Says actor Farhan Akhar who believes in doing one thing at a time

He believes in doing one thing at a time. For the past two years, Bollywood director-turned-actor Farhan Akhtar has been completely devoted to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s ambitious new project Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

Speaking about his upcoming biopic, Farhan says one has to be honest and sincere while playing a living legend like Milkha Singh. “For this role I had to be single-minded in my determination to play this real life character with the best of my ability. It was important to play Milkha Singh the right way. One needs to be responsible to the character one is portraying on the screen. I should not be drifting away from the character.”

Apart from acting, Farhan has other obligations to keep. But he does not like mixing up his professional commitments. “While playing a character I do not think at all about direction. Similarly while making a film or writing a script, acting is far away from my mind. But everyone has his or her methodology of acting.”

Preparation for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag has taken a toll on Farhan because the film was shot on a gargantuan scale. “It has expanded to portray a character who is larger than life. There can be no short-cut to success. This film required me to change in terms of physicality and also mentally prepare for the role of the country’s greatest sportsperson. I do not want to watch a film and in the middle of it realise that I should have done more preparation.”

Shedding light on the film’s first look, Farhan says: “We have received a positive feedback and this has excited Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and those involved in making the film.”

Farhan had followed a punishing schedule for the film. “My physical regime was intense. Since the role requirement was of an extremely athletic sportsman, I had to do lot of running.”

Since his childhood days, Farhan has been into sports like his friend Hrithik Roshan. But he knows his limitations and does not think he is cut out for any sport -- be it cricket or athletics -- at a professional level. “Everyone plays sports but it is at a different level. We play for recreation. To become an athlete one has to be a natural runner. So I had to work hard on my strength, stamina and running for this role. Fitness does not mean just hitting the gym. Besides exercise, one has to follow a diet chart and get a good sleep.”

The actor, who played the guitar in his debut feature Rock On!, also gives special importance to music. “Music is a therapy to relax. Another thing which I enjoy thoroughly is travelling. It is a great pursuit to experience different cultures. While I am working I get caught up. But one must take time out for creative pursuits.”

Interestingly, Farhan had a whale of a time in sibling Zoya’s directorial venture Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. While macho co-actors Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol were apprehensive before enacting the sky-diving stunt, for Farhan performing the stunt was like pursuing a favourite hobby.

“Since 2007 I have been sky-diving. So this film gave me an opportunity to combine two passions – film-making and sky-diving. But I had to pretend that I was afraid of height and was dead scared before performing the stunt,” he recalls.

An expert in multi-tasking, Farhan in a jocular vein says he has three brothers – and they are into acting, scriptwriting and direction.

More In: Delhi