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Farhan Akhtar
Also known as:Farhan
Occupation:Producer • Dialogue Writer • Actor • Director • Screenplay • Writer • Action Director
Born:January 9, 1974
Birthplace:Maharashtra, India
Spouse:Adhuna Bhabani
Who would have thought that Farhan Akhtar`s directorial debut`s script was written after his mother threatened to throw him out of the house. Not only did Dil Chahta Hai kickstart Farhan`s career in Bollywood, it also went on to attain a cult status and became one of the most loved movies of Bollywood. Farhan Akhtar, son of renowned lyricists and writer Javed Akhtar and his first wife Honey Irani, is an all-rounder - he is a director, writer, producer, actor, lyricist, singer, and a television host. Since then Farhan has directed and acted in several successful movies including Lakshya (2004), Rock On!! (2008), and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011). The actor is most prominently known for portraying the role of the legendary Indian sportsman, Milkha Singh in the movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013), which also earned him a Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

Early Life
Farhan was born and brought up in Mumbai to acclaimed screenwriters Javed Akhtar, and Honey Irani. The veteran actress, Shabana Azmi, is his step-mother and the noted director, Zoya Akhtar is his sister. He completed his schooling from the Maneckji Cooper School in Mumbai and later pursued law from HR College, Mumbai. However, due to lack of attendance, Farhan was dismissed from the institution and he spent his next couple of years just watching movies.

Personal Life
Farhan Akhtar was briefly married to Riya Jain before marrying Adhuna Babhani in 2000. Farhan met Adhuna, a Bollywood hairstylist, on the sets of Dil Chahta Hai. The couple were in a relationship for over three years and eventually got married in 2000. However, after 16 years of marriage, they got divorced in 2016. They couple has two daughters named Akira and Shakya.

Movie Career
As a Director
While Farhan Akhtar is known for making a commendable directorial debut with the critically acclaimed DIl Chahta Hai (2003), his relationship with Bollywood had begun more than a decade before his directorial debut. At the age of 17, he assisted on 1991 movie Lamhe.

In 1997, Farhan assisted director Pankaj Parashar for the movie Himalay Putra, four years after which he directed Dil Chahta Hai at the age of 26. Although the movie opened to an underwhelming response at the Indian box office, it later went on to gain a cult status. Many critics appreciated Farhan`s work as writer and director, claiming it to be a `new wave` in Indian cinema. The movie, centred around three urban youths of Mumbai, went on to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. He carried forward his exceptional work into his next project, Lakshya (2004), starring Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta in lead roles. It explored the story of an aimless youngster, who finally finds his `calling` in life. Much was expected from the movie, however, the film bombed at the box office; receiving contrasting reviews from critics.

Farhan`s writing skills weren`t just limited to the screenplay but he also concentrated on lyrics-writing as well. Displaying his talent of being lyricist as well, he along with his sister Zoya Akhtar, wrote English lyrics for the Hollywood movie, Bride and Prejudice (2004). In 2006, Farhan decided to work on one of the least explored styles of Indian cinema - remakes. He cast Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra in the lead roles in movie Don - remake of the 1978 hit movie of the same name, starring Amitabh Bachchan. The movie opened to positive reviews and went on to become a blockbuster. Farhan was soon hailed as the `torchbearer of the remake brigade of the Indian cinema`. He later went on to direct a sequel to the movie, titled Don 2 (2011), which saw the addition of Lara Dutta to the lead cast.

As an Actor
Farhan Akhtar made his acting debut in 2008 with the movie Rock On!!, seven years after he made his directorial debut. Being a guitarist and singer, Farhan portrayed the role of the lead singer of the band Magik. The movie was declared as a smash-hit and the director-turned-actor received rave reviews from the critics for his flawless performance in the movie. However, before Rock On was released, Farhan had already completed work on the movie The Fakir of Venice (2009), a black comedy directed by Anand Surapur. The movie was initially going to be his acting debut but finally released in 2019.

After the success of Rock On!!, Farhan soon completely shifted his focus on acting and went on to star in Luck By Chance (2009), Karthik Calling Karthik (2010), and Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara (2011). In all his movies, Farhan showcased his acting and writing prowess, winning the hearts of the critics and the audiences alike. He also wrote the dialogues of the Zoya Akhtar-directed Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara.

While Farhan had already impressed the audience with his acting skills, he took his efforts one step further when he prepared for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, which was one of the most challenging roles of his career. In his preparations for the role, Farhan underwent rigorous training to get the perfect physique of an athlete. The biopic, which released in 2013 got unanimous positive reviews and it was a commercial hit. He later went on to star in movies such as Shaadi Ke Side Effects (2014), Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), and Wazir (2016). His other 2016 release includes Rock On!! 2, a sequel to the 2008 movie Rock On, directed by Shujaat Saudagar. His 2019 release includes The Sky Is Pink, directed by Shonali Bose. His 2021 releases include Toofan (2021).

