The Transforming Act: Farhan Akhtar

Photography: Abheet Gidwani

The Transforming Act: Farhan Akhtar

Filmmaker Nitya Mehra talks all things cinema, Toofaan and the art of transformation with the multifaceted Farhan Akhtar.

NM: Farhan, I have assisted you on two films so I am talking from my experience but while I was assisting you on Lakshya and Don, I did not see the acting careercoming. At all! And in all this time I’ve never asked you this question. So how did that transpire, was it always on the cards? 
FA: When I was shooting for Don 1, Rakesh came and met me for Rang de Basanti and I refused as I had absolutely no interest in acting and he was insisting that I was the best guy for that particular character. I read it and absolutely loved the script but I just couldn’t do it as I did not know how to as I had never thought of acting.

NM: Did you ever ask Rakesh what he saw in you to offer you that character?
FA: No, it was the same thing with Abhishek when he offered me Rock On! But I was familiar with that world and character and I could relate to the music. He came to me and said ‘you are the guy I see in this film’ and because it was about music, about rock and the Mumbai scene and friends so I thought if one has to give it a shot it can’t get better than this film which, is so close to home and heart. That’s why I did it and it’s only when I did it, I realised that it’s fun and decided to explore acting further as it was giving me a wonderful feeling of expression and getting to do things that I won’t be able to do as a director.

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Text Nitya Mehra