Vancouver: Long before Bollywood discovered actor Boman Irani, he was just a regular film fan and even stood in line in the middle of the night to see Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt shoot for 1991 film ‘Sadak’.
Boman, 53, who is here to host the debut Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA), says he has realized the fan frenzy only after becoming an actor.
The ‘Jolly LLB’ star was touched to see fans standing outside his hotel in the rainy and cold Canadian weather to get a glimpse of Bollywood stars.
"I like the cold, I don`t have problem with cold and I don`t have problem with rain either as long as people are smiling. You know, early in my career, I used to wonder about this fan frenzy but now I realize that there is genuine love, respect and affection which makes me very proud to be an actor.
"Sometime you go out and you wonder why these people are standing in the rain and then you realize that years ago you were a fan too. I too was chased by cops for watching my favourite celebrities," Boman told reporters on the sidelines of TOIFA.
When asked about the celebrities he waited for as a fan, Boman revealed that it was none other than his ‘Munnabhai’ co-star Sanjay Dutt.
"I used to follow celebrities and I remember I watched Sanjay Dutt and Pooja Bhatt shooting for `Sadak`. I was standing on the road at three in the night but little did I know that I would be making a film with Sanjay at some point in my career," Boman said.
The actor, who has hosted many award shows in past, is teaming up with the new talent of Bollywood ? Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma - to host his first TOIFA and he hopes to entertain the fans in Vancouver, which has a huge Indian population.
"We do our best as actors and I think in these award shows fans want you to enjoy. They don`t like it if you don`t enjoy. A city is made by its people and here I can feel the love that they have for us. They want to have a good time," he said.
Boman believes it was one of the best years of cinema in Bollywood with women taking centre stage.
"Earlier, it was largely male-dominated but Vidya (Balan) has changed a lot of things with `Kahaani` and `The Dirty Picture`. It has been really a very interesting year for Bollywood."