Interview: Farhan Akhtar

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Farhan Akhtar is a name instantly recognized in Bollywood. In his short career as a director, he has covered many different genres of films. He impressed the Indian film industry when he wrote and also directed his debut film, Dil Chahta Hai. Farhan also took on the war genre and showcased a brilliant performance by Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya. Then, he shocked everyone with Don, a remake of the 1978 film but with an unexpected twist. Now he’s at it again – this time as an actor and singer! Like audiences around the world, get ready to rock with Farhan and the gang as he appears in the film Rock On!! which releases this Friday!

In an exclusive interview with BollySpice, this young talent talks about his experience of acting and singing, along with what’s in store for his future films.

Farhan, we’re all wondering… what was your reaction when you were asked to not only play a rock star in Rock On!! but to also sing for the album?

I was excited yet apprehensive. It is one thing to play guitar at home and sing along with friends and something else to do it professionally in a studio. But it being a requirement for the script and the director… I decided to give it my best shot.

What was your first shot and were you nervous? How did it go? Also, what motivation did you use to get into your character?

The first scene we shot was the opening scene of the movie… the band members in their rehearsal pad. By then we had hung out enough and rehearsed and read enough to feel quite comfortable about being together… so it went by without much fuss. I was a bit nervous, yes, but that nervousness was there every day of the shoot and I am glad since it helps you stay focused.

Having lent your vocals to the film, which track do you think you have sung the best?

The one I feel most glad to have managed to sing is ‘Tum ho Toh’ since it was the most difficult of the lot.

How does it feel to sing in front of the audiences at the concerts and how is it different from shooting the concert scenes for the movie?

Actually, both were equally fantastic! Reason being that I had in fact sung the songs. So it was a totally real experience each time we performed.

Did you have to stop yourself from taking control of the movie because you’re a director by nature or did you slip into the actor mode quite comfortably?

Abhishek was well in control of the situation at all times and I never felt the need to step on his toes. He was very clear about how he saw things and I respected that in him.

What do you find more challenging: acting, singing or directing? Which is the most satisfying of the three and what do you feel most comfortable doing?

I have had a great time doing and learning from all three aspects of film making. The challenges they pose are different but the satisfaction of seeing it all come together organically in the film is what it is all about.

You have directed Arjun Rampal before but how was it different sharing screen space with him?

He is a selfless co-actor. He gives a lot and in turn you feel like giving him the same response. His performance in this movie is probably the best of his career thus far.

All of your films have been supported by the compositions of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy including Rock On!! What sort of relationship do you share with them?

We are friends first. Professionals second. The only time I feel completely relaxed when making a film is when I am in the studio with them, surrounded by their creativity and their sense of humour.

In your first film, your role is very unconventional by Bollywood standards. Can you ever see yourself doing the classic naach-gaana?

Depends on the context of it in the film.

What do you think of Bollywood films today? Do you think Indian audiences will accept a film like Rock On!!?

They already are accepting good stories and that is what Rock On!! is at the end of the day… an emotionally powerful story. I have no doubt that it will connect with people of all kinds.

Which projects of yours are we going to be seeing on screen in the next few years, whether it’s an acting or directorial venture?

Luck By Chance, directed by Zoya Akhtar (Farhan’s sister) would be my next release as an actor. Voice from the Sky and Don 2 will be my next directorial films. As a producer there is Reema Kagti’s next and Abhinay Deo (prolific ad film maker) will be joining us at Excel. These are a few of the projects lined up over the next year.

Something many people are dying to know is when you will start Don 2, and can we expect something as shocking as the first?

That’s the great thing about a character like Don… expect the unexpected!

And finally, the movie hasn’t yet released and girls are already going crazy over you. How do you respond to all this admiration?

Thank you for all the love. It gives me the courage to carry on doing what I believe in. Rock On!!

Thank you so much, Farhan! We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to give us such wonderful answers. BollySpice wishes you the best for Rock On!! and all your future projects. We have always loved your work and hope that you continue bringing such unique cinema to the film industry as a director, actor and singer.

Rock On!! will be releasing this Friday, August 29th. Alongside Farhan Akhtar, we will be seeing Arjun Rampal, Luke Kenny, Purab Kohli, and Shahana Goswami. The film also introduces Prachi Desai to the film industry.

Be sure to check back soon as BollySpice brings you more interviews from other rock stars from this film!

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