Fond memories of Kazan Khan; Johny Antony recalls the versatile villain's acting performances

Johny Antony, Kazan Khan
Johny Antony and Kazan Khan. Photo: Manorama

No one who saw ‘CID Moosa’ would be able to forget the blue-eyed villain who wreaks havoc wherever he goes. And very few people knew that his name was Kazan Khan till the news of his death was reported in the media. According to director Johny Antony who made his directorial debut with the oddball comedy ‘CID Moosa’ headlining Dileep, Khan was a softie though he looked intimidating. The director recalls that Khan used to tell him to cast him in other roles as well, and not just as a Mumbai-based antagonist. Khan later appeared in ‘Gandharvam’, ‘Ivan Maryadaraman,’ and ‘Varnapakittu.’ Johny Antony shares his warm bond with the late actor.

“He was a disciplined actor. Though he looked intimidating, only when we got to know him closely did we realise that he was a softie at heart. He always used to tell me to cast him in other roles as well, than the usual Mumbai-based villain or as the meanie who always planted bombs. But then I would remind him that his looks were distinct and that he wouldn’t be convincing as a local rubber tapper, tea stall owner, or coconut tree climber. Later he would quip about the rubber tapper bit. Though he didn’t know the language he understood what I said.

Khan was handsome and cute. He became popular as the fiery villain Vikram Ghorpade in ‘The King’. It’s been 20 years since I made 'CID Moosa'. When he did my ‘Masters’ in 2013, except for some weight gain, Khan looked more or less the same. He was very disciplined in real life. When I informed Dileep about his death, he also expressed his sadness. Cameraman Salu George called and told me— “Our Kazan Khan died!” Anyone who has interacted closely with him remembers him warmly. He is the first face that comes to everyone’s mind when we talk about a North Indian-looking villain.

He was very cooperative during the shoot. In 'CID Moosa', there is a scene when he is chased by the cops, and he reaches the terrace of a building. He is thrown from there, taken to the station, and then told to run away but is shot by the cops. It was a single-shot scene. That was possible only because he was such a cooperative actor. He was a director’s actor and gave his best. Khan had great timing while doing stunts. He had called me after he had returned to Mumbai. Khan was under 55 and we have been told that he died due to a heart attack. I have lost a very good friend. May his soul rest in peace,”—says Johny Antony.

Khan has done notable characters in ‘Gandharvam,’ ‘Ivan Maryadharaman,’ ‘Varnapakittu,’ ‘Janathipathyam,’ ‘Rajadhi Raja,’ ‘Maya Mohini,’ ‘CID Moosa’, ‘The Gang,’ ‘Priyamanavale,’ ‘Dreams,’ ‘Ratna,’ ‘Mustafa,’ ‘The King,’ ‘Christian Brothers’, etc. He debuted in 1992 with the Tamil film, ‘Senthamizh Pattu.’ He has acted in over 50 films in various languages (Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada). His last film was Joshiy’s ‘Laila O Laila’ headlining Mohanlal in 2015.  

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