After spending multiple successful years behind the camera – directing Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Lakshya (2004) and Don (2006) – Akhtar debuted as an actor with Rock On!!. Director Abhishek Kapoor cast Akhtar because not only did the actor “look the part” of a rockstar, but he also had a great voice.
As a relatively new face on-screen, Akhtar’s comfort with playing Imraan Qureshi, the goofy prankster of the Zindagi Na Milega Dobara trio, was almost startling because it seemed as though Akhtar wasn’t acting at all. Imraan might crack lame “Bagwati” jokes but underneath the easygoing demeanour lies the pain of an abandoned child and the perceptiveness of a poet.
If you’ve been a fan of the actor, Feminist Sunny very likely tops the list of your Akhtar-related daydreams. Who doesn’t remember the verbal sparring between Sunny and Manav about women’s right to work after marriage? Funny, kind and carrying a strong moral centre, Sunny Gill offers a much-needed contrast to the Entitled Nice Guy syndrome that plagues Hindi film narratives.
The Sky Is Pink is as much a story of Moose (Priyanka Chopra) and Panda (Farhan Akhtar) as it is of their daughter, Aisha (Zaira Wasim) and her battle against illness. As a portrait of a couple spanning over 25 years, the film is a challenge for any actor and Akhtar uses this to his strength of playing both silliness and solemnity with equal flair.
Perhaps the charm of Aziz is that of an underdog overcoming insurmountable odds. Or maybe it’s the mind-boggling physical transformation Akhtar went through for the film, from a paunchy dad-bod to a ripped physique.