Be it the Kapoors, Bachchans or the Khans, a set of actors are known to dominate the Hindi film industry. With the lead actor trying his hands on action and comedy, playing both good and bad characters with equal élan, there is hardly any scope left for character artists. However, in Boman Irani, Bollywood finds its true character artist, who brings certain freshness into method acting, be it his portrayal of ‘Dr Asthana’ in ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’, ‘Principal’ in ‘Main Hoon Na’, ‘Kishen Khurana’ in ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’, ‘Murli’ in ‘Dostana’ or the eccentric ‘Viru Sahastrabudhhe’ (Virus) in the latest blockbuster ‘3 Idiots’.
In an exclusive interview with Swati Chaturvedi of Spicezee.com on her chat show ‘Kahiye Janab’, the powerhouse performer reveals his love for acting and cinema.
Swati: How do you feel about your latest avatar – Dr Viru Sahastrebuddhe or ‘Virus’ from ‘3 Idiots’?
Boman: I am surprised at the response to ‘Virus.’ You see, there is a ‘Virus’ in all of us; we all carry a bit of cynicism in ourselves.
Swati: Today, you have overcome the cynicism. You have conquered the early failure of your life.
Boman: (Smiles) I won’t call that failure. No work is small. If you do it well, you are successful. If you mean to say that today I am more successful, I would like to say I have always been successful.
Swati: Bollywood is dominated by the Khans and the Kapoors. Do you ever feel jealous of others?
Boman: Look, if you want to be a good actor, don’t worry about other things. I am lucky that in the characters I have played, I didn’t have to be myself because I am a very boring person.
Swati: I saw one of your speeches where you said that your mother inspired you to become an actor.
Boman: I think my mother understood where I could go. Good cinema is education which teaches you about life and emotions. It has everything – dance, drama, music, lyrics. I have learned a lot from cinema.
Swati: Was your mother special to you?
Boman: Every mother is special. Yes, my mother was a single parent who single-handedly brought me up. My father passed away when I was not even born.
Swati: How do you see celebrities sashaying down the red carpet in Los Angeles?
Boman: You see, cinema provides an escape to the common man. In India, we do not have Disneyland. Cinema is the mode of entertainment. The same applies to every cinema, be it Bollywood or Hollywood.
Swati: What is your kind of cinema?
Boman: I like to make cinema that excites the mind. However, I also like the cinema that entertains. Good cinema talks about humanity, it has values.
Swati: Your characters in ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ and ‘3 Idiots’ are hugely appreciated. How do you choose your roles?
Boman: Well, I don’t choose films, they choose me. You should be worthy enough to get a director, who comes your way and offers you such a film.
Swati: You have worked with Sanjay Dutt in ‘Munna Bhai MBBS’ and Aamir Khan in ‘3 Idiots.’ How do you rate Sanjay and Aamir as actors?
Boman: I would say, to each his own method. Both are hardworking actors. Both work from their heart and that is something which touches you. Sanjay does not like to learn the lines (script) perfectly because one loses spontaneity. He is honest as he often brings his real self to his roles. Well, Aamir is a little misunderstood. He is a great actor who works with his heart. ‘Taare Zameen Par’ would not have touched us in case it was not made from the heart.
Swati: Who are you favourite actors in Bollywood?
Boman: Honesty speaking, I learn everything from everybody. Vidya has something special. Diya is wonderful and Priyanka did a superb job in ‘Kaminey.’ Well, my all-time favourite actors are Naseeruddin Shah, Amitabh Bachchan and Balraj Sahni. Just see how much dignity Balraj Sahni brought in ‘Kabuliwala’, ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ and ‘Talash.’
Swati: What’s your take on the communal forces trying to divide our society?
Boman: See, if we stick together, we will win. Simply one person does not have the right to speak. We are a democracy. Learn secularism from Bollywood. If you want to run the country from the heart, look at Bollywood. In Bollywood, you will find people from all walks of society. Yet, you hardly will find any communalism because we are so well-knit together. The real meaning of cinema is to entertain and touch people.
Adapted By: Aman Kanth