Irrfan's 'The Namesake' director Mira Nair recalls meeting the actor for the last time in London, says 'he flirted with a waitress'


The passing away of Irrfan on Wednesday came across as a major shock to the Indian cine industry. The veteran actor aged 54 left behind an indelible mark and a legacy that can't be touched and matched. While Irrfan has given numerous memorable masterpieces, one of his classics is Mira Nair's The Namesake based on Jhumpa Lahiri's novel. The filmmaker, soon after the news of Irrfan's death broke out, penned a heartfelt tribute for the late legend. Mira, in conversation with an International publication, remembered the time she spent with Irrfan on the sets of The Namesake and off the sets too. 

Mira, in the interview, recalled the first time she noticed Irrfan at the National School of Drama while shooting for her maiden film Salaam Bombay. The filmmaker went on to gush about Irrfan's never-give-up attitude and said that he knew there is something special in him, sans the attitude and ego. Talking about the way he prepared for The Namesake, Mira informed that the actor picked up on the typical Bengali accent without dialect coach. She told that with the help of Jhumpa's librarian father and a Bengali caterer in their team, Irrfan got a hold of the accent required. Recalling the last time she met him in London more than a year ago, during his treatment, Mira revealed that Irrfan and she ate at a cafe where he ended up flirting with the waitress. Calling him 'shaukeen', Mira remembered Irrfan to be a person who loved life, family, food and clothes.  

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Irrfan breathed his last on Wednesday after battling a neuroendocrine tumour which was diagnosed in 2018. He was admitted to the hospital for a colon infection. He was buried by family members and a few industry friends at the Versova Kabristan. Irrfan is survived by his wife Sutapa Sikdar and sons Babil and Ayan.

(Source: The New York Times)