Wanted to be my character, says Farhan

The last time we saw Farhan Akhtar on screen was in 2017 for ‘Lucknow Central’. He has since been busy producing web series, movies and even bringing out an album.

He is now back with a few movies on his plate, and one of them, Shonali Bose’s ‘The Sky is Pink’, released this weekend. He stars with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Zaira Wasim and Rohit Saraf in the film.

Based on a true story, the film received a standing ovation when it was first screened at the Toronto International Film Festival last week.

“It’s a story told by real-life couples of a very critical and intimate time in their lives. I think they have been very brave and courageous to speak about it publicly,” says Farhan, “They shared their story to Shonali and it became my responsibility to play it well. When we were applauded at the film festival, I was thinking of how wonderful the Chaudhary family must have felt that people are recognising what they did in their life.”

Farhan will next be seen in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ‘Toofan’, where he plays a boxer. With the first look of it out last week, the audience got to see his physical transformation.
“Boxing is a demanding sport. It’s also very new to me. I got into the ABC’s of it only when I started working on the film. It’s been an incredible journey for me. The film has motivated me to be everything you see in the character.”

While he’s known for being experimental with his roles, the actor only improvises if the script permits him to. “With movies like ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and ‘The Sky is Pink’, you are very reliant on what is on the page and what the director wants from you.”

“In ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, we were constantly pitching new things and improvising to better the scenes. It was that kind of a film,” says Farhan.

Having started off as a camera assistant in 1991 to becoming an actor, singer, director, producer and distributor, Farhan has seen a lot of change in the industry.

“The way the industry works is constantly changing, so is the way content is consumed and the tastes of the people. As a filmmaker, producer and actor, you also have to keep evolving yourself.”

He says the trick is to have one’s ear on the ground with people you are currently working with, look out for how trends are changing and what excites people.

“There’s a lot of good content being created. They are successful regardless of star power. It’s allowing writers to be more courageous,” he says.

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