Farhan Akhtar has directed Shah Rukh Khan, written dialogues for Aamir Khan, and when on camera, he’s played everything from a rock star and a sprinter to a vacationing magazine writer. In fact, to play sprinter Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Farhan put in enough physical self-torture that his trainers were convinced he was ready to compete professionally. But don’t call him a ‘method actor’, because this actor and filmmaker maintains that the moniker belongs to Hollywood great, Robert De Niro.
Successful movie people are always talking about how much they admire even more successful movie stars, but Farhan’s De Niro fawning is up a whole other gradient: "He’s the only person whose feet I’ve ever touched in my life," he reveals.
Farhan’s met the man twice, but says that he was tongue-tied. "It was a weird thing and I didn’t know what to say. After ‘How are you, sir?’ I’d get uncomfortable," shares the 41-year-old actor in an interview given to GQ India, in their July edition.
In the ’80s, a young Farhan saw De Niro play Al Capone in The Untouchables at Sterling Cinema, and was amazed that De Niro would do so much for a role.
"(He) put on all that weight, shaved his head, just for those seven or eight scenes. That kind of dedication is just amazing," he says.