HBO, Meet India’s Best Actor

Irrfan Khan. Photo by Yakub Merchant.

Charming, quietly powerful, confident but not cocky. The kind of man who pours his own drinks and rolls his own cigarettes. The kind of man who delivers stellar performances in Bollywood, Hollywood and now in an acclaimed HBO series with Gabriel Byrne.

Meet Irrfan Khan.

It’s likely you’ve already made his acquaintance – the interrogator in Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, a Pakistani police captain in A Mighty Heart, the immigrant father in The Namesake, and the thinking man’s actor in countless Hindi movies.

Khan has quietly done what others strive to do; cross seamlessly from Hindi cinema into Hollywood and back again without pause. He brings a tenderness and depth to every character he plays layering emotion beneath his measured delivery and striking gaze. (Cue women swooning.)

When we met him, he was in New York to film HBO’s award winning series In Treatment, in which he has a recurring role starting October 25th.

As he rolled his own cigarette  – yes, it’s true – he waxed eloquent about his upcoming Hindi film, Paan Singh Tomar and  his new role in In Treatment, where he plays a Bengali Math professor whose wife has recently died.

Paan Singh Tomar, A Hindi action movie based on the true story of a national medalist turned bandit and In Treatment, a serious American series about a psychiatrist and his patients – almost opposite roles, yet Khan spoke about them with equal delight. For him, both projects are “an effort to engage with people’s hearts.”

For us, it means we get to see more of the man many are calling India’s best actor. Keep it up Mr. Khan. Bollywood or Hollywood, big screen or small, we can’t get enough of you.

RoB Essentials:

HBO’s In Treatment season 3 premieres on October 25. More about Irrfan Khan’s character Sunil.

Paan Singh Tomar makes its world premiere at the London Film Festival next week. In the U.S. you can catch it on October 31, 2010 as the centerpiece film at the South Asian International Film Festival in NY. The film opens worldwide in theaters in 2011.

Time Magazine tells us how Irrfan Khan is “Keeping it Real

A glimpse of In Treatment season 3

A look behind the scenes of In Treatment

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