Mumbai, February 18: The cat is out of the bag. Irrfan may seem to be a gentle poet in 7 Khoon Maaf who woos and wins Priyanka Chopra's love in the pristine landscape of Kashmir. But within the sensitive skin lies the character of a sadistic animal. At home, Irrfan is shown to repeatedly beat up his wife Priyanka before having sex with her.
Says a source, "The character is incontrovertibly modelled on this gentle romantic superstar of yesteryears. He was a suave soft spoken ladies man in public. He swept the teen heart-throb of his times off her feet (stealing her away from her then-boyfriend).But after marriage her life turned into a living hell. In real life she walked out on the marriage. In the film Priyanka slaughters Irrfan after one wacking too many."
The most traumatic experience of Priyanka Chopra's career as an actress was getting beaten up repeatedly by Irrfan Khan. Method director that he is, Vishal Bhardwaj wanted the real thing. The blows raining on Priyanka are not make believe.
Irrfan plays a poet and a pervert. For the public, he's a gentle Kashmiri poet reciting beautifully penned words. In private, he is a brute and an animal who gets sexually excited by beating up his wife Priyanka Chopra.
Says a source from the film, "Vishal was very clear about the violence. He warned Priyanka that the slaps kicks and punches would be real. And she was all for it. But when it came to the crunch she couldn't help saying, 'Ouch!' every time a blow fell on her."
By the time Priyanka finished shooting her scenes with Irrfan, she had welters bruises and wounds to show for her commitment to the role in 7 Khoon Maaf. Apparently, Irrfan was not the least inhibited by the violence.
Says the source, "She was given real blows, no fake ones. There were torn lips and swollen cheeks throughout without any makeup. Once, only once, Priyanka got a chance to get her own back. In one sequence her character gives Irrfan a tight slap back. Priyanka gave it her best shot, with the director's permission. Vishal Bhardwaj told her to slap Irrfan real and hard. 'He's from the NSD. He knows about method acting.' But Irrfan got scared. He told Priyanka to slap him with only four fingers."
This too is a scene that could be straight out of the ex-superstar's marriage. Apparently, after every bout of violence he would fear getting some of it back from his wife.
When contacted, Irrfan refrained from comment. He has been briefed by Vishal Bhardwaj to keep mum about his character's dark violent secret.
Finally after some persuasion Irrfan spoke about his character. Said the actor, "To reduce my character to a wife-beater would be to take away from his complexities. This is a man, a poet in a state of constant turmoil. He is forever seeking something; he knows not what. When he finds Priyanka's character, he feels his search has ended. But he realizes that he has embarked on another journey after marriage. In his endeavour to find himself, he ends up doing things he doesn't understand. He doesn't know why he's doing what he's doing."