Farah Khan is gearing up to make her acting debut in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next production, Shirin Farhad. The director-choreographer plays an unmarried, middle-aged firebrand, Shirin, opposite Boman Irani in the film that rolls this November. “Sanjay has promised to wrap up the movie by February, so I can start my own film,” says Farah. The slice-of-life film is set against the backdrop of the Parsi community.
Farah admits that when Sanjay told her he wanted to cast her as a ‘heroine’, she thought it was a joke. “Never had I imagined myself as an actor. But Sanjay narrated this sweet story written with me in mind. And I thought, ‘Why not? You only have one life and at my age where will I get another chance.’ Besides, it’s a SLB production and while you may or may not like his films, you can’t dispute the fact that he does quality work,” she says.
Interestingly, Farah has never choreographed for Sanjay’s films. The only song they worked together on, was for 1942 — A Love Story (1994). At that time Sanjay was Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s assistant. Sanjay’s editor-sister Bela Sehgal will direct Shirin Farhad. Farah points out, that even though the two are very close, they share a volatile relationship, just like the one she has with brother Sajid Khan.
“Sanjay and I also share a love-hate relationship. I’ve heard he can be quite a tyrant on the sets. I’m prepared for that, but he’ll probably be so busy fighting with Bela that he will leave me alone,” she laughs. Growing up, Farah had always visualised Shirin Farhad as a tragic couple, like Romeo-Juliet and Heer-Ranjha. “But this movie is happy. You’ll be laughing even during the emotional moments,” she says. “Interestingly, Shrish (director husband Shirish Kunder) and I used to call ourselves Shirin and Farhad when we were dating.”