Biography|May 19, 2012 11:00 am

Farhan Akhtar Biography

Farhan Akhtar (born 9 January 1974) is an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playback singer, lyricist and television host based in Bollywood. Born in Mumbai, he grew up under the influence of the film industry, in which his father Javed Akhtar and mother Honey Irani were part of. After completing his schooling in Maneckji Cooper school, he studied a degree of commerce in HR College, Mumbai, before dropping out, and began his career in films by working as an assistant director in Lamhe and Himalayputra.


Akhtar, after establishing a production company named Excel Entertainment along with Ritesh Sidhwani, made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai and received critical acclaim for portraying modern youth. The film also won a National award. Following it, he made Lakshya and had his Hollywood debut through the soundtrack of Bride and Prejudice, for which he wrote the lyrics. He had his first commercial success with Don: The Chase Begins Again, though failing to receive critical acclaim for it. After experimenting with Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., he directed a documentary to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS titled Positive.

He started his acting career with Rock on!! and got a positive response for it from critics. After further amounts of experimentation with films, he acted in, produced and wrote the dialogues for the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which also won two National awards. In the same year, he directed a sequel to Don: The Chase Begins Again titled Don 2. At present, he has been signed in for sports film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag to portray Milkha Singh, an athlete. Off-films, he has appeared in TV shows, beauty pageants and endorsed several brands.

Farhan Akhtar was born on 9 January 1974 in Mumbai to screenwriters, Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani. His sister is writer–director Zoya Akhtar. His parents divorced during his early days, and his father married Shabana Azmi in 1984. His parents were termed as his “harshest critics” to his roles in careering by him, who also considered Robert De Niro as a childhood “inspiration” in the film industry. Speaking about the influence of his parents on his childhood, he stated that “My parents have never pressurised me or Zoya. They have never poked any of us, saying your treatment is not correct or anything. They are happy that we have independently made a name for ourselves and are passionate about our work.”

He did his schooling in Maneckji Cooper school in Mumbai and went on to study a degree in commerce at the HR College, also in Mumbai, during which he was dismissed from the institution in his second year due to lack of attendance. During the Bombay riots of 1992 and 1993, he faced some controversy when he was perceived as a Muslim due to his name. He described the event as a “worst moment” of his life. However, due to his lack of involvement in religion and liberal background, he was not radicalised.
He is the grandson of Jan Nisar Akhtar, the cousin of Farah Khan and Sajid Khan. Currently married to Adhuna Akhtar, he has two children named Shakya and Akira.

Farhan made his directorial debut in Hindi cinema with the 2001 hit, Dil Chahta Hai (2001), which starred Aamir Khan. It was a big success, especially popular among the younger generation. Many rate it as one of the greatest movies ever made in Bollywood. The movie earned quite a few nominations for different awards, and won the Filmfare best screenplay award. His next project was Lakshya (2004) with Hrithik Roshan, which was released in 2004. Though the movie did not do as well at the box office, it won him much critical acclaim. The script of the movie was written by his father Javed Akhtar.

He then directed a remake of the 1978 cult classic Amitabh Bachchan film, Don (1978) called Don (2006/I) which starred Shah Rukh Khan in the title role. The film released on 20 October 2006 and was a huge success at the box office. He produced the film Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007) which also did well at the box office.

Then came Rock On!! (2008), in which he starred and produced. The film was a phenomenon and became an instant cult film just like Dil Chahta Hai (2001). And Farhan has a lot to do with its success. He produced it, wrote the dialogues for it, acted in it and learnt how to sing the super hit songs. His husky voice seems perfect for Indian rock music. The performance of Farhan in the movie was a revelation. And a method actor of his own unique style was born. Farhan has won applauds from his viewers for his acting debut and all loved the sound of his voice on songs like ‘Rock On’ and ‘Tum Ho Toh’. As part of promotions for _Rock On_, Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Luke Kenny and Purab Kohli (the members of the Rock On!! (2008) cast and the fictitious band ‘Magik’ depicted in the movie) has toured the country making crowds groove to their rocking and magical music.

After Rock on Farhan gave sting of hits Like Luck by Chance, KArthik Calling KArthik, Zindagi na milegi dobara etc and in all these films he participated on screen as well as off screen.

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