Farhan Akhtar
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Farhan Akhtar: If your work can inspire somebody, that's great!

Farhan Akhtar

By HT

Mumbai, Feb. 3 -- Even though he has given notable performances in films such as Rock On!! (2008), Karthik Calling Karthik (2010) and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), among others, it was Farhan Akhtar's portrayal of Olympian Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013), that really helped prove his mettle as an actor.

Apart from earning accolades and awards, Farhan also became an inspiration for several actors. Recently, in an interview to HT Cafe, Shahid Kapoor mentioned how Farhan inspired him to do more challenging work. Similarly, Arjun Kapoor, when asked who he'd like to collaborate with, had named Farhan as his first option.

Ask him about the praise coming in from all quarters, and he says, "I don't know what to say about this; I'm feeling a bit embarrassed. But, there are people who've inspired me to do what I do... We don't live in a vacuum; we've seen other people's work and been like, wow, I wish I could do that. And if your work can inspire somebody, that's great."

Trying to dabble in different genres, Farhan has been experimental with the kinds of roles he's done. But the actor positions drama as his genre of choice. He explains, "I'm naturally drawn towards drama. I grew up at a time when drama was considered film-making. Whenever people, who in your opinion mattered, spoke about films or performances, they always spoke about drama. You'd rarely hear someone talk about a comedy as a great film, while I was growing up."

However, the 41-year-old adds that he doesn't mean to put any other genre or performer down. "We've grown up watching Charlie Chaplin and Mahmood, and they were great performers, but they were never spoken about in the same breath as a Dilip Kumar or a Marlon Brando," says the actor.

On another note, while Farhan is active on social media, he is often termed 'hard to reach' otherwise. Ask him if he stays out of reach deliberately, and he says, "There's nothing wrong with it. At the end of the day, you should only talk when there's something to talk about."