Multi-talented and dynamic, these words epitomize Farhan Akhtar more than any other Bollywood celebrity. Farhan Akhtar is a name which had contributed to the changing Indian cinema with his debut flick 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Farhan has given an all-round performance with directing, screenwriting, producing, acting, singing, lyrics writing, anchoring on TV and producing in movies.
Farhan Akhtar was born in Mumbai to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani on 9th January 1974. Writer- Director Zoya Akhtar is his sister. His parents divorced when he was just six years of age. Later, Javed Akhtar married actress Shabana Azmi in 1984. Sajid Khan and Farah Khan are his maternal cousins. Farhan was schooled in the Maneckji Cooper School in Mumbai and later joined HR College to pursue studies in commerce but then was dismissed for shortage of attendance in the second year of commerce degree. At the time of Bombay Riots, Akhtar entangled in some controversy as he was perceived as a Muslim. Later he was freed as innocent for his liberal background and noninvolvement in any religion. Farhan has defined it as "the worst moment" of his life. He married Adhuna Bhabani in the year 2000 after dating her for 3 years. The couple has two children named Shakya and Akira.
Akhtar worked as an apprentice in cinematography and direction for Yash Chopra's 'Lamhe' in 1991 at the age of 17. Then, he moved on to the ad-production house called Script Shop where he spent almost 3 years. He also assisted Pankaj Parashar in 'Himalay Putra' (1997), the debut movie of Akshaye Khanna.
Akhtar along with friend Ritesh Sidhwani started a production house 'Excel Entertainment'. Akhtar made his directorial debut at the age of 27 with the trend-setting movie 'Dil Chahta Hai' in 2001 starring Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna. Farhan has admitted it to be a story of his own life and the three friends are none other than himself, Hrithik Roshan and Uday Chopra. It was also based on his personal trips to New York and Goa. The film was liked in the Metros and was termed as the new Indian cinema. The movie went to get a National Award for Best feature film in Hindi for 2002. It got international acclaim and was screened at various prominent film festivals of the world. In the same year he and his twin sister Zoya assisted their father to write English lyrics for the song O ri Chori in 'Lagaan'.
Akhtar next directed 'Lakshya' in 2004, starring Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta. It got mixed reviews and failed commercially. In the same year, Farhan wrote the lyrics of Gurinder Chadha's Hollywood film, 'Bride and Prejudice' along with Sister Zoya Akhtar.
In 2006, Farhan produced, directed and wrote the screenplay of 'Don - The Chase Begins Again' which was a remake of 1978 movie 'Don - The Chase Begins Again' was written by father Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan. The film went to be a commercial blockbuster although got mixed reviews from critics. The film is also the first successful remake in India. In 2007, Akhtar produced 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd' directed by Reema Kagti, his former assistant. It did an average business. In the same year, Akhtar directed 'Positive', a 12 minute documentary on HIV-AIDS awareness. In 2008, Akhtar debuted in the blockbuster movie 'Rock on' as an Actor and Playback singer both. He got a Filmfare award for Best Debut Actor male and Best Playback Singer. He was then pronounced as the Indian 'Bryan Adams' for his husky voice and style of singing.
A. R. Rahman had offered Akhtar a song to sing in his album Blue which Akhtar refused for some reasons. Then Akhtar acted in sister's debut directorial 'Luck By Chance' this time in a gray shade. The film was critically and commercially appreciated. Akhtar also acted in black comedy drama 'The Fakir of Venice'. He next acted in 'Karthik Calling Karthik' opposite Deepika Padukone. The film received mixed reviews and did not succeed at the box office in spite of having a unique story. Akhtar produced 'Game' and wrote dialogues for it but the film failed.
Akhtar Produced and acted in Zoya Akhtar's 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' where he was appreciated for the recitation of poems written by dad narrated in the background of the movie throughout and of course for his acting too. The film was a major hit of 2011. Later, in the same year he wrote and directed 'Don 2' the sequel of his 'Don - The Chase Begins Again'. It too became a commercial and critical success. The film was mainly praised for the movie's cinematography. He recently produced successful 'Talaash' directed by Reema Kagti. He also wrote dialogues for the movie.
Farhan has judged a Beauty Pageant 'Femina Miss India in 2002. He was a judge in the dance reality show Nach Baliye season 1. He hosted a chat show 'Oye! It's Friday on NDTV Imagine. He endorsed brands like Hindustan Unilever's Water purifier- Puriet, United Spirits, Titan etc. Farhan is a great dancer since childhood. He is also a guitarist.
Farhan will next be seen as an actor essaying the real life character of Athlete Milkha Singh in 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. He will also produce a film 'Fukrey'. He will also be associated with future projects like 'Kismat Talkies', 'Shaadi Ke Side effects' alongside Vidya Balan, 'Voices from the Sky' and 'Rock on!! 2'.