Boman Irani’s most notable performances have been in films like Munnabhai MBBS, Jolly LLB and 3 Idiots but he has been equally great in Bollywood comic capers. His characters from No Entry, Housefull series and Happy New Year have become popular, thanks to his impeccable comic timing and the actor says comedies should not be dismissed as something “senseless”.
“It is not a plan to have a balance of comic and serious films, it is a mindset. We, actors, are entertainers. It is a part of our social fabric to make sure that people are also entertained. People need an escape of sorts through movies. It is not to be treated like something totally senseless,” Boman told PTI. The 57-year-old actor says actors should be able to entertain the audience through their work. “It is important to entertain people who do not have the opportunity to travel. They require entertainment as a staple diet in their everyday life. Entertainment is a big medicinal dose for the public. I feel that we must acknowledge that.”
In his 16-year-long film career, Boman has several memorable roles to his credit including Dr J C Asthana, Professor Viru Sahastrabuddhe (Virus) and Advocate Rajpal among others. Now, he is portraying children’s rights activist and Nobel Laureate, Kailash Satyarthi, in an upcoming film, titled Jhalki. The film is the story of a nine-year-old girl in search of her seven-year-old brother against the backdrop of bonded child labour in the carpet weaving factories of India. This is the first time that a feature film is being made on Satyarthi and his works. Boman says the activist is upbeat about the movie and has given his full support. “The film is being made with his complete understanding and guidance. The director went to meet him and understood his work. Mr Satyarthi is aware of the script.”
Boman, who has shot his portions of the film in Mirzapur, UP, says he has a small role in the project but he agreed to do it as he is deeply inspired by Satyarthi’s work and life. “I am not the central character but I wanted to do the film as Satyarthi is one of our national icons. It is important that he becomes a household name for doing what he is doing. I hope there is more awareness about the problem of child labour as well as Satyarthi through the film.”
The actor, himself, works closely with the the Don Bosco Shelter in Mumbai, which is an institution that looks after street children. He says it is his little contribution to the society and he finds it to be a deeply satisfying experience. “I spend whatever time I can with the children at the Don Bosco Shelter. I think it is important to mentor such children and encourage them. They should also be given opportunities.”