Vishal Bhardwaj got ‘very angry’ with Irrfan after he refused to do Ishqiya
Renowned filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj and late actor Irrfan have created memorable cinema together. In a recent conversation with Lallantop, Vishal Bhardwaj revealed an intriguing chapter in his relationship with Irrfan. Despite their strong bond and successful collaborations, the duo went through a period of silence, lasting over two to three years. The root cause of their disagreement stemmed from Irrfan’s decision to opt out of Vishal’s 2010 film, Ishqiya in favor of another project, following the box office failure of Vishal’s previous film, No Smoking.
Irrfan’s Decision to Opt Out
Speaking about how he became associated with Anurag Kashyap’s directorial No Smoking, Vishal said, “Irrfan sahab was supposed to do Ishqiya with me. Irrfan was a very funny person. He didn’t take anything too seriously. He used to always stay in humor and that was the reason for our strong bonding. So, I had produced Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking. I did that because Anurag was in a lot of depression at that time. I was making Omkara at that time and I was in a good position. But that film flopped very badly and nobody understood that film.”
A Prominent Actress’s Refusal
During the interview, the filmmaker also disclosed that a prominent actress declined to star in the film alongside Irrfan due to his perceived lack of commercial appeal. He explained, “We were planning to start Ishqiya, which was to be directed by Abhishek Chaubey and Irrfan was supposed to star in the film. And we had said no to a big actress for Ishqiya because she had refused to work with Irrfan as he wasn’t a commercial actor. I got very angry with him and didn’t speak to him for 2-3 years. I didn’t pick up his calls.”
Reconciliation and Success
Vishal went on to share how they eventually reconciled their differences. It happened when Vishal couldn’t find anyone to play the controversial role of Wasiullah Khan in 7 Khoon Maaf. After much hesitation, he called Irrfan, who readily agreed to work with him once again. The duo had collaborated on several successful films, including Madaari, Talvar, Maqbool, and Haider.
Success of Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya
Ishqiya eventually starred Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah, and Arshad Warsi in lead roles, receiving critical acclaim and achieving box-office success. Its sequel, Dedh Ishqiya, maintained the momentum, featuring Madhuri Dixit and Huma Qureshi alongside Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s revelation sheds light on the complexities of creative collaborations and the emotions that can arise when expectations are not met. Despite their temporary estrangement, it is clear that Vishal and Irrfan found a way to repair their relationship and continue to create meaningful cinema together.