Hollywood mourns Irrfan Khan: Ava DuVernay, Riz Ahmed share tributes

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Irrfan Khan
Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Hollywood is mourning Bollywood icon Irrfan Khan, who forayed into English-language cinema with films such as ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘The Warrior’.

The cancer survivor died on Wednesday (April 29) of complications arising from a colon infection at the age of 53.

British actor Riz Ahmed of ‘The Night Of’ referred to Khan as one of his biggest inspirations, although they never met.

“Rest in peace one of the greatest actors of our time, Irrfan Khan. I never met him but he was an inspiration and a hero to me and millions of others. His work was consistently transcendent, he was a guiding light for so many of us,” wrote Ahmed.

“If you’ve not seen his work, watch ‘The Lunchbox’ or The ‘Warrior’. A true artist who spanned Bollywood and Hollywood and was acclaimed in both. His words in a letter to a newspaper about his illness are a reminder of his beautiful mind and of life’s fragility. His work will live on.”

Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (‘Selma,’ ‘13th’) also took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late star.

“A grateful fan of #IrrfanKhan here. Gone too soon. When he is on screen, you can’t take your eyes off of him. He lives on in his films,” wrote DuVernay, alongside a black-and-white image of Khan.

‘Rise of the Guardians’ and ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse’ director Peter Ramsey said he was ‘devastated’ over the tragic loss.

“I can’t believe it. A genius. So great in THE LUNCHBOX. I’m devastated,” wrote Ramsey. “I’m stunned. What a magnificent actor he was.”

Khan starred alongside Hollywood actors such as Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in ‘Jurassic World’; the film’s director, Colin Trevorrow, shared a heartfelt message on his Twitter, alongside a joyous image of Khan.

“Deeply sad to have lost #IrrfanKhan. A thoughtful man who found beauty in the world around him, even in pain. In our last correspondence, he asked me to remember ‘the wonderful aspects of our existence’ in the darkest of days. Here he is, laughing,” wrote Trevorrow.

Meanwhile, acclaimed British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who directed Khan in ‘The Warrior’, shared a simple message: “Love you Irrfan bhai [brother].”


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