Playing the common man

Popular actor

Playing the common man

Boman Irani

He started out with a small role in Bollywood movie Josh ten years ago, but today, Boman Irani, is a household name. In town recently to promote his movie Well done Abba he spoke to Metrolife about the secret behind his  popularity.

“Maybe it’s because I play a common man. Sometimes the person next door is not exciting to watch. The challenge is to make him seem exciting,” he says.

In the few years that he has been in the industry he has done a lot of exciting roles, his age in a way working to his side allowing him to experiment. “Yes, maybe I came at the right age and the time when the industry was opening,” he says. So was he always interested in acting?

“Even as a young man I understood the nuances of acting but never really jumped into it. All this just happened.”

Boman has tremendous respect for his colleagues in the film industry. “You can’t just give credit to one guy for the success of the film. I do my work and when people appreciate it, I am forced to do more interesting roles,” he says. But what about the potboilers he is seen in? “I need to buy these jackets from somewhere,” he says laughing.

Talking about challenges, he says, “Khosla Ka Ghosla was a big challenge because for the first time I was playing a character from outside Mumbai. I needed to understand the crudeness and lewdness of his mind. People thought he was comical but I saw him as dark and disturbed.” But Virus (his character in 3 Idiots) became quite popular? “I think people liked the performance more than him,” he says. 

Talking about his character in the movie Well done Abba, he says: “Armaan Ali is a driver. He is uneducated but he fights back the system that trapped him. It’s a great comedy. And there are layers in the film that you can only expect in a Shyam Benegal film.”
About the experiences he had working with Benegal, he says, “It’s an education because he talks out of pure experience. When he called me I had butterflies in my stomach. I actually asked him what role he was giving me after I heard the story.”

Talking about the Hindi film industry he says that though it is not in the best of state, it’s still good.

“There are different visual and music styles. People are acknowledging small-budget movies because of which they are becoming financial viable,” he says.

Having worked with almost every director in the industry who would he like to work with now?

“Vishal Bhardwaj and Imtiaaz Ali are the two people I haven’t worked with,” he says.

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