Director Marc Webb was looking for someone with sophistication and a commanding presence for the short but pivotal role of Dr Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man.
The unassuming Irrfan Khan enters Spider-Man's web
He is one of the few Indian actors with international projects such as Slumdog Millionaire, The Darjeeling Limited and A Mighty Heart to his credit, but Irrfan Khan doesn't believe in bragging about one's achievements. He says he'd rather let his work speak for itself.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, Khan makes an appearance as Dr Ratha, a close associate of Dr Curt Connors, aka The Lizard, played by the actor Rhys Ifans.
Curiously, Khan has hardly spoken about the project, which has been predicted by many to become the year's biggest Hollywood blockbuster.
"I don't brag about it because I don't like bragging. As simple as that," said Khan, 45, at a press conference in Mumbai last month.
"I hate it. I don't enjoy it. Some people have an attitude of bragging, but not me. I don't want to achieve anything from it."
His Spider-Man director Marc Webb is all praise for the star.
"I have been an enormous fan of Irrfan for a very long time," Webb says. "I first saw him in The Namesake, The Warrior and in the TV series In Treatment.
"For Dr Ratha, I needed someone who projected sophistication, had a lot of strength and a very commanding presence, and Irrfan fit that bill."
Khan, however, cautions fans about his character's appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man.
"I don't have a lengthy role in this film," he says. "I did it because it was an experience for me. In Hollywood, they call it a pivotal role because it moves the story in some way, but I don't think it's a very big one. For me, my presence is enough and I enjoyed it."
The actor also shares his thoughts on the whirlwind industry custom of movie promotions: "I definitely do publicity for a film where I feel it is necessary, where I am excited about it, where I feel they need me. Then I go and do it.
"But I would like to be in a situation where I don't have to do publicity for a film and people understand there is something special about it themselves. The audiences are not fools - they know."