Ready with his second film Friday Night Plan, Babil recalls how mother Sutapa was Irrfan’s strongest critic
Fear is not a place Babil Khan operates from. He believes in surrendering to life. In that regard, he is the polar opposite of his character Sid from his next, Friday Night Plan. But embracing a character different from oneself is among the joys of acting. Babil, who debuted with Qala (2022), decodes his second venture, saying, “I allow life to influence my decisions, and think it will take care of me. But in Sid’s case, life betrays him. In such a case, the fear is so strong that you are governed by all the things that could go wrong [and make] 80 back-up plans. Since I couldn’t relate to that thought process, I tried finding a place within me that I am truly scared of.”
The late Irrfan Khan with wife Sutapa Sikdar. Pics/Instagram
Director Vatsal Neelakantan’s upcoming Netflix film revolves around two bickering brothers, essayed by Babil and Amrith Jayan, whose night out turns into a misadventure. The trailer shows Juhi Chawla as a disciplinarian mother to the two boys. To Babil, even that little nugget is divorced from his real life. “There is nothing hidden from each other at our home. You want to party? Go ahead,” he smiles, cherishing the atmosphere of honesty that producer-mother Sutapa Sikdar has built.
Asked if his brother Ayaan and he are scolded by their mother, the actor says, “We haven’t really troubled her, but she calls us namoona. She would even call Baba [the late Irrfan Khan] a namoona.”
Irrfan Khan and Sikdar were married for 25 years before he passed away in April 2020 due to cancer. With his demise, Indian cinema lost one of its finest actors, who had built a filmography that was at once awe-inspiring and unmatched. Visibly emotional about his parents’ love-filled relationship, Babil says Sikdar used to be Irrfan’s strongest critic. “He was a focused and fearless man. But I believe Baba wouldn’t have reached the level of artistic success if it wasn’t for Mumma. She is an excellent acting critic. I used to go to screenings with him where people wouldn’t stop raving about him, his eyes and talent. Then, we would reach home and Mumma would play the film and say, ‘Please sit, Irrfan. The decision you took in that scene is reflecting in another scene, and it’s not looking honest.’ She is a brilliant and intelligent woman, without whom Baba wouldn’t have been the actor he was.”