Boman Irani has got a guest appearance in Rajkumar Hirani’s film based on Sanjay Dutt’s life starring Ranbir Kapoor. The actor has got a couple of projects lined up. He will play a crucial role in John Abraham’s Parmanu. Boman who has had a long association with Rajkumari spoke to indianexpress.com about his role. Below are some excerpts from the interview:
Some people are of the view that why make a film based on a person (Sanjay Dutt) who is alive?
That’s not for me to decide. If somebody wants to make a film, it’s a story to be told. There are so many films in Hollywood that are made on people who are alive. Are we going to wait till Rajkumar Hirani turns 80? What’s the problem in making a film about a person who is alive? As long as there is a story that needs to be told and holds a certain interest, that’s a choice for the director. Why do we question that? They are there at Oscars, watching their own films. You don’t have to wait for them to die.
You have got a guest appearance in a film. Tell us more about it.
I was not in the film. So Raju kept me calling and saying that ‘I am feeling very odd. You have been in all my films. I want you to be part of this film’. So he calls me one day and tells me that there is a scene in the film where Munna Bhai MBBS is playing on the screen. So he told me, ‘On a technical level, you are in the film. Am very glad that you are in the film’. Then three days later he gave me another call and said, ‘Listen, why don’t you do a special guest appearance in the film’. I said, ‘Ok. What do you want me to do?’ It’s a small character that I am playing. It’s not a known character but it may have existed. He is not someone whose name you would have read in newspapers. So I went and did that role. There were Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and myself in the scene. It was fun to be back working with Raju. We have a great bond. We started our careers together. We became friends. Our attitudes are alike. So it’s more of an emotional casting.
Have you read the script? What was your first impression of the script?
Well, there are certain stories that only Rajkumar Hirani can say. He approaches his film with a certain humanness. There is the drama, lightheartedness and there is also a human slice of life. Eventually, the film is not just about Sanjay Dutt, it’s also about humanity. It’s about everyone. It’s about identifying with the story of few souls who came together and their trials and triumphs of their lives. It’s like any other story. But I think Rajkumar’s biggest asset as a filmmaker is that of as a writer. His writing is so engaging. His writing is simplified and yet has so much depth. He is a fantastic editor. I love listening to Raju when he is narrating the script. His narration is so beautiful. It’s one of the best experiences of my life as an actor. It’s a beautiful script.
You have worked with Sanjay Dutt in Munnabhai MBBS. What kind of relationship you two share?
From the day one, Sanjay showed an immense respect towards me, not only as a person but also as an actor. And he hasn’t changed since then. Whenever we meet, there is a lot of warmth and respect. He is extremely respectful towards me and my family.
How do you approach your characters?
I try not to take reference of films that have already been made. I get inspiration from real life people and hopefully, that brings a freshness in my characters.
You are also playing Nobel Prize Winner Kailash Satyarthi in film Jhalki. Tell us why did you choose to play the character?
It’s a story about a little girl who is searching for her brother who disappeared as bonded labourer. That girl meets the real life character of Kailash Satyarthi (played by me) towards the end of the film. I immediately said yes. The film is saying something. If we don’t support such ventures, then what’s the point of being an actor? An actor’s responsibility is to entertain, an actor’s responsibility is also to act in the name of cinema, art. His job is to bring the smile on people’s faces. But at the same time, his job is also about creating awareness. It’s a small role, but it’s consequential. It’s shocking and surprising that people don’t know much about him.