The making of an actor

Make over from 'Im ot Bajirao' Two years into his photography career it took nothing short of a perceptive suggestion by one of India's leading entertainers, Shiamak Davar that Boman should be on stage.

Boman was entertaining the entertainer to help him relax during a photo shoot. Shiamak is a multi-talented person and one of his talents is spotting talent itself.

Boman pleaded of many things including being shy of all things to sidestep this predicament; but Shiamak was adamant and pushed him into the audition with Mr. Alyque Padamsee.

All he got was cameo in Alyque Padamsee's  Roshni and that was all he needed. Audiences and critics gave Boman a warm welcome to the theatre scene in Bombay.

Next he found himself in a double role opposite the great Pearl Padamsee in Raell Padamsee's Family Ties.

38 yr old Boman plays a 75 yr old Parsi in Rahul Da Cunha's,I'm not Bajirao

Boman with Shenaz Patel in John Guare's,
'Six Degrees of Separation'
In 1996 Rahul Da Cunha was looking for a 75 year old man for his adaptation of I'm not Rappoport and the 34 year old Boman was amused when he was asked to read for the part. That he got the role half way through the reading was less shocking than the fact that that this little play with two old men on a park bench for most of the play turned out to be one of Bombay theatres greatest successes.

Two and a half years and still going strong it clearly established Boman as one of Bombay's finest talents. One critic went on to describe his performance as one of the finest seen on the Bombay stage.

I'm not Bajirao as it is called will always have a place in the hearts of Bombay's theatre lovers. Performed overseas, in Dubai and Singapore and on its way to Africa it has the ability to charm anywhere in the world.

In Rahul Da Cunha's version of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation Boman played Flan Kitteridge his first straight talking part displaying range and an affirmation of his talent.

For a lot of people it was I'm not Bajirao that came too early in his career. It was a role of a lifetime.

Boman plays Gandhi in
'Mahatma versus Gandhi'.
Then came the biggest surprise of all. The 6'2", 98 kg [never say diet] Boman being cast as The Mahatma Gandhi in Feroze Khan's 'Mahatma Vs Gandhi. When he was informed of it he first thought it was a cruel joke.

It was for real, so he laughed for a few minutes and 8 hours after he realized that Feroze Khan was serious, Boman went on a diet. Two months to the hour of opening night he had shed 18 kgs to play the man.

Boman's first performance as Gandhi was in Durban. 22 performances in South Africa, unprecedented audience and critical acclaim were the reason enough for the play to return to South Africa in 1999 Jan. Feroze Khan who also acted in the play, Jayati Bhatia who played Kasturba and Boman were the toast of Durban. 

It was a proud moment for Indian theatre with the play being described as on of the finest to be staged in that country.
 © 1998 Boman Irani