Middle-aged character actors in the Indian film industry tend to take their game down by a notch or two. But that doesn’t seem to apply to Boman Irani who is currently hitting an altogether different level of zeal, passion and professional excellence.
Here’s what he’s up to. Boman is simultaneously shooting for two movies – across different locations and across dramatically different storylines. And that’s in addition to his regular appearances as a judge alongside RaveenaTandon and ArshadWarsi on the popular reality television show: SabseBadaKalakar. Truly, this specialist character actor is indefatigable!
The first movie is Karan Johar’s much talked about new franchise film: Drive directed by TarunMansukhani. The fact that it’s under the banner of Dharma Productions is already generating a lot of interest and excitement. This crime thriller is replete with fast cars and stunt driving; it releases next year. Boman recently shared details of the shoot in his social media space when he mentioned that he and the crew were shooting at the iconic DrBhauDaji Lad Museum in Byculla, Mumbai.
The other movie is Parmanu – The Story of Pokhran, directed by Abhishek Sharma. For this movie, Boman is currently shooting in New Delhi and Manali along with John Abraham. In Delhi, he was recently mobbed by avid fans while shooting a scene in the heart of the Capital City, in Connaught Place.
Phew! Two movies and a prime time television programme! And that’s not all – Boman has also signed up for a third, hitherto unnamed, film. It’s amazing just to think about how many roles this charismatic actor can juggle at the same time. Will another Professor Virus or a Dr Asthana emerge from these new movies? Wait and watch!
While the practice of pickling is prevalent all over the world, there is evidence which clearly shows that pickling began in India more than 4000 years ago. The earliest pickles have been traced back to 2030 BCE.
However, back then in those ancient times, the aim of pickling wasn’t just to create exciting accompaniments for meals – it had more to do with preserving vegetables, fruits, meat, etc for the winter months when these would be in short supply. In this sense, pickling was more of a survival tactic than a culinary practice.
Mustard and Mustard Oil are known to have existed in India as far back as 5000 years ago – so naturally, mustard oil was the preferred preservative for pickling, especially in North India. However, for some pickles brine and vinegar were also used.
While we’re on the subject of history and pickling, here’s another interesting fact: Cucumbers are originally from India. They grew profusely in the foothills of the Himalayas. You couldn’t get them anywhere else in the ancient world. Far away in Rome, Emperor Tiberius developed an avid liking for this vegetable. He insisted on having copious amounts of it with every meal. The only way to get them from India to Rome without them turning rotten was to pickle them in mustard oil and brine.
And that’s how India’s exports of pickles began. Today, Indian pickles are hugely popular all over the world and you can spot them at stores and supermarkets in every country. You can also spot traditional German, French, Korean, Italian, Japanese and Turkish pickles – but remember… it all began here – in India.
After a brief sabbatical, Boman Irani’s fans are delighted to find him making waves once again. In recent months he has appeared as a judge on the popular television reality show Sabse Bada Kalakar and has signed on for Dharma Productions’ upcoming movie Drive directed by Tarun Mansukhani (of Dostana fame).
The latest rankings released by Celebex, a monthly multi-parameter celebrity rating index, shows Boman Irani at the No. 27 spot. This is amazing because Boman Irani isn’t a hero – he’s a specialist character actor. In spite of this, he ranks just one below a stalwart like Irfan Khan and is way ahead of mainstream heroes like Abhay Deol, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sushant Singh Rajput, Ayushmann Khurrana, and his fellow judge on Sabse Bada Kalakar, Arshad Warsi.
P Mark Mustard Oil – The Mustard Specialist – is proud to have Boman Irani as its Brand Ambassador; the time-tested and trusted Mustard Specialist and the highly respected and widely admired Character Acting Specialist… together we make a great team!
There’s a new television programme that everyone’s started talking about… television screens across India have come alive with a vibrant new reality show called Sabse Bada Kalakar. This delightful programme showcases some amazingly talented children who aspire to emerge as tomorrow’s stars with their acting and dancing skills.
Boman Irani is one of the judges on this show, alongside Raveena Tandon and Arshad Warsi. Boman is a great choice for such a concept because he’s really good with children. Having become a grandfather recently has once again reconnected him with kids – and it shows in his playful interactions with the little artistes who appear on the programme. These days, Boman often talks fondly about all the time he spends with his grandson – Ziaan – and jokes about having to run around to satisfy all the demands made by the little one. Boman says he has become Ziaan’s spot boy!
