Funny Man: Boman Irani

  Just like the characters he portrays on screen, there is something distinctively crazy about Boman Irani’s persona in real life too. Whether it’s his high pitched voice, which he constantly keeps in check while speaking, or his playful self-contradictory remarks, the actor is full of life and madness.
  According to Boman, in reality, he is exactly like the ‘Abba’ he played in Shyam Benegal’s just released Well Done Abba, “stupid and uneducated” (without a wink)! “Like Abba, my approach towards my kids is very similar. I am traditional but progressive,” he says. With two releases on the same day, Well Done Abba and Hum Tum Aur Ghost, last Friday clearly belonged to this versatile performer. While the former received a hearty applaud at the BO, the latter didn’t quite take off as expected. So which of the two was he vowing for? “I am always a supporter of what I do. I stand by all my films irrespective of them working or not. But yes, ….Abba was certainly the most satisfying experience for me till date. Partly because I got to work with Shyam Benegal,” he expresses.
  That ….Abba was a prestigious project for Boman and that he really looks up to Benegal was evident in the actor’s endless praises for the 70-year-old filmmaker. “His body of work outshines 50 other directors. It’s remarkable how a man of his age makes films of that quality and international stature. It’s only natural then that every actor whose worth his soil would want to work with him atleast once in his career,” he elucidates.
  A satirical take on societal issues, ....Abba showcases Boman as a taxi driver, a character too ordinary as compared to all his earlier flamboyant and quirky ones. So what was it like to play a simple role sans any complexities? “To make an ordinary man look extraordinary and interesting was a challenge in itself while playing Abba. I had to make a common man watchable by creating a certain character for him. Hence, it was a great opportunity for me to explore as an actor,” he remarks. He also points out one major drawback of issue-based films like Well Done Abba that mirror our society. “People miss the point of such films because they are too spoilt. We are capable of making films at a scale of Hollywood but there is fear of them not getting across. Its high time you give the audience what you want them to see other than what they want to see. Cinema has been a reflection of society and till we don’t make good cinema, the society will not improve,” the sensitive citizen in him speaks up.
  No matter how whacky and non-serious Boman may come across as otherwise but one thing that gets him a tad baffled is criticism. The actor keeps a close track of what the critics have to say about him and his films and he doesn’t seem to agree much with them whereas certain aspects are concerned. For instance, his character of Virus in 3 idiots was termed as caricaturish and over-the-top by many, to which he reacts defensively, “Yes I am aware of that comment which was made by two critics. But Virus was supposed to be mildly caricatured. That was how I chose to portray it or else it wouldn’t have worked. If you realise, all our teachers in school and college have been caricaturish. It was a dark character and the most difficult as compared to the two Munnabhai parts. I am here to satisfy the artist within me. How I approach a character is my prerogative. I may not be able to please everyone.”
  Having played diverse roles already, ask him if there is something that still remains unexplored for him and the actor promptly replies, “Abba was unexplored, Virus was. It’s not fair to shortlist. I will continue doing whatever excites me.” Awaiting a chunk of films in the coming year --- Housefull, Mirch, Crooked and Banda Yeh Bindaas Hain --- Boman sure has his hands full for now. So watch out for this entertainer!


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