‘I did nothing for 2 years’

Farhan Akhtar has gone back to his producer’s job with comedy film Fukrey. SB chats up with the actor-singer-filmmaker in Mumbai

 FUKREY STARS all new actors – Ali Fazal, Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma and Manjot Singh. Don’t you see it as a risk, especially when your production house Excel Entertainment has always worked with established actors?

It’s very important to cast people who are right for the roles. Given the edge that these characters needed to be given certain personalities, we felt these actors were just apt for the roles. Having said that, I would say we were very fortunate to work with established stars and now we are very fortunate to work with future stars. So it’s good to be on both sides.

Fukrey means ‘jobless guys’. Were you ever a fukra?

There were two years in my life when I did just nothing and my mom (Honey Irani) almost threw me out of the house. So I had my years of fukrepan.

Why aren’t you acting in Fukrey?

If Fukrey would have been made in those two years that I mentioned right now, then I would have been a perfect casting.

Excel is known for its signature music. Will Fukrey be an exception?

Well, Ram Sampath has composed the music in a way to suit the film. The songs are youthful and energetic, and the lyrics also are in fluidity with the kind of dialogues in the film. So it’s a new sound as far as Excel’s is concerned.

Tell us about Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, where you are playing former Indian track and field sprinter Milkha Singh.

It was a huge challenge for me to play Milkha Singh. But again it was a very exciting one to accept. It was only while doing the film that I realized how little our generation knows about a sporting icon like Milkha Singhji and his triumphs. I feel this is an important film to make for the generation today to see and hear.

You had to undergo a 360 degree change as far as your look and physique is concerned for the film.

Yes and thanks to that I feel extremely fit and healthy at this point of time. A lot has gone into achieving a particular physicality which in itself brings a certain level of feeling very fit. It involved certain diet and certain amount of rest which are equally very important as exercise. And I hope to maintian it as much as I can possibly can.

Now that your beard and long hair gone, do you miss the look?

I definitely feel more naked. I was living with moustache, beard and long hair for almost one-and-a-half years, so in a way, I got used to it. But summer is just in, so it is a relief of sorts. Also there is no point in being attached to something when you can’t keep it forever. We are in a profession where we have to keep reinventing ourselves.

You are a producer, director, actor, singer and writer. How do you manage so many avatars?

Whatever you do, it is very important to make sure that you really want to do it. So when I am directing, I give my 100% to the director’s job. Same goes to acting, singing and other things I do. That is why when people ask me to direct and act in the same film, I try to avoid doing so because both are very demanding roles. (TWF)