Be it the role of Virus in 3 Idiots or the doctor in Munna Bhai MBBS, Boman Irani has portrayed these characters in the best way on the silver screen. In today’s Struggle Story, the story is of the same Boman Irani.
I spoke to Boman Irani at around 4 pm. Due to busy schedule, our talk remained telephonic only. I asked the first question after asking about his well being. I was born on 2 December 1959 in an Irani Parsi family in Mumbai. My father died 6 months before my birth. After that the mother took full responsibility of the family.
I lacked a lot of confidence till 5th-6th class. He hesitated to talk to people. Slowly I started trusting myself with the love of my mother. He encouraged me to participate in every program of the school. I realized that if I continue like this, people will start making fun of me. After 7th class, I started doing all the work without hesitation.
Mother also went through the problems faced by single parents. When I was young, I did not realize the sorrows of my mother, but with increasing age I understood all these things.
We had a bakery shop where mother and aunt used to work, which used to meet the expenses of the family. Mother looks after the shop during the day and aunt at night. Mother had the responsibility of three sisters along with me. It was very difficult for the mother, there was also a lot of hardship.
Talking about studies, I was not very sharp. He was good in some subjects, but scored very less in maths. On the other hand, when I got a chance to do drama in school, I would have liked it very much. Loved watching movies too. Mother never stopped watching films. I have grown up watching films of actors like Dilip Kumar, Guru Dutt, Sohrab Modi, Mehboob Khan.
Was also fond of reading things related to films. At that time things like YouTube were not there, so I used to see this world only through books. Used to buy only books based on cinema. We had a bakery, so the family members said that I should work on it and take the family business forward. I didn’t want to do this work at all. I always wanted to do something big which only involved my hard work.
First I worked as a waiter in Taj Hotel for 2 years. I got to learn a lot while working here. I used to collect the tips I got here in a piggy bank.
This thing happened when I was 32 years old. I was also fond of photography, but in those days buying a camera was a big deal. By saving money, I bought a small camera. Then with the same camera I started clicking sports pictures. Gradually, those pictures started getting published in the newspapers as well. During this time I sold my photos to a foreign magazine, got good money from it.
I wanted to convert this passion into a job. For this purpose, I opened a studio by saving some money. Although opening it hurt me a lot. I thought opening a studio would be beneficial, but it turned out to be the opposite. Financially also there was a lot of loss. There was no money even to pay the rent of the studio.
After that he took me to a friend of his who was a director in a theatre. He gave me a chance to act in a play. People liked that play of mine very much, got a lot of compliments. After that I went on playing one after the other. I played in theater for 14 years. This enhanced my acting. Here I used to learn something new every day, so when I was offered my first film, I gave my best.
I worked in a short film. It took 8 days to shoot. Vidhu Vinod Chopra saw it when it was being edited. It was he who asked me to work with Rajkumar Hirani in Munna Bhai MBBS. At that time I was 44 years old.
I was scared when the film Khosla Ka Ghosla was offered to me. I thought I would not be able to do this film. Actually, all the films I had done earlier, their characters were Mumbai based. Whereas the character of this film was foreign.
Then the writer of the film Jaideep Sahni explained a lot to me about this. He used to call me and ask me to act in this character and film. I played the role of a property dealer in the film. I went to Delhi to see that character closely. Met some property dealer there. Saw their ways.
Before signing this film, I had heard people saying why Boman Irani is being cast in it. That actor is fine, but not right for this film and role and he will not be able to do this role. After coming back from Delhi, I took these things of people as a challenge and proved myself by acting in the film.
During the Corona period, I started teaching screenplay writing to people, which is still going on. I started a class for which I do not charge any fee. Anyone can join this writing class. Anyone who is interested in learning writing can join this class.
My thought behind starting this class was that this industry can get the best directors. Many acting classes are run, but people pay attention to a lot of work in the field of writing. Till now we have done 630 sessions of writing.
Boman Irani made his Bollywood debut with the 2003 film Munna Bhai MBBS. Boman Irani, who has been a part of nearly 100 films, has shared screen space with actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Amitabh Bachchan. One or two of his films are definitely released every year. Last year his film Uhtiya was released, in which he has worked with Anupam Kher, Danny, and Amitabh Bachchan. So far he has been awarded the Filmfare Award for 4 films.
Boman married Zenobia Irani in 1985. After marriage, Zenobia gave birth to two sons, Danish and Kayoj. One of his sons Kayoz Irani is active as an actor in the film industry.