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Farhan Akhtar to act
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
The speculation can be laid to rest -- "Lakshya" director Farhan Akhtar has finally agreed to move from behind the camera to face it.
"I knew it was coming. But I didn't know it'd be so soon," chuckles the Lakshya director.
"It was something that I can't say no to. It's my assistant Reema Kagti's debut film. She assisted me in 'Dil Chahta Hai' and 'Lakshya'. When she wrote this film to direct she said I had to do a role. My first impulse was to say no. I'm petrified of facing the camera. But she insisted it was a character only I could do. Now after saying yes, I need to sit with Reema and work out the details."
There were rumours earlier that Farhan was offered the role of Shah Rukh Khan's kid brother in "Main Hoon Na".
"Reema is making an ensemble film. When I said no she texted again and said she couldn't think of anyone else for the role. I don't think I can pull it off. But I must say the script, tentatively titled 'Honeymoon', is close to my heart. It's a fun film. And yeah I play a fun part."
Farhan hasn't come to terms with his impending new avatar as an actor.
"Not that I'm opposed to the idea. If I were, I wouldn't do it. I guess acting would be quite a challenge for me. Besides after 'Lakshya' I need a break. The character and film are interesting. It wouldn't take me too far away from my natural personality."
So is he going to wear a hairband or ponytail for the role? "The look is entirely up to my director. Blown up in 70 mm... I don't know how my hair and the rest of me would look."
Meanwhile, Farhan is gauging responses to "Lakshya".
"No one has said it's okay. Everyone has either loved or hated the film. From what I gather, the vocal disappointment comes more from within the industry rather than outside. The audience seems to be reacting largely favourably."
Farhan admits he never expected "Lakshya" to be greeted with the warmth of "Dil Chahta Hai".
"If 'Lakshya' was made by a first-time director everyone would've been far more positive... But the box office is mixed right now," he says candidly.
"Very well in some pockets, mixed in others," he adds.
"I'm really happy with 'Lakshya'. I want my producer Ritesh Sidhwani to make a profit. He has been solidly behind me. Fortunately, I'm getting phone calls and messages from every corner of the country. People are talking in superlatives. And yet one trade magazine tagged me a one-film wonder!
"This magazine also claimed that a theatre called Kohinoor in Jodhpur had to bring down the screening of 'Lakshya' on the second day because no one was coming. We panicked and called the theatre. The exhibitor in Jodhpur was flummoxed. That supposed news was completely false! All this negativity is really sad and new to me. I may seem like an insider. But I'm a total outsider."