Indian actor Irrfan Khan and Oscar-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya were paid tributes in the Academy’s In Memorium segment during the Oscars awards ceremony in Los Angeles on April 25.
Long before Priyanka Chopra Jonas made inroads into the West, it was Khan who showed them the way by acting in stirring Hollywood projects including ‘Life Of Pi’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘The Namesake’ and ‘Inferno’. Khan died April last year after his battle with neuroendocrine tumour. Athaiya put India on the cultural map by winning the Best Costume designing in 1982 for ‘Gandhi’.
Actress Frieda Pinto, who worked with Khan in Oscar-winning feature ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, was tasked with de-mystifying Khan’s formidable acting career.
“There was simply no one like Irrfan Khan. His grace and dignity along with his monumental talent as an artist, actor - a portrayer of humanity in all its shapes and forms - made me not only have deep admiration for him but I instinctively wanted to emulate that grace in my career as well,” wrote Pinto.
It isn’t the first time that Academy is giving a nod to Khan. After his death last year, The Academy tweeted: “A mainstay of Bollywood cinema and incredible talent in films like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The Namesake’, Irrfan Khan left his imprint on global cinema. An inspiration to millions, he will be greatly missed.”
In an exclusive interview with Gulf News just before his swan song ‘Angrezi Medium’s released in the UAE cinemas, Khan reminded everyone to embrace life.
“I tell life: ‘Lag Jaa Gale Ki Phir Yeh Haseen Shaam Ho Naa Ho, Shayad Is Janam Mein Mulaqaat Ho Na Ho [Embrace and hug me life, for your never know if we will ever have this magical evening like this or not, Perhaps we may meet or never meet again in my lifetime],” said Khan, alluding to the iconic romantic song sung by Lata Mangeshkar that encapsulates the frailties of life.
Other stars who were honoured include acting legends such as Sean Connery, Diana Rigg, Helen McCrory and Chadwick Boseman.