Farhan Akhtar, whose latest movie Wazir will see him star opposite Amitabh Bachchan, talks about his writing genes, his family and his tryst with Bollywood.
Q You are a rare amalgamation of director, actor and writer. Whom do you credit this to?
Apart from my parents, who have always supported and allowed Zoya and I in whatever creative field we were interested in, I would credit the environment to which I have been a part of from my earlier days. I owe it to all those people who motivated and inspired me.
Q When did you realise that the world of glitz and glamour was your destination?
Even when I was 14 or 15, I knew where I would ultimately land. What drew me to movies was visual effects and cinematography. I followed the footsteps of Baba Azmi and started taking lessons in cinematography by clicking pictures. It was an undeniably expensive job. I needed to make some money; therefore I saw a holistic approach in direction as well and, thus, took to assisting directors.
Q When did you begin your tryst with direction?
Well, I was just 24 when I routed to direct Dil Chahta Hai, but started direction when I was 26. I know Bijoy for a long time and I loved his Shaitan. Though we were planning to do something together, but it materialised now with Wazir.
Q How was it working with Amitabh Bachchan?
It’s easy to say that I was influenced by his aura. The innumerable readings we did at his house had helped until the day we went onto the sets and wore make-up. But then, after the shoot started, it took some time for us to normalise, but thereafter, there was no looking back.
Q Have you passed your writing genes to your daughters?
At times, Shakya (his 15-year-old daughter) writes a few musical notes and some stories and shows it to me. I know that it’s the environment that enables one to go ahead with it, so I just react as and when to whatever she may have written.