At the 41st International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Boman Irani campaigned for the Indian film writers’ necessity to strengthen their screenplay writing abilities. During an interactive session with the media, he maintained that India has good writers who, however, need schooling and training to become good screen writers. Indian Cinema would profit a lot if more people knew the art of writing a strong screenplay with a theme based plot and with contemporary consciousness.
Boman Irani also struck a blow for comedy, which in his opinion is an integral part of film making. Being an excellent and versatile actor himself even in comedy roles, Boman, talking about the evolution of comedy in Hindi films, paid his tribute to great and international comedy actors like Mehmood, Asrani, Kishore Kumar, Charlie Chaplin, Jagdeep etc and also to some of his directors who, according to him, know the craft of film making perfectly well. For example, Rajkumar Hirani to whom Boman attests perfect preparation: Before shooting starts, Hirani has his entire film ready in his mind and thus hardly needs unnecessary shots which saves the production a lot of time. Being not only a great director but also an excellent editor, Raju Hirani always has full control over the project he works with.
Raju Hirani gave Boman Irani some of his most legendary roles — Dr Asthana in Munnabhai MBBS, Lucky Singh in Lage Raho Munnabhai and Professor Virus in 3 Idiots. Narrating some background stories from his films, Boman also remembered that many people were dead certain that his Virus was a parody on Javed Akhtar’s oratorical talking style. Even Akhtar himself, Boman said, was doubtful and actually asked Boman, when they met in a loo during an awards function, whether Boman had imitated him while playing the eccentric and terrorizing professor. But Boman vehemently denied that; instead he remembered that as a child he had a similar lisp as Virus. “I had a problem with speaking right from the childhood. I used to lisp. When I was child, I never spoke. Teachers used to write remarks on my note book. My mom sent me to a trainer, I started talking and it gave me a confidence,” he said.
In addition, Boman revealed parts of his personal story. Before becoming an actor, he had worked as a waiter at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai and as a photographer. He had already made his mark as a theatre actor in Mumbai when he was offered his first film role. He was 40 then — quite a late debut for a film actor. But within just a few years, Boman carved a niche for himself and today he is a very sought-after actor in the industry. He even got several offers from Hollywood but till now he declined all of them as none of them really challenged him.
His forthcoming projects include Mirch (to be released next Friday), Game, Bandha Yeh Bindaas Hai, Short Term Shaadi, Ferrari Ki Sawari, Tezz and of course Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2 for which he only recently spent several weeks in Germany’s capital Berlin. The action thriller is a sequel to Don — The Chase Begins (2006) and will show, “what Don is doing after four years, what he has become in four years,” as Boman revealed to IANS. “It has some implausible action and stunts. Lets us see first how it turns out after editing. But the crew and the stunt coordinator (in Berlin) are doing some fantastic stuff.”
During his time in Berlin, Boman conquered the hearts of many German film fans who were bowled over by his sheer warmth and heartiness. He never missed a chance to interact with the people gathering at the hotel and never became tired of giving autographs, posing for photos, smiling and talking. Without any doubts, Boman Irani is one of the most approachable and loveable actors in the industry today.