Filmmaker Saket Chaudhary says while directing Irrfan Khan in Hindi Medium he realised that the actor has no pretence of being a 'know-it-all'. "He is never over confident about his craft. He is not the kind of actor who pretends that he knows it all. His process is very personal and he constantly prepares for his role, discussing it and figuring out how to play it better," Saket said.
"As a director when you're working with him, you're explaining the scene to him, you don't direct the actor. You direct the scene in which the actor does his part. I have the humility to say, 'I am no one to teach him how to act.' He is way beyond that," he adds.
Hindi Medium revolves around the stereotype of English over Hindi and the class divide which it ends up creating. In the film, Irrfan plays a father to a young girl who he wants to enroll in a top notch school. "From the time we came up with a scene where he owns a shop in Chandni Chowk (in Delhi) which sells designer lehenga, we knew only Irrfan can play this character. He has a certain every-man appeal," Saket says.
The director says the idea came about while he was researching along with his co-writer Zeenat Lakhani for his last film, Shaadi Ke Side Effects. The duo realised it was too big an idea to incorporate in the Farhan Akhtar-Vidya Balan starrer, so after the release of the film in 2014, they started developing the idea further and finally pitched it to producer Dinesh Vijan.
"The subject is so relevant. We realised that today irrespective of the background of the parent, they still want to have the best education for the children. This is across the board, from someone who lives in a posh apartment to a lady who comes and cleans it. "Even a maid today wants to send their children in the same school as that of the people she works for. That aspiration is across class."