Their friendship goes back a long way and today Boman Irani and Farah Khan are much more than just friends. No, we mean they’ve graduated to the BFF (Best Friends Forever) club. Farah, who has worked with Boman in over 12 films, gave out some secrets about the birthday boy who turns a year older today.
Q. First of all, tell us when and how did you meet Boman Irani?
Farah: You know it’s very strange, I met Boman in 2002 when he was a photographer. I was choreographing an ad, Boman was a still photographer over there. He used to do theatre also but I didn’t know that. We got talking and we clicked instantly. When I was casting for Main Hoon Na, actually I don’t know why I decided to take him. I actually approached two other people for the Principal’s role.
I approached Paresh Rawal, Pankaj Kapur and both said no. I asked Boman to send me a show reel. In that show reel he danced really well, so I was like I’ll take him and then I added his dance bit in the song Gori Gori.
— Farah Khan (@TheFarahKhan) December 2, 2017
Q. How did the equation change from being his director to being his co-star inShirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi?
Farah: The only reason I acted in a movie was because I was cast opposite Boman. Because I knew I’ll be taken care of, I’ll be looked after, I’ll be helped. It was a complete role reversal when we did Shirin Farhad, because otherwise I used to direct him and all.
Here he was a veteran actor and I was a newcomer, so he would literally run my lines with me, encourage me, you know I would look at him for approval if I do it properly. Throughout the making of the movie and after the movie we tried spreading the rumour we are having an affair but sadly nobody believed us till today.
Q. Tell us some stories Boman must have told you about his early days, since he doesn’t share those stories so easily.
Farah: Boman had a very difficult childhood. Not a luxurious one. His father passed away when he was very young and he used to work in a wafer shop. He used to run that himself. As a child, he had a speech impairment. Boman used to stutter stammer and so many things. He couldn’t open his mouth till he was some ten years old or something. Very few people know this.
Boman and I discuss all these in depth when we sit to talk. And now Abhishek is also added to our core group. So from where to where he has come, it’s not easy. People might feel it’s an overnight success and all but for a person who worked in a wafer shop to be this. I feel so proud when I see him. He never makes a big deal about it. He has even worked as a waiter in Taj, I have also worked as a waitress in Sea Rock. I am telling you we are made for each other but this bloody Zenobia came in the way!
Q. Now give us 5 things about Boman we don’t know.
Farah: See, the first thing he would want me to say is that he is very sexy and handsome. So since it’s his birthday let us just say it, that he is a very sexy debonair and handsome gentleman. And I cannot tell you how many women of a certain age group find that true about him.
I have to tell you this incident, so we were sitting and he is continuously telling me, “You don’t find me sexy you don’t find me handsome,” so Shah Rukh’s dress designer says, “My grandmother thinks you are fab and you are very handsome and sexy.” So I looked at Boman and was like “Really?” and asked her how old is your grandmom and she is like, “No, my grandmother is dead,” so I told Boman “See Boman basically dead women find you very sexy.”
Next, he is the most compassionate human being that I have met in my life. There is not one bit of malice and negativity or jealously in him. I have never heard him bitch anyone out which is a rare quality.
Third, for all that he has gone through, his poverty stricken childhood, he is one of the most big-hearted and classiest persons I know. You know money can’t buy class, he is a living example of that. Class also comes with the way he treats people on sets. Not only the stars but the assistants the spot boys, the way he talks to the waiters. For me, I think that truly says a lot about a person.
Fourth, he is one of the most intelligent, well-read people I know. With Boman we never get bored. He will take out his iPad and will play these games with me about art and artists. In between shots we would play these games. Instead of bitching out people, you do things like this, it actually exercises your brain.
And the fifth thing is, I mean everbody is a good husband and father but Boman takes it to another level. His children are very lucky. I have rarely seen a son-father relationship like what he has with his kids. I mean all his holidays he will go with his mom, his cousins, it’s so nice. His family is important to him and he genuinely gives them time. I mean, the only time he gets upset is when something is not right with the family.
Q. Since it’s Boman’s birthday, what’s that one gift that will make the birthday boy super happy?
Farah: The gift that I will give him today, I think he’s gonna like it a lot. It’s a very personalised gift that I can get only for Boman. It’s actually an art piece by an artist who does paintings of Parsi families. So I have ordered it for him because I know he collects paintings.