by Lekha Menon
The actor-director saw it as a last resort to explain the story of 'Don'
picture: Getty Images
What can one say about Farhan Akhtar? A few months ago he was all over the place, creating a splash as an actor in his home production ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’. His turn as the sensitive advertising executive and poet Imran won him a lot of fans and critical and commercial appreciation. Now, he is back in a new avatar – as the producer-director of the much-talked-about ‘Don 2’.
The actor-filmmaker-singer was much sought after at the current Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) where he charmed audiences and the press alike with his chilled out, easy-going attitude. Masala.com caught up with Farhan for a quick chat. For more on our encounter with the hottie, read the next issue of Masala! that hits the stands on December 20, 2011.
You recently mentioned that sequels to an action thriller often “have to be made”. Why do you think so?
Well, it depends on the story and whether you have something substantial to say. A sequel also is often the demand of the script. Your audiences should be interested in knowing more about the fate of the characters – how they have evolved and what they are going to do next. If there are interesting answers to these questions, then a film warrants a sequel.
You have set a large portion of the film in Germany. What made you choose this location?
I had travelled to Berlin in 2007 and found it fascinating. I felt that it would be a good place to set the sequel in. Not many Indians are aware of the destination and I believed it would be a good idea to explore it further. Moreover, we had an extremely professional and helpful crew. The city had everything that an action thriller needed.
Shah Rukh Khan has an amazing fan following in Germany. How do you explain this?
Indeed, he does! In fact, I am myself amazed at Shah Rukh’s popularity in Germany and several other countries of Europe. I am sure even he can’t explain it. I remember shooting in sub-zero temperatures and there would be a crowd gathered just to see him and wave to him. In the film he speaks in German and it will be fascinating to gauge the reaction.
In a sequel, often there is a temptation to repeat the successful elements of the first part be in songs or action sequences. Do you think that takes away from the originality?
Thematically, there will be similarities between the first and second part. But the challenge is to make the sequel connect to the first part yet make it different. We have tried it in the music where the title song has a very familiar feel to the number in ‘Don’. As for action sequences, well, there are only a few things a person can do with his bare hands and legs!
How do you think ‘Don 2’ compares to Hollywood action thrillers?
I don’t think there should be any comparisons. This is a completely different story with its own unique set of characters. I have not even been influenced by any Hollywood film while making it. But I am a huge fan of western thrillers. My personal favourites are ‘The Die Hard’ series or a ‘Bourne Ultimatum’. American action films are exciting, they come straight to the point and has no frills. Bollywood movies have their own charm.
How did you come up with the idea of a comic book to tell the story of Don?
The book should release sometime in mid-December. I had this idea to make a prequel to ‘Don’ initially – to tell the story of how he becomes what he is. But then it didn’t work out. However, the idea lingered. And I thought of settling it once and for all. And this was the result!