While people were guessing that he has turned full time actor, Farhan Akhtar has again donned his director’s hat for Don 2: The King is Back (earlier titled Don 2: The Chase Continues). TWF correspondent Sreya Basu catches up with Farhan after he unveiled the first look of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer in Mumbai recently
Tell us something about Don 2.
I really don’t know what to say about the film as that way I will be giving out the whole story. It has been fun, challenging yet satisfying journey so far to make this movie. I was guilty of saying that I won’t probably make a sequel of Don, but my obsession with the character got the better of me. With amazing help and support and almost a sharing of vision with Ritesh (Sidhwani, producer) and Shah Rukh and rest of the team, I could not help but make Don 2.
Isha Koppikar has been dropped in Don 2?
There are two-three characters from Don: The Chase Begins Again (2006) who won’t be continuing in the sequel. One of them is that of Jasjit (played by Arjun Rampal), then there is that of Anita (Ishaa Koppikar) and there was a cop Inspector Verma…even he is not in the sequel. The screenplay and story didn’t need those characters to come into this one…that’s the reason why you don’t see them in this film.
Who is the ‘King’ of Don 2: The King is Back?
The King of Don 2 is undoubtedly Shah Rukh Khan.
Did you consult your father and writer Javed Akhtar on the script of Don 2?
Whatever film I write, I give it to him (Javed Akhtar) to read. I want him to give his feedback on screenplay, dialogues. He is somebody who is extremely experienced, somebody who is very good with the art and craft of writing; and fortunately I have this kind of access to him. It makes sense for me to use him and I use him to get feedback on not only this, but every script.
When you were making Don: The Chase Begins Again, you consulted Salim Khan (Salim-Javed being the screenplay writer of Amitabh Bachchan’s Don in 1978). Did you do the same this time too?
I had gone to him to request him to give permission to make the film. I thought it was important that people who worked on the earlier film be happy with the remake we had made. So I met him regarding that, not the screenplay or such things. He was very, very kind and completely wished us all the best for the remake. Hopefully that applies to the sequel as well.
In the 2006 film, you retained some of the dialogues from the 1978 film like Don Ko Pakadna Mushkil Hi Nahi Namumkin Hai. Are you trying some new lines in the sequel or want to carry forward the legacy?
There are other dialogues in the film of course. For us, the line you just spoke about, strike a chord. But who knows, may be some other dialogue Don says in Don 2, might match out to the audience. While writing dialogues and thinking about the style of the dialogues, I knew that the approach has to be to write it in a way that films of that time (1970s) were written, where people spoke with a bit of theatrical sense. There was a lot more drama in the lines. So I maintained the approach as it gives you good feeling and also makes the film sound different. It takes you back to the times when you got to see films like this where you know every dialogue was a DIALOGUE. So it is written with that in mind. But again, whatever people take from that, is upto them. There are fun lines in the film, hopefully they will enjoy.
Did you ever think of another actor for Don, had Shah Rukh said ‘no’ to you?
I don’t even want to think about that. When I started out to make the film, I wanted Shah Rukh to play the character and he loved the part. Beyond that, I stopped thinking about any other actor as I got the person I wanted for my film.
Social networking sites are flooding comments since Don 2 trailer was put on Youtube. What is the best compliment you have got so far?
The best compliment I have got about the film so far is ‘Thank You for making Don 2’…that’s the sweetest thing one can say with minimum words.
Sreya Basu / Trans World Features (TWF)