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I have always preferred comfort over trends - Boman Irani | Exclusive Interview

Being multifaceted is one thing. But being immensely talented and excelling in everything that you do is a rare feat. Actor Boman Irani falls gracefully in the second category. The fifty-four-year young actor, who recently tasted success with his impeccable portrayal of the local Parsi chocolate boy, Tammy, in Happy New Year, is all set to make heads turn at the upcoming edition of the Blenders Pride Fashion Tour. This time, Irani has stepped into a brand new role, that of a Style Blender (and speaker) at the fashion fiesta. 

The frenzy around him at a recent preview of the five city fashion tour was for all to see, as people couldn't stop complimenting the actor for his performance and dapper red carpet event appearances. Post photo shoots and television interviews, the actor settled down for an exclusive chat with Priya Adivarekar, where he spoke about his idea of style and comfort, association with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour and how he also designs his character look for a film.


Could tell us about your association with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour in detail? This is the first time that you are taking on the role of a Style Blender.

Initially, when they called up to say that they wanted me to be a part of the fashion tour, I asked - why me? (smiles) That's when I began to understand the whole idea of this five city tour. Its not just about a fashion designer showcasing his work. The tour celebrates the blend of attitude, inner self, substance, respect and comfort with style. We (designers associated with Blenders Pride Fashion Tour, Irani and writer Chetan Bhagat) are not here to hawk for big labels and brands. Its all okay and to each his own, but the main idea is to educate the whole country about the real essence of Fashion, which is all about finesse, refinement and turning out well. Fashion has least to do with expensive clothes.

Is that your personal style mantra too?
Absolutely! I may be in a better position to afford labels now, but there was a time when I couldn't and I would still be a refined dresser. Its all a myth when people believe that fashion is all about glitterati. I personally believe that real fashion is all about being the best you can be, in the most pure way, within your needs and parameters.

Does comfort always find priority over trends in your personal wardrobe?  
Oh yes! Comfort will always come first. For me, comfort doesn't necessarily have to do with only fitting or fabric. One should also see if they are feeling awkward in that garb. The question to ask is - Am I uncomfortable and feeling awkward? So, you need to pick the right color, fabric and fitting that not only suits your age, but also allows you to feel relaxed and presentable. People get excited while picking or wearing a suit. But, if the style doesn't match your personality, it will eventually reflect. I will keep looking at myself in the mirror and say, "Bhai! Yeh barabar hain kya?"  But at the same time, I am not the kind who believes that pyjamas and track pants are the most comfortable outfits. I just feel that when your outfit is respectful and presentable at a particular event, you are and will feel comfortable. Like, there are times when I have to wear a particular outfit. Say for instance, a traditional wedding. In a situation like this, I may not be comfortable in that outfit, but I have to abide by the requirement. But, at least I feel comfortable with the fact that I am respecting and honoring the people who have invited me.
Comfort will always come first. For me, comfort doesn't necessarily have to do with only fitting or fabric. One should also see if they are feeling awkward in that garb
Boman Irani walks on the runway at the Happy New Year first look launch 
Does the same rule apply when you are at work?
Of course! I always tell myself, "I should dress up a little more correctly." Its not that I am sitting in a car or my home, I am at work. In between shots or post shoot, there will be some kids who would end up approaching me for an autograph or picture. For them, it could just be their first picture with an actor and hence, you need to make it special for them. You can't be looking shabby, sloppy or drab. Wearing unironed clothes or making a poorly dressed appearance would be disrespectful to the child's emotions and his picture/autograph. Following such rules is the real comfort for me. Same thing applies when I step out for red carpet events. You need to respect the fact that 50 photographers are waiting there to click your pictures. Also, your body languages needs to match your outfit. The way you stand also shows your comfort level.

While your event appearances are quite dapper, your characters often wear a different look.
None of my characters in films have had a dapper appearance. Every character requires a different touch. For example, let's take Virus (3 Idiots). Now, that guy is frozen in time. If I think, hey, let's make the character look smashing, that's like not staying true to the character. On the other side, you have got Tammy (Happy New Year) who loves all things fashionable, so he will stick to that.
In between shots or post shoot, there will be some kids who would end up approaching me for an autograph or picture. For them, it could just be their first picture with an actor and hence, you need to make it special for them
While Boman handpicked the outfits worn by Virus (right),
he was also involved in creating the right look for Tammy (left)

Do you have a say in the costume department, when the team is busy creating your final look for a  film character?
Yes, there have been times when I have given inputs and decided my outfits for a particular character. It helps, because I have understood and internalized the character. Without sounding like I am giving you a lesson in acting (smiles), in Classic acting, you first work the internals, think, heart, thought processes, mind and then work your way outwards. The moment you understand that part, you will know what you need to wear. Like, if I am playing a corporate person and I rehearse in a pair of jeans and casual tee, trust me, my rehearsal will not go well. But, the moment I wear an outfit suitable for my character, the body language, walk, bearing and even the way you hold your chin, will be determined by the internals, which blend with the externals. And then, it works.
If you ask me, if you don't work on the internals, the externals will never work. Its not just about putting on some fancy clothes.

Any character portrayed by you whose look was designed by you?
Virus! For that character, I didn't work with any filmy tailor. We locked a local tailor, and I didn't even show him my face (laughs). Through instructions, I told him to make super high waist trousers, in drill (fabric) and use thread buttons (not the fancy ones). For the shirts, when I visited a shop to buy the material, the store manager kept taking me to the area where the most expensive stuff was stocked. I kept saying, I need the cheapest material. But that guy insisted and kept saying, "Yaar, aisa mat karo! If you buy the Rs 50 per meter material, what will my customers say? I'll show you the best shirting." I made myself very clear, that I would only buy the cheap fabric now, and would come back to buy the better ones for personal use later. So, everything that you see on Virus is handpicked by me. Even for Tammy, I sat with Farah and designed the entire look on my own. We tweaked the outfits in between, especially during the Dubai parts, because he should look like a traveler. So, we added hats and other accessories. But, the sling bag was Farah's idea.  Forget films, even for my daughter's wedding, people got fancy togs for me. But I just said, throw it all off. I put together the same, simple suit. And just jazzed it up by wearing a new tie.
Virus! For that character, I didn't work with any filmy tailor. We locked a local tailor, and I didn't even show him my face
-- By Priya Adivarekar --

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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