Friends eased pain when parents divorced: Farhan Akhtar

Jul 22, 2011 Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Friendship is a recurring theme in actor-director Farhan Akhtar's films, right? He reveals that it was friends who supported him during the painful time when his illustrious parents, Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, divorced around 25 years ago.

He started his movie-making career by telling the story of three friends, "Dil Chahta Hai", then he made his acting debut with another buddy story "Rock On", and now his latest film "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" is again about bonding and camaraderie among three men. It is directed by his sister Zoya.

"I have always found this relationship of friends very beautiful. It made a lot of sense to me when Zoya told me that during our growing up years, friends played a very important part for us," Farhan told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"Given the fact that my parents were going through a divorce, friends became a huge part of our support system and eased a whole lot of pain for us," added the 37-year-old actor.

After his separation from child actress-turned-screenwriter Honey Irani, Farhan's dad, writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, married actress Shabana Azmi in 1984.

Of course, Farhan has moved on since those days, but what lives with him is the love of his friends, who have been with him since his school days.

"I had some amazing best friends in school and that is one relationship where you can just pick and start off from wherever you left last, without thinking much. Ritesh (Sidhwani) has been with me since school, and he understands me very well. Friendship, once formed, lasts for ever," he said.

His latest release "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" sees Farhan's character indulging in a lot of "bromance" with co-stars Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol.

At the outset, the film highlights how people must let go of themselves to conquer their fears. But parts of it also hint at how, beyond the adventures, fun moments, and naughtiness that boys share, they don't mind disclosing their emotional and vulnerable side to their best buddies.

The movie, which released Friday, has been receiving praise galore and has managed to earn Rs.28.60 crore in the opening weekend. Farhan is "very happy and excited" about the way the movie has been received.

"Not that people have been calling me directly in bulk, but I have been hearing a lot of praise through my mom, my dad and Shabana (Azmi). People across ages have watched the film and loved it...perhaps because whether you are 19 or 90, friends and friendship is something you would always identify with," he said.

Farhan is at his versatile best in "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" - he sings, dances and also shows his acting prowess in comic as well as serious scenes. He didn't miss out on daredevilry as he indulged in deep sea diving, skydiving and a bull run for the film.

Even as he pushed his limits to perform these adventures, there isn't any sport that Farhan is fearful of in real life. But there is one thing he is really scared of.

"It's silly...but I have a certain childhood fear of a certain creature...cockroaches. I can't stand them. Hopefully, I will get over with that some day," he chuckled.

For now, Farhan wants to revel in the success of the film as well as "stay with it" and "push it a little more" before he breaks into working on "Don 2: The Chase Continues".

The first look of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer was to be officially unveiled to the media July 13, but the event was cancelled when the triple blasts rocked Mumbai.

However, "post-production work on 'Don 2' is on in full swing and I shall be talking about it soon", said Farhan.

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Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

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