Mumbai, Nov 18: When Boman Irani approaches a new character, he unlearns whatever tricks he has learnt over the years because the actor says it'd be tragic if the audience feels he has done a "cut and paste job".
With an experience of more than 15 years and several memorable characters in films like "Munna Bhai MBBS" to "3 Idiots", Boman says when someone approaches him with a role he can never do an ordinary, convenient job.
"I'm driven by childishness, naughtiness and a certain responsibility to the makers, so I'm not going to do cut and paste job. The approach is to be fresh. I might have an ego to never be repetitive.
"What's the point if people feel 'Hey we have seen him do this before?' It's important to me that my self-esteem or self-worth should never be judged by a cut and paste job. It's no fun," Boman told PTI in an interview.
The 59-year-old actor said every character, no matter how similar on paper, will always be different from each other.
"As an actor, the great advantage is that you can get characters which might sound similar, have same profession or of same age but they're different human beings. Because of that, my creation of them will also be fresh. It cannot be leftovers of the other guy. You have to work hard to create this other guy."
One of the key processes to create a distinct character for Boman is to keep letting go of his tried and tested formulas.
"Unlearning is far more difficult than learning. You have to do it all the time, before every shoot. Because something's worked for you before, you think it'll work for you again. But it is so important to unlearn," he added.
Boman will be be next seen as Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kailash Satyarthi in "Jhalki", which deals with the issue of child trafficking and child labour.
The actor said he was clear he didn't want to copy Satyarthi's mannerisms, his style or even his walk as he doesn't believe in that acting method.
"I had two options. Do I sit and do a complete immitation — an approach I don't like — or just capture the spirit of the man? I did the latter. The pressure of this here was less as few people have seen him speak. I took that pressure off me and simply concentrated on what the man stands for.
"If there's some similarity between how I have played him and his real self, it doesn't matter. My challenge was how do I imbibe his spirit."
Boman believes while it is good for actors to back and feature in socially-relevant films, it is also the makers' responsibility to ensure the project has some cinematic merit.
"I wish I had more projects like these. But films should have some narrative. You can't just say 'I am doing a social cause film.' Sure, it can be about a good cause but it has to be a good film too. Just because it's a social message film doesn't mean it'll be good.
"At least present the audience with something that's consumable. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece but it can't be a terrible film from the get go."
Directed by Brahmanand Siingh, "Jhalki" also features Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sanjay Suri and Divya Dutta.
I'm not going to do cut and paste job: Boman Irani