Kids aside, Boman Irani is an excellent mentor for talent – both new and old. He came up the hard way… worked really hard to emerge as a specialist character actor… and he deserves every ounce of success that Life has bestowed on him.
Boman’s interaction with child artistes is vibrant and edgy even in his movies, and very often this makes for great comic timing – which is what great comedy is all about. Just check out this delightful scene from Bhootnath 2 and you’ll know what we mean.
Writers, Filmmakers, Artists… they all do it – they use the world around them to draw inspiration for their creative pursuits. Boman Irani’s journey as a specialist character actor is pretty much along the same lines.
Long before he became an actor, Boman was already gathering the “raw materials” for creating memorable characters. He was a waiter at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel… then he manned the counter at his family’s wafers shop… going on to becoming a photographer… and then doing fourteen years of theatre before landing the role of Dr Asthana in Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. – a role that catapulted him to success and fame.
But during all those years when he was not acting, Boman was building a launch pad for his acting career. He was a keen observer of people. He saw the crème de la crème of high society during his Taj stint… he came face-to-face with everyday people while sitting at the wafer shop counter… and being a photographer sharpened his eye for detail when it came to people. Boman says that he is like a blotting paper – he soaks in people, their traits, their quirks, their oddities, their behaviour… and uses them as the building blocks for the characters he brings to life on the silver screen.
Looking back on all those years of hard work that he put in, Boman has no regrets – in fact, he has a positive attitude even towards some of his films that have not done well at the box office. He believes that success without failure takes the excitement out of life… so he’s happy to take the good with the bad.
Having graduated from Life’s School of Hard Knocks, Boman has some extremely useful and inspiring advice for all young actors (and film technicians) struggling to get a break. “It does not matter where you start”, he says; “What matters is where you end up.”
Boman Irani changes his look and his persona so frequently and so effortlessly that his fans are no longer surprised by his transformations. From starving himself to mere skin-and bones for an amazing portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi in a play to turning all paunchy and flabby for the role of Professor Virus, and lean, mean and edgy for playing the villainous Vardaan, Boman changes shape with ease. In fact, he becomes a different person!
So when Boman suddenly slimmed down recently, his fans started wondering which new role he was getting ready for. Is it Karan Johar’s Drive? Could be. The first-look for the film has just been released and fans are eagerly waiting to see what Boman’s look will be. And yes, a little bird tells us that Boman has just signed on for yet another new film.
In a recent press interview, Boman underplays this new, fit look. He says that for a while “Boman the Foodie” had been enjoying life too much – and it began showing up in his waistline. So he decided to start focusing on getting back to fitness – but not by turning to crash diets. He believes that just like eating, dieting too should not be taken to extremes.
“You need to balance”, he points out. And that’s a valuable tip that every ardent Foodie should keep in mind.
You can read the press interview here:
It seems like it was only yesterday…. Boman Irani on the sets of the shoot for a quirky new television commercial for P Mark Mustard Oil… in his element as always… with an awesome new look – a tabla maestro, replete with a designer kurta and an intriguing wig.
It was well past midnight when the shoot started and as the citizens of the “City That Never Sleeps” enjoyed their slumber, the set was alive and bustling with activity. This was a film with a supporting cast of close to 200 people (including extras) and an experienced production team led by Ravi Chandran, DOP. In the Director’s chair was Kayoze Irani – Boman’s son.
Ad films are supposed to be hush-hush under-wraps affairs… but it was Boman who first let the cat out of the bag with this tweet:
Later, after the film was launched, he tweeted once again:
Other celebrities who loved the ad film and tweeted about it were Alia Bhat and Huma Qureshi, along with Ravi Chandran, the film’s DOP.
Boman also shared the film with all his fans on his personal Facebook page; it garnered more that 100,000 views!
Well, coming back to the story that we started this post with, the shoot went on till dawn… but surprisingly, Boman showed no signs of fatigue. In fact, after the shoot he spent another hour with the P Mark Mustard Oil Team in his vanity van, delivering a series of in-camera messages. We have been sharing these here, on this blog – and you can see how fresh Boman looks. What an amazing artiste! And what an amazing experience!