Have a laugh with Irani

FUNNYMAN Boman Irani had to learn a new language of comedy – literally – when shooting his latest film ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla.’

The former talented photographer is a Parsi and his character was a crooked Punjabi.

But says Irani: “I can hardly speak Hindi never mind Punjabi – but the crew helped me out and we got there in the end.”

Here Irani talks more about his latest role.

You must be inundated with offers after successful films including ‘Munnabhai MBBS’, ‘Page 3’, ‘Waqt – A Race Against Time’ and ‘Lagey Raho Munnabhai’? How do you go about selecting your roles?

I don’t go about looking for any particular type of films or roles. I select a film purely on the ingenuity of its storyline. I look at the director and how well he can put his vision on screen and a good working relationship are also of utmost importance to me. Khosla Ka Ghosla has a unique storyline about a middle-class family joining hands to pull off a scam on the biggest goon in the property business who has duped them of their plot of land.

It must have been an instant yes your latest comedy film?

No! Frankly, it took me a couple of months to agree to do the film. Though the story was different, and the writer, Jaideep Sahani had etched out my character in great detail, I could not visualise myself as my character Kishan Khurana, a loud, villainous land broker whose only business is to cheat simple men of their property. It was not the person so much, as the nuances of his character, which was his typical loud Punjabi talk and mannerisms that intimidated me. Being a person who cannot even speak Hindi properly I was very wary about doing justice to this character who spoke with a heavy Punjabi accent.

AdvertisementThen what made you accept the part?

Sometimes a scene or even a line can inspire an actor! Actually I was going through the climax a couple of times, that’s when I was struck by a scene. It was where K K Khosla (Anupam Kher), who owns this piece of land, approaches me with a line ‘woh to meri zameen hai?’ My reply, where I say ‘woh aap ka hai to leh lo…’ was very polite, but I was actually sniggering and sort of challenging him to try and get it back. It was a very powerful line, and I felt if I could crack that, I could do the film.

How did you tackle your role then?

I’m a Parsi in real life and whilst trying to play a Punju on screen I had the crew all laughing at me. Every time I got stuck there was someone to help me either with the dialogue delivery or the expressions. Anupam Kher would often explain how a Punjabi would react in a particular situation. You can say I have never worked harder on a part!

‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ is a comedy with no superstars, only well-known character actors like you, Anupam Kher and others. Is that enough to draw the audiences to the theatres?

Times have changed! The script is the hero of KKG. Writer Jaideep Sahani has written this wonderful story about a family as comic and muddled as our real families are. Then there is this whacko music video that encapsulates the soul of the film and shows the audiences the vibe, the attitude and the unique characters. It is sure to attract the audiences.

Will KKG be another addition to your list of successes?

Everything I do is because I believe in it. If I start calculating and speculating about the film being a hit I will lose out on my earnestness as an actor. Things have worked well on their own till now, and I hope they continue to do so.

Which other films are you looking forward to?

There is Reema Kagti’s ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd’ in which I am paired with Shabana Azmi, and then Vinod Chopra’s ‘Eklavya’ in which I play a rana!

From being a successful photographer to an actor? how was the transition?

At times I still carry my camera with me in case I can click some interesting pictures. But the transition has been without any hitch, because for me it was switching from one creative field to another.

How do you find the Indian audiences abroad?

Very receptive and friendly. Not only us actors, but anyone coming from India is welcomed warmly.

Tell us why we should watch ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’?

To have a good laugh!