As a Producer
In 1999, Farhan established the production company Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. along with Ritesh Sidhwani. The production house, produced its maiden movie, Don, in 2006 and has a number of commercially hit movies to its credits viz. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), Don 2 (2011), Talaash: The Answer Lies Within (2012), Fukrey (2013), and Dil Dhadakne Do (2015). As of 2019, the talented actor and singer is co-producing the Ranveer Singh-Alia Bhatt starrer Gully Boy. His other releases include Hello Charlie (2021) and Toofan (2021).

Peers & More
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Karan Johar
Anurag Kashyap
Adhuna Bhabani
Shakya Akhtar
Akira Akhtar
Honey Irani
Javed Akhtar
Zoya Akhtar
Popular Movies
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Kismat Talkies
Jee Le Zaraa
Kho Gaye Hum Kahan
Madgaon Express
Fukrey 3
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Sharmaji Namkeen

Did You Know? (20)

  • Farhan Akhtar made his debut as a singer in Telugu cinema with Bharat Ane Nenu. He lent his voice to the title song in the film 'I Don't Know'.
  • Farhan Akhtar came up with the script of his directorial debut ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2003) after his mother threatened to throw him out of the house if he didn’t do something with his life.
  • Farhan Akhtar turned down the role of the character ‘DJ’ in the movie Rang De Basanti. The role was eventually bagged by Amir Khan.
  • Farhan Akhtar has a borderline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and finds it very difficult to concentrate if things aren’t placed in a correct position in his room.
  • Farhan Akhtar learned bike riding while he was shooting for the movie Karthik Calling Karthik.
  • Farhan Akthar went through intense training and put on eight kilograms of weight to play the role of an Anti Terrorist Squad office.
  • Farhan Akhtar had to convince Dimple Kapadia to take up the role of Tara Jaiswal in the movie Dil Chahta Hai and come out of her retirement.
  • Farhan Akhtar had to learn a new form of music - a capella, which essentially a form of music that doesn't involve any musical instruments, for the song 'Ek Kabootar, Do Kabootar' from Lucknow Central.
  • Farhan Akhtar began his career in Bollywood as an Assistant Director with the movie Lamhe (1991).
  • Farhan Akhtar has written the lyrics for the soundtrack of the Hollywood movie Bride and Prejudice (2004)
  • In 2007, Farhan Akhtar directed a short film titled 'Positive' which was aimed to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS.
  • Farhan Akhtar had actually made his acting debut with the movie The Fakir of Venice which was shot before Rock On!. However, the movie Rock On was released in 2008 which officially marks his acting debut.
  • Farhan Akhtar's great-grandfather, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, was an Islamic scholar of theology and was credited to edit the first set of poems written by the legendary Urdu-Persian poet, Mirza Ghalib. Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi later went on to become an important figure during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
  • Farhan Akhtar was dismissed from his college, HR College (Mumbai), during his second year owing to the lack of attendance.
  • After working as an apprentice in direction with Yash Chopra for the movie Lamhe (1994), Farhan Akhtar worked with the advertisement production house "Script Shop" for approximately three years.
  • Farhan Akhtar was supposed to star in the movie Honeymoon Travels. Pvt. Ltd (2007), which would have marked his acting debut. However, at the time the actor was busy with the movie Don and so had to refuse the offer.
  • A.R. Rahman had offered a song to Farhan Akhtar for the movie Blue, which he had composed keeping in the vocal range of Akhtar. However, Akhtar refused the offer stating that he wanted his singing voice to be associated with his own screen personality.
  • To prepare for his role as a man who suffers from Schizophrenia in the movie Karthik Calling Karthik, Farhan Akhtar isolated himself from others.
  • In 1998, Farhan Akhtar directed the video of the song "Breathless" composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
  • Saif Ali Khan was initially offered the role Vikram in the movie Luck By Chance. However, the actor turned down the offer as he was not happy with the fees. The role was eventually essayed by Farhan Akhtar.
  • Personal Quotes (5)

  • "Every time I look into the mirror, I want to see a man whose mother, sister, wife, and daughter are proud to call their own."
  • "A corrupt society is terrible for humanity and great for business."
  • "I personally feel that since we are used to watching a certain kind of entertainment it'll take time for everybody to move on from expecting a routine typical Indian movie and accept a different kind of a movie like say "Rock On!!" or "A Wednesday". It will take a while for such movies to maybe attain a huge blockbuster status but, slowly but surely, people will realize that okay we need to apply ourselves to watching a movie."
  • "It is up to the audience to tell filmmakers who objectify women that they will not watch those movies. If people start thinking differently, it will happen."
  • "Be the catalyst for change. Empowering women, empowering humanity. "
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