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SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD : Laughing with Boman Irani

April 20, 2016 2:27:55 PM IST
By Vishal Verma, Glamsham Editorial
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Starting as a waiter and then turning photographer, Boman Irani is now one and a half decade old in Bollywood. The immensely talented actor is grounded and believes that though the role might have similarities, a human beign is different. Driving humour from day to day routine, Boman spills some beans on the importance of humour in a person's life, his unending admiration for Johnny Lever and his role as the funny detective in his upcoming SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD, Directed by Akashdeep Sabir and produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.



What is SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD all about?
The movie is not a string of jokes as people may perceived.. I play Santheshwar Singh Solair (Santa) and Vir Das plays Banteshwar Singh Bolair (Banta), we are undercover agents but not smart cool and dapper like those handsome James Bond, we are simpletons, fools who land up in Fiji to solve a crime and funny encounters takes place with wonderful talents like Ram Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Sanjay Mishra, the two lovely ladies Neha Dhupia, Lisa Haydon and of course the great Johnny Lever.

Banta is short, Santa is taller and carries more weight.. a passing flash of the great Laurel & Hardy comes to our mind?
Yes you are right.. Though Santa is not that fat (laughs) as Hardy but it's okay.. see if you have two similar characters then you don't need two characters. The two characters should be different enough to bounce and be feed of each other. The diversity is needed. In case of Laurel & Hardy, both where of the same age but here there is an age difference.. One is young, the other one is older. One is aggressive; the other is cool calm type. The contrast is there.. like Abbott and Costello, Pankaj Kapoor and Satish Kaushik as Titu Singh and Tony Singh on TV.. it's different. Vir Das take on comedy is different from mine.. we have pooled very well as a pair.

'Johnny Bhai has a ‘shaitani' sense of humour'

You addressed Johnny Lever separately as ‘great' from the impressive star cast of SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD, please share your experience with Johnny Lever – your inspiration and the reason for your admiration
Johnny Bhai has a ‘shaitani' sense of humour… he is the man from our lane, neighborhood, city, town, country.. his remarkable understanding of human nature and outstanding ability to create humour from our everyday life's is unbeatable… his presence brings in happiness.. I love him very much and it's not a secret.

We were shooting for SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD miles away at a remote mill, nothing was around and it was hot, Johnny Bhai never rejected a single request of mine and was prompt to show his famous acts/gags one after the another.. no starry airs nothing.. forget that. we were in a tent and it was terribly hot.. Johnny bhai started and it was no end.. we all had our food in one hand and where laughing nonstop forgetting the heat, soon after the locals around came to know about Johnny and people started pouring in numbers.. the crowd at the back was not able to see and listen properly but was laughing continuously.. such is the presence of this legend amongst people.

I had a great master in Johnny bhai on the sets, whenever I felt the need of improvisation, I was not at all ashamed to go to Johnny bhai and seek his guidance. He calls me ‘bapu' and was enthusiastic to give his valuable tips to me.. when Johnny Bhai is around, there can never be a dull moment.

You have played character roles and even leads, how much do you value the importance of character/supporting actor?
For me they have the highest values. A movie is not made with a solo hero/character. I have played characters and I value character actors the most. Even when I play one of the lead characters in SANTA BANTA PVT. LTD, the support of other actors like Ram Kapoor, Vijay Raaz, Sanjay Mishra, Johnny Bhai etc is equally important.

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