With his brilliant performances on the big screen, Irrfan has has become one of the bankable stars of Bollywoood but the actor says the journey to reach this stage has been long and challenging.
Irrfan, 48, made his debut with a small role in Mira Nair's 1988 National Award winning film 'Salaam Bombay'. It was, however, Tigmanshu Dhulia's 2003 cult film 'Haasill' which got Irrfan into limelight, earning him rave reviews for his negative role.
"Audience wasn't ready when 'Haasil' released. People still watch it and relate to the film, especially today's youngsters.
"But during that time audience wasn't prepared because they didn't have a place to watch these kind of films. Then multiplexes came and changed everything, pulling in the middle class crowd. 'Haasil' was ahead of its time... So we had to wait a long time to do our kind of work," he told reporters here.
Following his career defining 2003 film, Irrfan worked in movies like 'Maqbool', 'The Namesake' and 'Life in a Metro'.
The actor said when he entered the industry, the scenario was completely different.
"When I came to the Industry, I saw cinema being made only for front benchers, for one class and then it started changing. Today, audience wants to watch cinema of every kind.
Youth is changing bollywood. They've seen international cinema and they want our cinema to be commercial and yet tell the stories of society."
This year alone, Irrfan has starred in movies like drama comedy 'Piku', Hollywood blockbuster 'Jurassic World', murder mystery 'Talvar' and his upcoming Sanjay Gupta directed action drama 'Jazbaa'.
The actor credits the change in the audiences taste for giving him the leg room to experiment with different kinds of movies.
"People are not interested in watching a boring social film. They want to watch a film which reflects social issues yet entertains. Youth is very intelligent. They don't need to be spoon fed, they say 'don't consider us morons'. But we underestimate them."