous. Today the way I approach scenes and staging and the way I approach my conversations with actors is all thanks to my experience of having directed Irrfan.
How did he stand out from the rest?
He dominates the frame. In the sense, even if there are 100 people in the frame your eyes will always go to him. That kind of screen presence is very rare in actors. He has that. Considering that he is not conventionally good looking but he still has that huge amount of screen presence and charisma. Your eyes just gravitate towards him.
You worked with other actors too. Did you feel any sense of insecurity between them on the sets?
No. Irrfan had reached the stage as an actor and performer both in terms of national and international recognition. And he is someone who doesn’t play any games. His craft and talent speaks for himself. So, there is no question of any kind of insecurity
This is an excerpt from our special May 2020 issue on Rishi Kapoor and Irrfan Khan. Please click on this link https://
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