Irfan Khan-Mallika Sherawat in a Hiss over 'Hiss' promotion
Monday, October 18, 2010
Subhash K. Jha

Though he isn’t talking about it Irrfan Khan is seething with anger at the way Mallika Sherawat is being projected as the face of the new release Hisss.

The film is apparently ghost-produced by Sherawat(her friend Govind Menon who directed Sherawat in two films Khwahish and Kis Kis Ki Kismat is listed as one of the producers) and it seems perfectly within her rights to project and promote Hisss as her film. However Hisss is an international film directed by British director Jennifer Lynch. Irrfan with his impressive body of international projects from Mira Nair’s The Namesake to Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire would seem like the correct global face for the project.

Says a friend of Irrfan, “Although the primary posters of Hiss credit Irrfan Khan before Mallika Sherawat,the marketing and promotion have singlemindedly been focusing on Mallika Sherawat, so much so that Irrfan has chosen to keep away from all the events and marketing campaigns. He feels audiences would go to see him if they want regardless of how the film is being projected. But he’s definitely feeling hurt and humiliated by the snub.”

When contacted Irrfan attempts to make light of the snub. “It is their film. How they want to project and whom, is entirely up to them.It is fact that audiences will flock to see Mallika’s body in Hisss. Everything else is inconsequential.I don’t mind taking a backseat to beautiful ladies .I’ve done so in The Namesake where Tabu took centrestage.I recently dubbed for Vishal Bharadwaj’s Saat Khoon Maaf.Priyanka Chopra is mindblowing in the film.I’ve just a small role.”

Irrfan who’s just back from the shooting of the full season of his American series In Treatment in New York is exhilarated by the critical response he has so far received in the international press.

The Wall Street Journal writes, “Mr Khan’s…performance is a thing of beauty, heart-rending in all its austerity and guile.”

Irrfan takes a deep bow and says, “I’ve always been treated with genrerous praise for my performances outside India.Maybe Hisss too will get me my due recognition abroad. As for In Treatment I doubt the series will be shown in India. Psychological therapy is not a popular concept in our country.”


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