In his first movie Josh, he had a fleeting appearance. Eight years later Boman Irani is known as a niche actor with the ability to pull audiences. But he doesn't like to be labelled a star and says he is just an average person who loves it when kids approach him.
"I'm not a hero or a superstar. I'm an everyday guy. I feel happy when children approach me. I feel that something good is happening in life when little kids recognise me," Boman told IANS in an interview.
After a humble beginning with Mansoor Khan's Josh, Boman shot to fame as the eccentric Dr. J.C. Asthana in Rajkumar Hirani's 2003 hit comedy Munnabhai M.B.B.S..
He has since then won kudos for his powerful performances in films like Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Don - The Chase Begins Again and Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.
Boman says he doesn't mind people remembering him more for Munnabhai than for his other roles.
"I don't mind being identified as any character as long as I'm doing a good job as an actor. I have done all kinds of roles - from an editor, judge, police officer, murderer to a corrupt businessman. And if people identify me as Dr. Asthana or Lucky Singh from Munnabhai movies, I am happy," said Boman.
"After Munnabhai M.B.B.S. happened, I haven't looked back," added the actor who was here to shoot for his forthcoming film 99.
Talking about 99, he said: "It is based in the year 1999 and I play a gambler who wants the world to know him as a normal office- goer. I sport a French beard in the film," said Boman.
The film is being directed by US-based Indian directors - Raj Nidimuro and Krishna D.K. - who have earlier made Shor and Flavors.
99 also stars Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu, Cyrus Broacha, Simone Singh, Mahesh Manjrekar and Vinod Khanna.
On being asked what kind of roles he prefers, Boman asserted: "The moment you say I want to do a role, the story suffers. I don't set priorities in terms of roles or scripts."
Although he is not choosy about roles, his favourite character is Lucky Singh from the National Award-winning movie Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
"I like Lucky Singh a lot because he is a confused character. He is a good man but does things in the wrong way. Despite that he is a family man," he said.
"My favourite co-stars are Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Shabana Azmi."
Before moving on to the big screen, Boman tried his luck at the family business of selling potato chips, photography and theatre. He also did TV commercials.
"Nothing was planned in my career. I just went with the flow and took everything that came to me. Selling potato chips was obvious as it was a family business. When friends suggested I should try theatre, I gave it a shot. Then I did a lot of advertisements and then movies happened.
"However, photography is the only thing that I wanted to do. I still carry my camera wherever I go and keep on taking pictures of anything and everything that excites me. I have thousands of pictures in my collection.
"I don't know when, but it is definitely in my mind to exhibit my photographs some day."
Besides 99, Boman will be seen in Little Zizou, Fruit & Nut, Maharathi, Three Idiots, Sorry Bhai, Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, Yuvraaj and the sequel to Don....
He has also lent his voice to Nikhil Advani's animation movie Ab Dilli Door Nahin.
Dabbling between his various projects, the actor is satisfied as "acting gives the luxury to create something new every time".