Nervous times? for Farhan Akhtar

Published On: 2013-04-30

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‘Nervous times’ for Farhan Akhtar



Source: MD



Lakshya is your second film after such an assured debut. How crazy is it this time round?

Exceptionally crazy. I don’t remember feeling this exhausted after Dil Chahta Hai was made. But I guess this is what it’s all about, the last few days when the pressure builds. It’s nervous times. It’s difficult to explain why it’s crazier this time. With Dil Chahta Hai, people didn’t expect anything. There wasn’t that much talk about it, everyone who came was just pleasantly surprised. There were a lot of people in the film industry who I know now, I didn’t even know then. A lot of that history is in me. It definitely makes the pressure a little bit more.



How much of Farhan is there in Karan Shergill?

It’s weird to explain, but people like Shabana and Tanvi (Azmi), who know me very well, when they saw the film, they were like, “My God, he’s exactly like you.”

But I don’t see it. I have definitely drawn as much as I could from my aimless and confused years and infused it into that character to make him seem close to reality and someone I would know and recognize. Only on that level. Apart from that, nothing.



But what was that aimless phase like in your life?

Before I became an assistant (director), I didn’t do anything. I used to think about becoming a pilot. But they were all just dreams to keep myself occupied.

For nearly two years, I did nothing. These were the last few years of college, when I was 18-19. I just watched a lot of movies. That little confusion of not knowing what I wanted to do was something I could identify with this character.



You say that you give your characters certain looks so that they aren’t just stars playing a role. But now people only talk of the look — Hrithik’s hair, Preity’s hair, even your hair!

(Laughs) With mine, it actually doesn’t matter, I really don’t care what they say. But even if they do talk about the hair for the character, it shows they’re showing interest in the film. Eventually that hair only belongs to that film. If that’s something they want to talk about, or the dance that he’s doing with Prabhu Deva…that’s what a promo does. You only connect with one thing. I have no issues.



This film is a departure from the quirky, the yuppiness of DCH. I hear people say that they wish Farhan had made a film like DCH again.

It’s so weird. At the end of the day, if I had made that kind of a film, people would say he only knows how to do that. It’s a bit of a Catch 22 situation.

I’m sure people have the best interests at heart, but it’s just important that I stay focused on what I want. It’s happened to so many directors before me who repeated the same genre and got panned.

There’s no escaping it. I must add that fortunately, all the people who said, “Arrey, you’re making a serious film,” said it before they saw this. After seeing it, they’re quite happy. Now they understand why I made it.



Is your dad (Javed Akhtar) nervous?

Of course, he is. He’s returning to scriptwriting after 14-15 years. I think this is the first time in his history of scriptwriting that he’s seeing a film before release.

He never ever watched any of his movies in a preview. He used to be so nervous, he never went. He’s seen this thrice now. He likes it a lot better every time he sees it, so he’s coming out of his nervousness (laughs).

He’s very happy with the way his film has been translated. I’m very excited about that.



Coming from the family that you do, does politics play a part in your life?

I definitely follow what’s happening, from news, from reading the papers. But I get a lot of information when I’m at my dad’s house — he has a lot of people over. I think everyone should be interested in the society we live.

As a writer and someone who makes films, I think it’s very important to stay plugged in and not in a cocoon.



You wrote lyrics with Zoya for Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice. Doing more of that?

Zoya and I had a great time, we did five songs. Gurinder was superb to work with; that adds to the fun and magic of working with somebody. Let’s see how people react to these lyrics first! Maybe something will come, who knows.



Are you writing your next film?

There is a script that I’m working on, but it’s too early to talk about it. Whether that will be next or not, I don’t know. I really want to start thinking about what next maybe a month from now. There’s just so much clutter in my head that I don’t want to just cling onto anything that would help me move on from Lakshya.