Irrfan Khan, Anup Singh Talk ‘Lasya,’ ‘Scorpions’

The star and director take time out at Dubai's Variety Studio to reflect on their budding creative partnership

Indian auteur Anup Singh and internationally celebrated actor Irrfan Khan (“The Lunchbox”) are about to embark upon their third project together. The duo combined for 2013’s “Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost” that won the Netpac award at Toronto and the Dioraphte Award at Rotterdam.

Their second collaboration is 2017’s “The Song of Scorpions”, also starring French-Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani and Indian cinema legend Waheeda Rehman. The film bowed at Locarno and continued its festival run with Haifa, London, Singapore and Dubai.

“Lasya: The Gentle Dance” will be the next Khan-Singh combine. “I have a first draft of the script, I haven’t spoken about it at all with Irrfan,” says Singh. “I am waiting to find a moment of calm, when he and I can be together and I can come to him with the full confidence of no distractions.”

The director and actor participated in a freewheeling discussion about their working relationship at the Variety Studio during the Dubai Film Festival.

Speaking about “The Song of Scorpions,” Khan says, “Anup told me that he needs a kind of musicality in the behavior and that’s what I was concerned about. So I was experimenting. And I can experiment intellectually and emotionally. And that’s something unique. Very rarely does someone offer you that.”

While “Qissa” was about Khan’s character’s obsessive quest for a male heir, “The Song of Scorpions” is a tale of twisted love, revenge and the redemptive power of song. “Lasya” will see Khan play a man who plays a woman during ritualistic performances and discovers that he likes to play at being a woman in his everyday life too.

“I like to challenge my audience’s identities,” says Singh. “And I like to challenge their preconceptions about how a story might go.”

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