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“I am like a Blotting Paper” – Boman Irani

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.”

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