Vivek Oberoi happily stepped into the powerful role of the terrorist in Rensil D’Silva’s untitled directorial debut. A plum role that Irrfan Khan, just back triumphant from the Oscars in LA ‘reluctantly’ turned down. “There was nothing reluctant about my decision not to do Rensil’s film,” Irrfan corrects me resolutely. “Yes the script and role were tempting. And it is a Karan Johar production. But it would take a lot more than just these factors to make me get into that dark seriously-conflicting space. The truth is, I won’t play a terrorist even if the world’s greatest director offered me the part,” says the Khan, obviously because of his title and the political religious connections that would come into play and willy-nilly impinge on his creative liberty as an actor. Fearless enough to play a sadistic cop in Slumdog Millionaire and a closet gay leading a dual life in Mira Nair’s AIDS film Migration, Irrfan’s quest for exploring the darkest of characters ends at the doorstep of terrorism. “I’ve no qualms about playing the darkest and the lowliest of creatures. But I find it too disturbing to explore the mindspace and the psyche of a terrorist. It’s too close to home for comfort,” says Irrfan resolutely. Interestingly, Saif Ali Khan apparently plays a terrorist in Rensil’s film, while the most methodical and politically correct of all the Khans, Aamir played one in Fanaa.