We know that he’s a film and theatre actor, a photographer and a singer too. But many would be surprised by Bela Bhansali Sehgal’s assertion that Boman Irani is a terrific dancer.
The director of his upcoming comedy, Shrin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, insists it’s true. “And would you believe it, for a track in my film, he even turned choreographer,” says a Boman-struck Bela.
It’s a solo song, Kukuduku, picturised on the actor who is playing a 40-plus bra-and-panty selling travelling salesman who meets his match in a feisty spinster. Shrin drives Farhad crazy and dance director Pony Verma, along with Bela who has also directed music videos, was at a loss, wondering how to go about creating the number.
Even Boman’s heroine in the film, choreographer-turned-director-turned actor Farah Khan, was in the ‘think mad’ mode.
“When we couldn’t come up with anything really wacko despite racking our brains, I gave Boman the license to do what he wanted, and he went loony!” Bela reminisces. “I’d expected a moron, but Boman jived like a maniac. What surprised me is that in the midst of all the tomfoolery, he managed to come up with some wonderful impromptu moves that included some great Shammi Kapoor twists. His mother and grandmother were present during the shoot. We all had so much fun watching him, that we retained the jig.”
Bela has been working on the Shirin-Farhad romance for almost a decade with Boman, since brother Sanjay Leela Bhansali came up with the idea. “But the project didn’t materialise then,” says Bela.
“Boman signed another film and I tried reworking the script, turning Parsis into Punjabis, before putting it on hold. But when I decided to turn director, I told Sanjay that I wanted to go back to Shirin-Farhad with Boman and Farah.”