With ‘Lucknow Central’ all set for release this weekend, Farhan Akhtar reveals some moments of his life which are similar to the experiences of Kishen Mohan Girhotra, his character in this Ranjit Tiwari directorial.
When you watch the trailer of this Farhan starrer, you see the character wanting to do something big in life and to enjoy certain kind of fame. However, his passion and desires become even more difficult to achieve because of one incident that lands him in jail.
In an exclusive interview with indianexpress.com, Farhan speaks about the moments when he found it difficult to be able to perform on the stage or be a director.
“All of us have dreams. Some take time to achieve certain things but sticking with it and seeing the difficult times through is what separate people who eventually succeed from people who give up. So, whatever has happened in my life, be it directing or wanting to perform on stage or anything, it has not been easy. It does look quite easy from the outside but it always requires a lot of hard work and dedication. At times, you do question if it will happen the way you thought it to happen but eventually things turn out the way you want it to, only if you have the capability to stick through what life throws at you,” said Farhan Akhtar.
Kishen is also a character who is star struck. In the trailer, we see him running after Bhojpuri superstar Manoj Tiwari. So, has Farhan ever felt the same way?
He recalls the moments from his life when he was star struck and said, “There are two occasions which I distinctively remember when I was star struck. The first is when I met Rishi Kapoor for the first time as a kid. He is the first film star that I remember meeting during my childhood. He had come to meet my mom and dad. I remember him sitting in the living room and we (Zoya Akhtar and Farhan) were hiding behind the wall, looking at him. I remember that very clearly. He did give us an autograph,” Farhan chuckles.
He continued to share another amazing moment of his life. “Another moment when I extremely felt overwhelmed after meeting someone was Robert De Niro. I met him in Dubai. He is just someone who I have always expressed my admiration for because I feel that way. It was incredible.”
Coming back to his film ‘Lucknow Central’. The film takes its inspiration from a real-life band called ‘Healing Hearts.’ The actor had the opportunity to meet the band but what remained an experience for Farhan was to witness the passion they had for performing on stage.
“Apart from the fact that there is a film that is being made on them and their excitement that these people are going to meet them, just to see those smile, and see the happiness on their face while they were performing on stage, it was really inspiring. The joy was quite infectious. So, I would say it was one of the nicest moments for me about the film,” the 43-year-old actor answered.
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When it comes to the plot of the film, it is quite similar to Yash Raj Films’ recent release ‘Qaidi Band’. However, Farhan said it is possible for two films to have the same plot but different story altogether. “I haven’t seen ‘Qaidi Band’, so talking about it in detail would be wrong. The set-up of the film is similar but I am assuming the message it tried to portray, the characters it had were completely different to what Lucknow Central’s story is about.”
The film also stars Robin Das, a veteran actor who has every now and then proved his caliber on television and also in theater plays. He plays the role of Farhan’s on-screen father, who is quite supportive of his dreams. On being asked about Javed Akhtar’s contribution in Farhan’s career, the actor says he feels extremely lucky to have a father who has so much knowledge and experience.
“He’s been very supportive too. He has been very hands off in the approach where he is not constantly telling either me or Zoya about what we should do or not do. There is no such thing. He is there when we need him. His experience and knowledge about writing, dialogue, song writing and poetry is something. It would be foolish of us not to constantly seek his advice. So, he is always there as a sounding board. When we show him a film or make him hear a script, he gives his feedback and inputs. So, its beneficial to have someone like him we can constantly reach out to.”
We also questioned Farhan about the trend within the film industry where big budget and A-listers’ films are failing miserably at the box office while small films are doing wonders. Answering our question, the actor quipped it is an alarming signal by the audience and the industry should soon pay heed to it.
“As a producer, I don’t see the change as a boon for the industry because no one knows the hard work that goes behind making of a film. So, if a film doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that people have not made a good film or worked hard on the film. It is not good for the industry that so many films are not doing good at the box office. It deflates morale of most of the people.”
“But at the same time, I would say, the silver lining is the fact that there is a signal that is being sent to us by the audience that they want stories that are relatable. Stories that are more than mere entertainment. They are looking for substance. So, as an industry we should celebrate the fact but it would take a while for all of us to arrive on that page. But I just welcome the trend because at the end we all are in a storytelling business; the heart of film-making lies in storytelling. So, if you can find and approach films like storytelling then it will be beneficial for all of us.”