Irrfan's ad equity shoots up.

Nov 20, 2007 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 21 (IANS) Irrfan Khan's price for an advertisement has shot up after his recent successes, "Life In A... Metro" and "The Namesake". And the big banners are queuing up too.

"I've done five ads for Hutch (now Vodafone) and this is my only endorsement. I didn't have to ask them to raise my fee. They did it on their own," Irrfan told IANS.

"I definitely feel that if any product or company is making money out of me, I should be paid accordingly. But I'm realistic about my fee. I'd never over-price myself," he added.

While the media has been accusing him of coveting only lead roles, he has recently done guest appearances in two films only because he believed in the director.

After a cameo in Wes Anderson's just-released "Darjeeling Limited", Irrfan will be seen in a brief but important guest appearance in Yash Raj Films' "Aaja Nachle", which is the comeback vehicle of Bollywood's dancing queen Madhuri Dixit.

"I play a single-minded businessman who doesn't have much respect for the fine arts and would happily sacrifice creativity for commerce. It's a small but significant part and I'm being billed as a guest. Hopefully, it would lead to bigger things with them," said Irrfan hopefully.

Apparently Irrfan is soon to be cast in a major role in a Yash Raj film.

"Well," he admitted reluctantly, "lots of things are happening after 'Metro' and 'The Namesake'. The big banners now have confidence in me."

In Rakesh Roshan's "Krazzy 4", Irrfan attempts comedy for the first time.

"Not quite the first time," he corrected. "I've done full-on comedy in Aditya Bhattacharya's 'Dubai Returned'. In 'Krazzy 4', the comic element comes out of honesty within the character.

"You know I try to find an element of humour in whatever I play. Realistic acting is otherwise boring. Even in 'Metro', I found occasions to introduce humour into my rather sad interactions with Konkona (Sen Sharma)," said Irrfan who shares a very special rapport with Konkona.

"She's very inspiring. Now I'm working with her in 'Right Ya Wrong'. It's easy for me to work with her because we're collaborative, not competitive. Acting has to be collaborative otherwise the film suffers. I love to see all my co-stars feel equally for the story. I am done with films where I survive with gimmickry.

"Even in a film like Pooja Bhatt's 'Rog', in which I had to fall in love with a woman in a photograph, I felt challenged. On the other hand some films where I've worked in an ensemble cast, I've just tried to draw attention to myself."

"Now I'm longing to work with Sriram Raghavan, Pradeep Sarkar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra."

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