In an exclusive interview with mid-day, Farhan Akhtar talks about physical transformations for films, fuzz-y logic, working with Amitabh Bachchan in 'Wazir' and more...
Farhan Akhtar is ready to take off on a year-end break for the New Year festivities, but doesn’t want to divulge more details than the fact that he will be accompanied by his near and dear ones. “As they all say, let me say it too… I am off to an undisclosed destination.
There is that air of mystery to it,” he smiles. Before he flies off, there’s lots to wrap up, like a host of interviews before his next film Wazir hits the marquee in the beginning of January 2016. On a Sunday afternoon, hitlist caught up with Farhan at Mehboob Studios in Bandra and couldn’t help but notice his thick beard and a mane that appears to have been left to run its course. Excerpts from the chat:
Q. You are known to drastically experiment with facial fuzz and hair in each of your films...
A. That’s because when I see myself in the mirror, I want to see the character I am playing, not Farhan Akhtar. To me, this is important as it lends more credence to the character I an essaying. This is my contribution to the role after studying what exactly the person would look in his daily life or given his set up. I know many actors do not like to experiment, but to each his own. I have to appear different in every film and match the needs of the character I am essaying. I am comfortable in this zone.
Q. Being a producer and a director, is it difficult being just an actor in some films?
A. In such situations, I have to just keep the other two aspects dormant. But, at the same time, acting does not mean that you just land up on the sets, face the camera and then pack up and go home. An actor does a lot of prep work before the film goes on floors. We have workshops and script readings, so an actor can provide a lot of inputs. Filmmaking is a creative process, so there is a lot of to and fro between the actors and the makers.
Q. And is it a given that you will also sing?
A. No, not at all, I have not sung in all the films that I have acted in. But if there is an opportunity, then why not? In Wazir, an opportunity came my way and I rendered a track.
Q. But don’t you essay the role of an ATS cop in the film?
A. People may be wondering why an ATS cop is singing in the film, but they (cops) are also human beings and have emotions. It is not that my character is shown breaking into a song suddenly; it suits the situation.
Q. This is also the first time you play a character in uniform...
A. Yes, finally, even though ATS cops wear plain clothes, they don the uniform too. But halfway through the film, my character gets sacked, so the uniform goes too.
Q. Your film is set to release in January, which is usually considered a jinxed month from the box office’s perspective.
A. But I am not superstitious. If a film is good, it will do well. The production team takes the call to release a film after great deal of planning and thought, so if they feel January is a good time, it is.
Q. How was it working with Amitabh Bachchan?
A. It was my first time working with him. I can only say that it was a learning experience which I will cherish forever.
Q. Your next directorial venture?
A. I don’t want to announce or say anything until there is something tangible. Till then, I prefer to be an actor, producer and singer.