I was hoping he will pull it off: Anurag Basu on Irrfan Khan’s battle with cancer

Mumbai, Apr 29 (PTI) Filmmaker Anurag Basu, who directed Irrfan Khan in his 2007 movie 'Life In A... Metro', said he was hopeful the actor will come out of the cancer battle.

Irrfan died on Wednesday, losing a two-year battle with neuroendocrine tumour, a rare form of cancer that targets various organs of the body. He was 54.

Basu, who has himself battled cancer, said he hoped that Irrfan would also win his fight with the disease like he did. In 2004, the director was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a type of blood cancer.

'I was hoping he would pull it off. I was hopeful because I had pulled through it. He was responding well to the treatment so we thought... This is very unfortunate. I couldn’t meet him. I am feeling very very bad for it as I will never get to see him.   'But I did meet Sutapa (Irrfan's wife) while the treatment was going on. It was a long, long fight. He fought this battle alone away from everyone,' the filmmaker told PTI.

Basu said when Irrfan was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour in 2018, his wife Sutapa was shaken and had made several queries to ascertain how he got cured.

'After he was diagnosed, Sutapa had called me as she wanted to know the details because I had gone through the same. I didn’t meet him in person after that. But I was in touch with him over phone when he was in London. When he came here sadly I couldn’t meet him in person,” he said.

The filmmaker, who has worked with Irrfan on 2007 movie “Life in a... Metro”, believes there will never be an actor like him.

'I have done some of my best work in television with Irrfan. People just know that we have worked in ‘Life In a Metro’ but we have worked together a lot on television. Irrfan is a unique actor.

'He has created a space for himself on his own here and in Hollywood. Nobody can take that space from him. There is no the other actor like Irrfan Khan and there will be no one like him. He was unique.' Basu also revealed that he had discussed the story idea about “Life in a …Metro” sequel with Irrfan, which the actor had liked.

'I was supposed to start a film with him. We were talking about 'Metro' sequel. We were waiting for Irrfan and didn’t start that film. We had discussed the idea back then and he loved the character and he wanted to do that again. This was one month before he was diagnosed.” PTI KKP RB RB