From Bollywood to Hollywood! Irrfan Khan's movies that were based on books

Written By: Wion Web Desk | Updated: Jan 07, 2023, 05:21 PM IST

From playing characters based on plays of William Shakespeare to characters that came out of the imagination of novelists like Ruskin Bond and Jhumpa Lahiri, the late National Award-winning actor Irrfan Khan set the journey of many stories from word to screen.

Be it in Bollywood or global cinema, the actor managed to find the right cord with his performance in both the cinematic worlds.

Here is a list of characters he portrayed on-screen that are drawn from the literature:

Irrfan Khan in a still from 'Maqbool'

In the Vishal Bharadwaj directorial Irrfan played the title character Miyan Maqbool, which was based on William Shakespeare`s play "Macbeth".


The Namesake

Based on Jhumpa Lahiri's novel by the same name, Mira Nair's 'The Namesake' is about a Bengali couple Ashoke (Irrfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) trying to adjust to life in America, while Gogol, their son, tries to find his identity and choose between the two worlds.

Perhaps one of Khan's most endearing perfromances, it had him paired opposite Tabu. Kal Penn played their son in the film.


A Mighty Heart (2007)

A film was based on the book "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life And Death Of My Husband Daniel Pearl" authored by Mariane Pearl. Included Angelina Jolie and Irrfan who played Zeeshan Kazmi, police chief of Karachi who heads the investigation of the abduction of the journalist.


Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Based on Indian author Vikas Swarup's novel "Q & A" (2005) where Irrfan played the police officer who interrogates Jamal, a boy from the Mumbai slums who participates in a television show and manages to win despite being uneducated.


7 Khoon Maaf (2011)

A second venture between Vishal Bharadwaj and Irrfan after "Maqbool". The story of the film was based on a short story titled "Susanna`s Seven Husbands" by Ruskin Bond. In the film, Irrfan played one of the husbands, the character of the Kashmiri poet Wasiullah Khan.



Irrfan Khan had an extended special appearance in 'Haider' but that left a lasting impact. He appears in the second half of the film as the mysterious Roohdar, a separatist group member yet people cannot forget his entry scene or the impactful performance. It was based on Shakespeare`s play "Hamlet" and he played, Irrfan essayed the character of the ghost of Hamlet`s father.