Acting is about lying convincingly: Boman Irani
In the latest chat arranged as part of Indulge Time Pass, a series of webinars organised by The New Indian Express, veteran actor Boman Irani spoke about the evolution of screenwriting, working with students and the kind of roles he prefers to do. Irani began speaking about his association with Birdman screenwriter, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. "I wrote a script years ago and shared it with Alex in New York. He had then written a script he knew was not mainstream," said Irani, who was later heartwarmed to learn the reception Birdman received and of course, the Oscars Alexander received. "Fame does funny things to people but strangely, our friendship got stronger. I flew Alex to India for a party, which was actually a workshop that went on for six hours."
The actor is well-known for organising such workshops. "Screenwriters are not paid well, not respected enough, and not protected enough. Great stories need to be translated into a scrip; that's what we are teaching. I am sharing everything I have learned over the years," said Irani. "Be it content-driven films or potboilers, a film should be a memorable piece of work that can be spoken about years later. It's like making sure the table doesn't rock before adding inlays."
Answering a question about the current OTT fixation, Irani said, "I miss theatres but OTT cannot be dubbed the new normal. India has done a great job in curbing the virus but this can't go on forever." The Munna Bhai MBBS actor went on to talk about his choice of roles: "I want to be a part of truthful stories. You have to make a character that makes people say, 'I know that guy.' Acting is a lie and how convincing that lie is the question." The actor added that he's proud of his less-serious films. "I cannot expect every person to like a content-driven film. There has to be someone to entertain them as well. Putting a smile on someone's face is a noble job. My mom tells me that God has blessed me with talents but not for a minute, must I think that the talent has anything to do with proving to the rest of the world that I am a good actor. My job is to bring joy to the people."
Circling back to writing, the actor said, "Developing a good screenplay takes time and practice. Transforming an idea into screenplay takes craft and dedication." The actor looked to underplay the fixation on 'good ideas'. "Getting a good idea is just the beginning and it's not even necessary at times. You need a character who wants something. There is a craft and science; at least know the rules before you break them."