Bollywood’s best-loved character actor, Boman Irani, steps forward in a unique role once again as the ageing Maharaja of Mumbai, Harry Holker, in the upcoming movie Fruit & Nut. Based lovingly on the character or Hugh Hefner, playboy Harry is constantly surrounded by a bevy of beauties, celebrating life in lounge lizard style as he proclaims himself the ruler of Mumbai. Boman is delighted with the role: “There are different shades to the character but it is among the funniest characters I have ever played,” he says, “It’s weirdly funny. We are aware that Mumbai never had a Maharaja yet there is a meaning to my character of Maharaja Harry Holkar.” The film also stars Acid Factory’s Dia Mirza.
There’s a double dose of Boman in Well Done Abba , which also stars Minissha Lamba. The film is being shown at the London International Film Festival where the screening will be attended by director Shyam Benegal. It will also be featured in the World Greats section at the Montreal World Film Festival.
Boman is feted for the complexity he brings to his characters, even his comic or bad guy roles. Is this a deliberate ploy on his part? “I think it’s nice for the audience to be confused,” he confesses, “Why should the audience be allowed to be one-dimensional? They should think and discuss the character afterwards. He was wrong, in a way, but his actions are pretty acceptable to a point. I don’t think an audience should be given a clear-cut stance. We should not be taking sides as filmmakers.”