Farhan Akhtar is on a roll. Besides starting the shoot for Rock On’s sequel, the actor is also producing several movies along with his partner Ritesh Sidhwani. In a freewheeling chat, Farhan jokes about shooting himself in the foot by prematurely announcing Don 3 and more...
Your production house Excel has been very active these days...
I have to confess that it’s my partner Ritesh Sidhwani who looks after the nitty-gritty of our production house. Yes, there’s a lot happening on the production front; we have four films on the floor right now.
Tell us about the films.
We are filming the sequel to Rock On with a new director, Shujaat Saudagar. There is Rahul Dholakia’s Raees, which is almost complete. We are also launching a new director, Nitya Mehra, in Baar Baar Dekho that stars Katrina Kaif and Sidharth Malhotra. We’re also producing a film called 3 Storeys, with another new director, Arjun Mukherjee; it’s a story of people living in the same building together.
Raees’ leading lady, Mahira Khan, is from Pakistan and has had problem with shooting in Mumbai before. Are you afraid it’ll happen again?
We will deal with any problems when they arise. We’ve already shot with Mahira earlier. Let’s see what happens; we don’t want to pre-empt any situation.
How is Mahira as an actress?
I haven’t been able to see any of her work as I was away from Mumbai, shooting for Rock On 2. I will have a look at her work soon, maybe when they start editing the film. Only then I can give some objective feedback.
Raees looks like quite a departure for both Shah Rukh Khan and for your production house.
Not really. It’s like a story like any other story, set in a specific world. We are not trying to be different. As for Shah Rukh, he plays a character rooted in a particular culture.
It’s a far cry from what Shah Rukh does in Don?
Oh, yes. I would ask the same question when Shah Rukh was doing Don with me. Was he doing something he had never done before? I feel Shah Rukh is quite experimental.
Let me ask you, when are you making Don 3?
I don’t have a script right now. When I have a script, I’ll make it. The thing is, the idea needs to come from a comfortable place and if we do it, it has to be worth our time. Don has a tremendous fan base. I want to give them something they will truly enjoy and not just do another Don film for the sake of doing it. I have to feel proud and happy for making a Don installment and if I don’t get that feeling myself, I can’t force it on any of you.
Is there a lot of pressure on you to make another Don?
Yes, but only when I’m asked about it by journalists! Actually, that isn’t entirely true. Even fans of Don want to know when the next one will be made. I truly appreciate the film’s fan base. I think it’s fantastic that people want to see Don 3. But, I think I shot myself in the foot by announcing Don 3, soon after the end of Don 2.