Popular actor Boman Irani, who plays Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi in his forthcoming film Jhalki, has said he does not believe in performing imitations as an actor.
Asked how he prepared to play Satyarthi, Irani said, “I saw a lot of his videos on YouTube, but I have learned one thing. While acting, when you focus more on mannerism, body language or look of the character, you forget what’s going on in his heart. So, I feel working on the mannerism and look of a character is like garnishing or decoration.
“I feel if I don’t talk in Kailashji’s voice, it is fine, but I have to identify his spirit, world view and intentions while playing his character. So, I don’t believe in doing imitations, I feel actors should be able to present a character’s viewpoint and soul on screen.”
Boman Irani was interacting with the media at the trailer launch of Jhalki along with co-actors Sanjay Suri and Divya Dutta, besides the film’s directors Brahmanand Singh and Tanvi Jain, in Mumbai on Monday.
Satyarthi is the founder of Bachpan Bachao Andolan, Global March against Child Labor, Global Campaign for Education, Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and Rugmark, now known as GoodWeave International. His team at Bachpan Bachao Andolan has liberated more than 88,000 children in India from child labor, slavery and trafficking.
Irani continued, “I have seen three sides of Kailashji in his videos. He acts like Batman when he rescues children from child labor; it looks like an action-thriller film. When he talks with children, it looks like he is a child himself. When he explains his world view among the public and media, when he inspires them, he looks like a different person altogether. So, he has three great faces. I am not that good an actor but I have tried to imitate him as much as possible but I didn’t want to miss his soul while playing him on screen.”
It is not often that you find a Hindi film backed by a Nobel laureate. Kailash Satyarthi’s support for Brahmanand Singh and Tanvi Jain’s upcoming Jhalki (2019) stems from the touching and simple context of the film’s protagonists, two children. The story of a nine-year-old girl setting out in search of her seven-year-old brother is set for release in theatres on 27 September.
Boman Irani said he does not dislike commercial cinema and tries as an actor to balance movies — doing some for running his household and some for serving his creative appetite. “I don’t knock commercial cinema. It’s very important that people should go to the cinema, have a good time, a good laugh. Without commercial cinema I feel we may not be able to make smaller movies,” the actor said.
Irani then added: This [Jhalki] isn’t a small movie, it’s a big movie because of the impact it needs to make, it will make.”