As an actor Farhan Akhtar, who also directs and produces movies, had a fabulous year with biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and now he is looking forward to Dev Benegal's film with Kareena Kapoor and his sister Zoya's next directorial venture which he says has nothing to do with their off screen relationship.
Excerpts from an interview:
Farhan Akhtar in a still from the film.
You seem to be more active as an actor than a filmmaker?
When you are surfing, and you catch a nice wave, you don't leave it halfway through to find a better one. I am in that kind of a space. This journey seems so correct. I am truly enjoying this experience, working with the people that I am working with right now. And I'm getting such wonderful opportunities to work with such amazing talent. I don't know when again I'll have this opportunity. I am just now looking forward to my next film as an actor. And that's in Dev Benegal's film.
Kareena is your co-star in this film?
Yes. She is. And I am really looking forward to working with her. We start shooting together right after my forthcoming film Shaadi Ke Side Effects releases.
Does Dev's film give you the chance to do something new again?
Oh yes, that's almost become a subconscious precondition for every role I do. For me, to consciously seek unpredictable roles would be dangerous. In some kind of way, I am automatically drawn to roles that take me to the other end of the spectrum. I've just finished Saket Chowdhary's Shaadi Ke Side Effects. For the first time it truly feels like I am doing a romantic comedy.
This is the first time you're attempting a comedy?
As a full-on mood, yes. But there were pronounced elements of comedy in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. When I read Saket's script, I found it genuinely very funny. And at the same time it is maturely written.
Are you consciously selecting a different co-star each time?
What?! No! But come to think it's true. It's been a different co-star every time. I've made no conscious effort to pick different co-stars each time. But that's a good occurrence. Every time you work with a new co-star a whole new dynamic emerges. I am sure the same will happen with Kareena.
Tell me about the films that you and your friend Ritesh Sidhwani are producing?
There is my sister Zoya's film. It'd be shot when I am shooting Dev Benegal's film. But my work in the two films won't overlap. I have very seriously different looks for both the films.
You are in all the two films that Zoya has directed so far and now a third?
Yeah, and why not? I am happily a constant in her films. And besides she works with other actors too, doesn't she?
Zoya's film is about a brother and a sister? Is it based on your relationship with her?
No no. That confusion has prevailed for a while now. So let me take this opportunity to very clearly state that Zoya's film has nothing to do with our real life relationship. It is entirely a work of fiction.
Are you doing any other films as an actor?
Yes, a film produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra to be directed by Bejoy Nambiar. It's Vidhu's script. That's something I am looking forward to.
This is the one where you share screen space with Mr Bachchan? Do you two play father and son?
Yes, and no.
Come to think of it so many films of yours have been trendsetters?
If you want to call them that. To me Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is definitely a landmark. It has taught me so much. Last week I went for my daughter's sports day. All the little students there in school, even the shy little 6-7 year olds were hiding behind each other and calling out 'Milkha' to me. That felt wonderful.
Milkha has impacted the way we look at sports besides cricket?
Students have met me and said that the film has changed the way sports and games are looked on in the college curriculum. BMB has opened up a world of possibilities. It has inspired me to believe that the really difficult things in life can be achieved by sheer application. And it doesn't matter which vocation one is in.