The smile is the same, as is the fiery intensity in the eyes. But 24-year-old Babil Khan is adamant on brushing off all comparisons made to his father Irrfan Khan.
For starters, he’s far more likely to flash a wry smile than his thoughtful father. His fashion-forward sensibility exceeds his father’s imagination.
Is Babil Khan’s strong personal identity just another star kid’s way of grappling with the questions that come with privilege?
Babil made his debut in Bulbul director Anvita Dutt’s psychological drama, black, which will release on Netflix next month. Unlike regular star kids, he is not being launched by a major studio with much fanfare, nor is he a hero in his debut film.
When asked why, she shrugged, “I don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care. I really love acting. Words like ‘debut’ and ‘launch’ never interest me.” I really don’t believe they make the person bigger than the story being told, which I don’t think is true. If I wasn’t Irrfan Khan’s son, nobody would care about my debut, and I feel That is the way it should be. The joy of being recognized by one’s work is far greater than that of inherited recognition.”
Babil Khan’s wise words may have the ability to silence even the stiffest fingers, but we are yet to test the young man.
An interview you gave to a magazine earlier this year indicated that your father may be an absentee parent. You talked about a play he didn’t attend…
Babil answers the question like a professional. “He was a very busy man,” he says. “He would film a lot and I would visit him. Yeah, he didn’t show up for the 8th grade performance. He didn’t show up for any school events or PTMs, he couldn’t remember any of our birthdays, but just It was like that. If I had to look deep within myself to see why it hurt at the time, I would say it was just a social convention that I was subconsciously afraid of not fitting in. It was just because Because everyone else out there had a father, so why not me? These are primitive survivalist insecurities of the mind; if I look at those desires instead of being blown out of proportion in my mind, they lose all their significance. Therefore, Other than the show he didn’t show up for, it didn’t really impress me that he wouldn’t do these things, because our bond was incredibly solid. Our relationship wasn’t like a father-son relationship; some degree of openness. And there was a comfort that I don’t think you can achieve by following traditions. He was my best friend in the world and we went through a lot together. He laughed so much, I don’t remember the last time I laughed like I used to laugh with him. Our bond will make up for all of his absence.
in his own words
it was in an eighth grade performance of Shakespeare comedy of errors That young Babil Khan knew early on that he wanted to be an actor. That was the exact moment he forgot his lines!
“I think we did a good job with the play,” says Babil. “Everyone was loving Shakespeare’s language like how it should be done, but I also clearly remember that the audience was bored. The funniest thing was watching Shakespeare ruin the lives of 8th graders on stage.” Wasn’t
“Then, it so happened that I went back on stage and forgot all my lines as we got closer to the second half of the play,” Babil continues. “So, I started improvising… in Hindi! The moment this happened, the audience burst into laughter. That feeling of being fearless in a state of surrender, and then the reaction of my audience, that moment was pure magic for me.
a worthy man
Babil may have got this hobby of acting on his own, but he definitely knows that words like ‘privilege’ and ‘nepotism’ are going to be thrown at him.
“I think it’s important to be aware of your privilege; That is the first step. If you’re aware, you can be grateful for it, and if you’re grateful, you automatically don’t take your opportunities for granted,” says Babil, who is many years older than he is. In the world of cinema, artistes and audiences, we are like a family; it is a collective development and this relationship is sacred to me. It is extremely important for me to consider that my existence, my work and my journey do not affect the feelings of others. how they are affecting me. I have grown with great kindness to respect the way I make someone else feel. So, if my travel situation makes another feel that there is something unfair about it So it becomes my responsibility to make sure that I prove to them that I deserve to be there; through hard work and humility.
Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan said in an interview that he would not like to be an actor as comparisons would be crushing. As he is in person, isn’t Babil afraid of him?
“I like this [acting] Too much!” he says. “The question for me was always whether I love acting enough to tackle everything else, and I do. When I’m following my passion I’m also Don’t think so. The comparisons will always be heavy because I am 24 and it will take me a long time to become an artist like my father, but I believe I have the right genetics, upbringing, talent and attitude to become something. Proud. I believe I have it.
long before babylon came down blackAnd after his 8th grade performance, the young man faced rejection at the hands of Ang Lee when he auditioned for life of Pi,
Babil explains, “I think it was because the character was supposed to be a younger version of Baba, and I just looked like him, so it was imperative that I audition for the role.” “But I was very young and very nervous, and my voice was shaky and my knees were weak … (laughs) So, yeah, I didn’t get the part.”
Though not to beat anyone, Babil’s enthusiasm is palpable as he talks about his role in black, “My character in the film Jagran, and the innocence with which he lives in his devotion to his craft, is oblivious to how it is affecting black,” explains the young actor. “I was very new and extremely fresh from my father’s demise when I shot for the film, so my biggest challenge was the emotional devastation in my personal life that I was dealing with and not letting it affect my work. It’s been two years, and I’ve grown a lot as an actor; So there is always a wish that ‘I wish I could play Jagran today.’
Of course, the last word should be the one that comes from his father. Babil says, “Baba was adamant in making me aware of how easily our mind gets swayed into thinking that everyone else is doing this, this is what we should do.” “It was important to her that we didn’t think or feel the same way. I am so grateful today for developing those qualities in me. She raised us to be fearless in being different.
everyone’s talking about baby
The young actor is occupied by two filmmakers
Filmmaker Tanuja Chandra, on whose film [Qarib Qarib Singlle] Babil worked as a camera assistant
“Babil was still a teenager when we made QQS, He was enthusiastic, funny, curious, and honest. If he is at all slow in work, he also likes to be reprimanded. I loved having him on the sets and to be honest, he looked so much like Irrfan, we even used him as a double for some of the song shots!
However, the interesting thing is that when I see Babil in the trailer of his film, I do not miss Irrfan. Of course, he has some qualities of Irrfan, but he also looks different. Which I think is great.
But yes, Vansh is a powerful one and I hope the audience does not compare at every step. It would be unfair. Those shoes are not to be filled and it would be great if Babil had his own distinctive tenor and style. Wouldn’t it be more exciting if he was completely different from his father?!
Anvita Dutt, director of her debut film black
What attracted you to Babil?
“My DA Rabia suggested his name. And then Casting Bay took her audition. It was his audition that made the difference.
How is Babil Khan as a young boy?
And as an actor?
“He’s got great screen presence.”
Did the fact that he was Irrfan’s son mean anything?
“Her identity is her own. And not his descendants. It was Rabia’s opinion and her audition that got her the role.
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From HT Brunch, November 26, 2022
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