Zoya Akhtar thoroughly impressed by ‘little bro’
A perfect working relationship as siblings, has been extended to their professional life. Princy Jain & Nikhil Taneja speak to Zoya and Farhan about working together.india Updated: Jan 26, 2009 17:40 IST
Farhan Akhtar scared sister Zoya, older by a year, with a rubber mask and socked her in the jaw while pretending to be Bruce Willis. A perfect working relationship as siblings, which has now been extended to their professional life — Zoya has directed Farhan in Luck By Chance, her first outing as director, and is thoroughly impressed by ‘little bro’.
“He has played the character so amazingly well. He has been a performer,” says Zoya. For Farhan, playing a man who comes to Mumbai to make it big in cinema was a challenge, says Zoya, as he had to act the outsider. And in real life, Sholay scriptwriter Javed Akhtar’s son cannot exactly be considered an outsider in Bollywood.
No easy way out
Though they come from a film family, the two point out that they did not have a cakewalk as directors. For Zoya, finalising the male lead was the toughest. “The character has shades of grey. He is not a murderer or rapist, but a struggler, a normal guy, who comes to Mumbai, makes certain choices and goes wrong.”
She was turned down by six people, Zoya adds, until she found her leading man — right at home. “Reema Kagti, our common friend, suggested my name to her. Then Zoya saw Fakir of Venice, my film with Anand Surapur, and liked me in it,” says Farhan. And then, things started rolling.
For Farhan, too, the Akhtar name was not a magic wand. He has not had to struggle as much as his character in Luck By Chance, but it did take him years to make his first film, he tells us. “Making Dil Chahta Hai wasn’t the easiest thing in the world,” he recalls. “It took me one-and-a-half years only to lock down Aamir Khan. Of course, when he came on board, everyone wanted to be in the film. But before that, I tried to understand all the aspects of filmmaking. On the outside, it all looks very simple... it isn’t.”
Zoya describes Luck By Chance as “all about success and failure and people who bounce back”. Two actors who are ‘bouncing back’ with this film are Sanjay Kapoor and Isha Sharvani. “They are the best,” vouches Zoya. “Watch out for them.”
On whether Hrithik Roshan’s superstar character is based on Salman Khan, Zoya replies, “Not at all. Hrithik’s character is the opposite of what Salman is — Salman is ruled by the heart; Hrithik’s character is a very calculative person.” She has a common philosophy in her film and in her own life: “In this industry, neither success nor failure lasts forever. Whatever it is, the show goes on.”