Mumbai: Farhan Akhtar's next has been marred by controversies including why the young actors refused to work with him. Hear the multitalented filmmaker give us a piece of his mind...

From ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ in 2001 to Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara in 2011, director-producer-actor-singer-lyricist Farhan Akhtar has come a long way... but, may be not really long.

There have been speculations that ‘Zindagi Na Mile Dobara’ (ZNMD) resembles his first film as a director, Dil Chahta Hai( DCH), to a great extent.

Clearing such controversies and many more his links ups with assistants to break ups with actors like Arjun Rampal gets up and close with the multitalented film buff...

Zindagi Na Mile Dobara reminds us of Dil Chahta Hai...

It's not deliberate and if it does we are not complaining. It's a good thing that people are reminded of DCH. It is not similar in terms of story. The only common thing is there are three friends and the film has a similar vibe to DCH. Actually, I enjoy telling stories about young people, friendship and issues of this generation. But we have made many different kinds of stories. This was an opportunity to revisit an interesting aspect of a man's life. It was a very inviting and exciting story.

Luck By Chance didn't work commercially. Despite that, you not only produced your sister Zoya's next (ZNMD), but also starred in it. Would you do this for an outsider too?

The only reason to do another film with anyone is if they have written something interesting. If any of my directors, regardless of their previous films being box office success or not, come to me with a great script, I don't think I will bother about their last film.

What made you think Zoya was an apt choice to make a film on male bonding?

Zoya and Reema Kagti have written ZNMD. The two women have written a great story on male bonding. I have worked with Zoya and I knew she could handle this script very well. She always wanted me to play the part of Imraan in the film and I gladly slid my feet into the shoes.

Why did this movie get delayed?

Every movie has its own share of woes and as far as Zoya's woes are concerned it was the edit department (laughs). That's the reason the film got pushed. We have had three editors on the film. The first editor and Zoya had creative differences. The second editor had a double slip disk and was bed ridden and that was pushing us behind the schedule.

Last few films of Excel Entertainment haven't worked commercially. Does it put more pressure on ZNMD?

I don't feel what happens to your previous film determines how should you feel about your next. I am very proud of those movies. I want my films to be critically and commercially successfull but, there is also a certain success in a film that is beyond box office. There are many instances of films, which are good but fail to make money.

Imran and Ranbir were approached but they backed out saying you are too old to be playing their friend?

It could be. They haven't told me that. Everyone has their own reasons.
A lot of people didn't feel comfortable doing Arjun Rampal's role in Rock On before we cast him. Arjun came on board, the film did very well and he won a National Award. Now, those actors meet me and say they have done the biggest mistake of their lives. So when you chose not to do a film it's got to do with yourself and no one else. You might think that film is not good enough for you or you don't want to compete with other actors. Who knows! Everybody has their own reasons.

From directing Hrithik to now being his co-star, how has the equation changed?

He is a great actor. When I saw the first cut of ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’, I told him he is destined for greater things. Directing and co-starring with him is as much fun. He is very professional and doesn't get carried away by wanting to have a great time.

You are working with Abhay for the first time. How much time you took to break ice with him?

Abhay is a lot more responsible to breaking the ice than I am!  He is a lot more affable. When he meets somebody he can start talking to them about himself and about life a lot faster. It takes me a few meetings to warm up.

Arjun Rampal opted out of Don 2 since he wasn't happy with remuneration...

This is fair enough. We have a very open and honest relationship. We have a certain budget for the film. There are certain restrictions that I have. After having a frank chat, we felt that the best thing was not work together on this one so that it doesn't become a sore point for anyone. We can work together on another film.

Will he be part of ‘Rock On 2’?

I don't think there will be a ‘Rock On 2’. I have never said that.

While ‘Don’ was a remake, there is no reference point for ‘Don 2’. Was it more challenging?

It was as exciting as challenging because now you can do your own thing. To me, it was more exciting to sit and write a whole new story. People have understood who Don is. Since the foundation has already been laid and characters are etched in people's minds, it gave me a lot of freedom to do whatever I wanted.

Amitabh Bachchan is not very happy with his films being remade...

I don't think there is anything wrong with remakes as long as it is made out of love for the film. We made ‘Don’ purely out of love and brought it to the new generation. People who saw ‘Don’ realised that it was a remake of film that was made in 1978 and went back to discover the original.

You were supposed to do a modern version of ‘Devdas’ with Sudhir Mishra but it seems to be on hold forever...

That film was put on a hold for certain reasons that can't be revealed publicly. But it's a project that I will produce and act in it.People want to make certain things at certain times but they can't. Like Zoya waited for eight years to make Luck By Chance and after making a successful film like DCH, I wanted to make ‘Voice Of The Sky’ and it has been eight years since that project is waiting to be made. So now hopefully, I will make it at the end of next year. You don't intentionally want to keep someone waiting. There are too many people involved in putting a film together.

You have become an exclusive director and actor, accessible only to a few...
It's not like that. I have done film with Vijay Lalvani. The first time I met him was when he came to me with his script. Everyone can have access to me. If you have a great script, you will figure out a way.

How did your family react to your recent link up story?

Fortunately, my family knows me very well. They know that stuff like this has to be taken with a pinch of salt. So I wasn't held answerable. As far as the story is concerned all I can say is that people have wonderful imagination.

Courtesy: Mid-day.com