After Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Farhan Akhtar teams up with director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra again for new sports drama, ‘Toofaan’. During an 18-19 month filming period, Farhan trained his body to gain weight and later rebuild muscle to do justice to his character Aziz Ali’s journey back into professional boxing.
Below are excerpts from actor Farhan Akhtar, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and trainer Drew Neal detailing Farhan’s physical transformation in the film.
“It is not easy to plan a film where your hero has different looks and it is not just a haircut or a beard trim, it’s the whole physicality. There is a method to this madness which I don’t understand,” says Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
Farhan Akhtar mentioned, “The big challenge in this one was getting out of shape! Not because it was physically difficult to do, you stop training, eat whatever you want. So, all that allows for it to happen… I’ve put on roughly about 14 or 15 kilos. I wanted to not rely on any kind of prosthetic to make you look bigger.”
Farhan further added, “If you have never been like that before, like the character hasn’t either, it takes a little toll on the energy of your being. You know, because it affects the way you move, it affects the way you breathe, when you talk… you will feel like a different person! And I saw that that would be nice to experience as well.”
“Farhan being an ectomorph, which is someone who struggles to put on weight, there are a lot of health implications when it comes to overeating, so, we couldn’t just say stop training and eat, that wouldn’t have been right… There is a stage when Farhan had to eat like 4500 calories, even 5000. I’d be in the gym with Farhan and he would be leg pressing like 250 to 300 kilos which is more than what he was lifting before. It’s purely because he got the calories in, he was eating more fruits, he got the energy to do it.” Says, Drew Neal, Boxing Trainer.
‘Toofaan’ is an Indian Hindi language sports drama film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, starring Farhan Akhtar as a National level boxer, alongside Mrunal Thakur and Paresh Rawal in pivotal roles. The movie narrates the story of a boxer and the struggles he faces on his journey to get to the National level competition.