Farhaan's rough and tough makeover

Farhaan Faasil sheds his naive image in Underworld, in which he shares screen space with Asif Ali and Jean Paul Lal.

In Thalassery, actor Farhaan Faasil is in a joyous mood. After a few days of tiresome shooting for his upcoming movie Underworld, he has got two days off to relax. “Asif and I have got two days off. Now, Jean’s portion is being done,” says the actor, who is visiting Thalassery for the first time. “It is a happy space with good food,” he chuckles.

In Underworld, his third movie after Njan Steve Lopez and Basheerinte Premalekhanam, he plays the character Majeed, paired with Asif Ali’s Stalin. “My combination scenes are with him. I have only a few scenes with Jean.” Farhaan says Underworld happened at a time when his heart yearned for a multi-starrer and thriller film. “I am a fan of fast-paced, mysterious, suspense thrillers. Murder mysteries are my favourite. Underworld is my first thriller. Njan Steve Lopez was a different kind of thriller. It was slow-paced. Underworld is different,” says the actor.

It was also a time when he decided to take his journey slow. “I actually committed a movie in the lead role after Basheerinte Premalekhanam. However, I backed out from that project as I decided to take it slow because Basheerinte... didn’t fare well at the box office. I was thinking of acting in a multi-starrer movie, and then Underworld came. I was relaxed to hear that Asif (Ali) was a part of it, because then I will not have to carry the whole weight of the film on my shoulders. He has a good fan base, which would fetch footfall to theatres. That would, in turn, help me get exposed to audience,” he feels.

The twists and turns in his life do not end here. It was not for Underworld that director Arun Kumar Aravind and Farhaan teamed up first. “It was for another film with Asif; that didn’t materialise due to technical reasons. After a long gap, once Arun chettan called me and mentioned about Underworld. I knew Shibin (writer of Underworld), and agreed to listen to the story. He narrated it to me in 10 minutes. I liked the idea and character. I told him I would get back to him. Next day I went to Kochi to meet Arun chettan. I had some doubts which I discussed with him. Once I got convinced, I told Arun chettan that I would do this,” recalls Farhaan and quickly adds that he asked Arun to cast him only if he was confident about Farhaan’s acting skills. “He had liked my performance in Njan Steve Lopez, and he said he was confident to make me do Majeed,” smiles Farhaan. “Also, when you take his films, whether you like them or not, you would not see bad performances in them. That was my confidence,” he says. “I used
to frequent to his flat in Ernakulam where the crew used to gather. During that time, he would brief about Majeed — his mannerisms and thought process — which helped during the shooting. More than that, visiting the crew and spending time with them has created a good friendship among us. Even in Thalassery, we live in a villa where all stay together. That brings a kind of easiness in work,” he says.

In fact, the movie, in many ways, is a complete makeover for him. He sports a new look and sheds the naïve garb of his previous films. “It is for the first time that I did fight sequence in a movie,” he confesses. “I was excited, at the same time a bit tense. My fear was if I would hurt others while doing stunts,” he says. “But it turned out good. And, the whole body was in pain after the shooting,” he laughs.

Regarding the look, he says, “I asked Arun chettan if I could try a different look for Underworld. He agreed and I grew beard. When it got thick, he said that would be appropriate for the character. I maintained that,” says Farhaan, a hardcore movie lover, who dreams of wielding the megaphone and bankrolling films in future.

For him, every film set is a school where he learns different aspects of filmmaking. “Since school, cinema has been my passion,” he says. Looks like, for Farhaan, what he dreams always comes to him. Entry to Njan Steve Lopez too was dream come true for him. “I had been listening to stories for an opening in cinema, but nothing was working out. It was at this frustrating point that Rajeev ettan (Rajeev Ravi) called me. I had met him once on the sets of Annayum Rasoolum; but, I really wanted to interact with him as there was not a single day Shanu (Fahadh Faasil) didn’t talk about him. So, I was excited. Also, I liked the story.”

Rajeev was sure about Farhaan though the latter had doubts about his acting prowess. He even said Rajeev could hold an audition. “He said he would set an ambience for me where I would have to behave naturally. That pattern had been followed throughout the film. There was no concrete dialogue. He would brief a situation and then ask me to speak what I would say in such a situation. Sometimes, he would tell me to add certain words.” Farhan walks down the memory lane. “Even on the sets of Underworld, we have the freedom to give suggestions. I would ask Shibin first, then Arun chettan, if I could improvise it. Shibin would be strict only if he feels that a particular dialogue cannot be substituted. It is free to work with them all,” says Farhaan, who does not get much affected by the failures. “Though I am an emotional person, in terms of films, I am a detached being. If a movie fails, it would make me sad, but won’t affect me much. Once the movie gets over, we would have an idea about its outcome. So, I mentally prepare for that. Also, I have seen my Vappa’s (Faasil) and Shanu’s careers and their ups and downs. I know there are peaks and valleys in life,” he concludes.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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