"After 'Life Of Pi', a lot of people approached me to play the role of similar age bracket but I turned them down. I worry about getting bracketed in this space and hence I keep experimenting," Irrfan said. Irrfan has played older characters in movies like 'Namesake', 'Life of Pi' and in his upcoming film 'The Lunchbox'.
In Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' Irrfan played the role of adult Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi). In 'The Namesake' he essayed the role of Ashoke Ganguli, an immigrant from West Bengal. "I instantly said yes to 'The Lunchbox' as I loved the story.
But the only thing I did not like was that I was playing a character of an old age guy all over again. You really have to make yourself feel like an old man physically as well as mentally and it takes a lot to get out of such a mould," Irrfan said.
"When I played an old man in 'The Namesake', it was difficult to get that character out of my system," he said. When asked how he manages to breathe life into every character, he says, "I look for my personal entertainment within each character that I play. If a character engages me I try to put my best to engage the audience with it."
For his character of Saajan Fernandez in 'The Lunchbox', Irrfan modelled it (character) on his uncle who would change three transports to go to his office. "I used to observe how my uncle would face the peak hour rush. If you notice, the daily travellers bear the same expression," he said. Besides Irrfan, 'The Lunchbox' stars Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui and is directed by Ritesh Batra. It hits cinema houses on September 20 (in India).