Tigmanshu Dhulia: Would've been tough to depict Irrfan Khan in his 20s

Updated: Jul 29, 2020, 08:08 IST | Uma Ramasubramanian | Mumbai

Stating that Irrfan Khan was the first choice for Yaara, director Tigmanshu Dhulia reveals why he had to zero in on younger actors.

Irrfan Khan
Irrfan Khan

They have made some memorable films together, including Paan Singh Tomar (2012) that helped Irrfan realise his long-cherished dream of winning the National Award. It is not surprising then that Tigmanshu Dhulia had originally envisioned his upcoming film, Yaara, with the late actor in the lead.

Tigmanshu Dhulia
Tigmanshu Dhulia

"When we were casting, I had approached Irrfan to play the role that has now been essayed by Vidyut [Jammwal]. Irrfan was excited when I narrated the script to him, but we couldn't take it forward," recounts Dhulia, whose directorial debut Haasil (2003) featured the actor.

The problem arose in the form of the script that narrates the story of four friends, who enter the world of organised crime, through four decades. "I had to show the characters' journeys from their early 20s to their 50s. We realised it would be impossible to depict Irrfan in his 20s. It is easy to make young actors look old, but doing the reverse is difficult," says the director, who then zeroed in on Jammwal, Amit Sadh, Vijay Varma and Kenny Basumatary.

A still from Yaara
A still from Yaara

Set to drop on ZEE5, Yaara is an official adaptation of the French movie, Les Lyonnais (2011). "I have never made remakes because I believe there is no dearth of good stories. But when I watched this film, I immediately fell in love with the story and decided to adapt it to the Indian setting." As he gears up for the movie's digital premiere, Dhulia feels that the transition to OTT platforms is advantageous to filmmakers. "We no longer have to stress about getting a certain number of screens, or box-office numbers. Viewers can watch the film any time they want, and movies, in turn, will enjoy a long shelf life."

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