Farhan Akhtar is an Indian film maker, actor, script writer, playback singer, lyricist, film producer and television host. Farhan works mainly in Hindi Cinema. He was born on 9 January 1974 to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani. His stepmother Shabana Azmi is also an actress. Farhan Akhtar is also the grandson of Urdu poet Jan Nisar Akhtar and the cousin of Bollywood film director and dance choreographer Farah Khan and Sajid Khan. Farhan Akhtar’s sister, Zoya Akhtar made her directorial debut with Luck By Chance, in which Farhan was the main lead. Farhan is married to Adhuna Bhabani Akhtar, a hairstylist who runs B:Blunt Salon with her brother. Farhan and Adhuna have two daughters – Shakya and Akira.
Directorial venture in Bollywood
Farhan Akhtar made his writing and directorial debut at 27 in Hindi cinema with the film Dil Chahta Hai, produced by Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., a production company he co-established along with Ritesh Sidwani in 1999. The film was a critical and commercial success, especially popular among the younger generation. It earned quite a few nominations at various award shows, including for Best Screenplay, Direction and Film. Dil Chahta Hai won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for the year 2001.
His next directorial venture Lakshya, did not do as well at the box-office, but it won him much critical acclaim. Farhan Akhtar also wrote lyrics for the film Bride And Prejudice. Farhan Akhtar, then directed a remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan film, Don titled Don – The Chase Begins Again. Though the movie was not critically acclaimed it proved to be a great success at the box office. In 2007, Farhan Akhtar produced the film Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. which performed fairly well at the box office.
In 2007, he directed Positive, a 12-minute short film on HIV stigma and the need for family support for the patient. Shot in Mumbai, it was part of ‘AIDS JaaGo’ (AIDS Awake), a series of four short films, directed by Mira Nair, Santosh Sivan, Vishal Bhardwaj and Farhan Akhtar.
Foray into Bollywood as an actor
Farhan Akhtar debuted in Bollywood with his movie Rock On! which went on to become a huge hit. It was critically acclaimed as well doing exceptionally well particularly in the metros. Next Farhan Akhtar appeared in his sister Zoya Akhtar’s directorial debut Karthik Calling Karthik which received decent critical reviews and also performed well at the Box office.
Farhan Akhtar’s next movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, did very well at the box office and was almost unanimously praised by critics.
He has two films scheduled to release namely Dhruv and Gulel which has been delayed due to the filming of Don 2 which he is currently directing.
Farhan Akhtar has appeared as a judge on a few shows on television, including the first season of the dance-reality show, Nach Baliye (2005), and the beauty pageant, Femina Miss India (in 2002). Farhan also hosted a TV show on NDTV Imagine, called Oye! It’s Friday. He was supposed to sing a song in the movie Blue which could not happen.