Babil Khan: ‘Baba would have been happy watching Qala… and would’ve then said, let’s get back to work’ – The Indian Express
Ahead of the release of his debut film Qala, Babil Khan opens up about his intense preparation for the role of a vocalist and the inevitable comparison with his father, Irrfan Khan
Babil Khan had to undergo an intense and immersive process to essay the role of a young vocalist in Anvita Dutt-directed Qala, set in pre-Independence India, that is scheduled to release on Netflix on December 1.
After the initial readings, he was not allowed to go through changes to the script.
At 24, Babil has the disarming candour of a newcomer savouring the magic of the silver screen even as he tries to find his feet in the industry.
He speaks animatedly and his answers are unrehearsed and expressions unfiltered.
“While doing Qala, I could feel all my anxieties rushing in when I faced the camera for the first time.” Dutt, who has also written Qala, stepped in.
That’s part of the journey — to accept, surrender, and let go of your art and craft,” he says..
Son of actors Irrfan Khan and Sutapa Sikdar, both National Drama School (NSD) graduates, Khan sounds thoughtful and pragmatic as he talks about the inevitable comparison with his legendary father that will follow the film’s release.
It’s part of my journey to be compared to their legacy.”.
When Babil bagged the role of Jagan, he was still trying to come to terms with the loss of his father, who passed away on April 29, 2020.
Two months later, Babil dropped out of his degree course in films under the University of Westminster to act in Qala.
“I was afraid that he would be unnecessarily judged for being Irrfan’s son.
I was also not sure if he was prepared, so soon after Irrfan left us,” says Sikdar..
The timing of Babil’s decision aside, it was a no-brainer why he chose acting.
That happened on stage when I was in Class VIII and acted in a play called The Comedy of Errors.
I didn’t know then it’s called acting.
I just knew that whatever was that feeling, I wanted to explore that,” says Babil, who is also passionate about music and writing..
After Babil’s stage appearance ignited his desire to act, Irrfan kept feeding him “life lessons” integral to an actor’s journey.
Still, Irrfan had his concerns.
It’s not just about how to train your body, but also your being,” Babil recalls Irrfan telling him..
Everyone is not Irrfan Khan to be able to protect it.
Babil is a very sensitive soul.
To become an actor in today’s time especially is more of a sum total of public perception — how many Instagram followers one has, for instance,” she says.
In an old post addressed to Babil, Sikdar, who has been the family’s anchor, had written, “You can never hurry your father’s legacy.” Sikdar says: “His father’s legacy is not only about acting.
My advice (to Babil) is to be patient and let his craft flower and not get trapped in perception and projects.”.
With Qala, Babil — who counts among his inspirations his father, Christian Bale, Marlon Brando and Dilip Kumar — is already following a path unusual for Hindi cinema.
Babil, though cast in a crucial role, is not the protagonist.
He didn’t restrict the freedom of the child’s soul,” says Babil, iterating that Irrfan and he were “best friends”..
Babil’s social media posts after Irrfan’s demise – personal, raw and emotional – were an attempt to show this unique facet of Irrfan’s persona.
After he passed away, it was important for me to keep him alive and share with his fans things that they can cherish.”.
How would have Irrfan reacted had he watched Qala?
Then, he would have said: ‘Now, let’s get back to work’,” says Babil, who will be seen in the YRF’s web-series The Railway Man after this as well as in a Shoojit Sircar movie.
Make me perform.
I will do it,” he says..
Read Article: The Indian Express