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    Dil Chahta Hain. Don. Zindagi Na Milega Dobara. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The uber-entertaining Farhan Akhtar attended the London Indian Film Festival last week and shared some rarely-known facts about his films. Read on.

    1. Our Dil Chahta Hai Moment

    Dil Chahta Hai / Via

    "With friends, there’s always a time when you’re comfortable with each other’s silences, where you don’t need to say something. What’s amazing for me now is the amount of people who’ve taken a trip to this location in Goa and taken a picture exactly like this. And then sent it to me! It really brings a smile to my face every single time. Our Dil Chahta Hai moment. The beauty of three people being comfortable with each other just resonates."

    2. Why he chose to remake Don

    Don / Via

    "I was fascinated by this character played by Mr Bachchan. I remember being so scared of him when I saw that film, and I kept thinking: how can someone I love so much scare me? It just stayed with me forever. And I just felt that the film would be great to translate and bring to a younger audience who hadn’t seen the older version.

    I also wanted to give a new meaning to a dialogue that’s in the film: “Don ke pakadna mushkil nahin. Namumkin hain.” In the original Don, Don says this line and then dies 15 minutes later! That always bothered me and I wanted to correct it. I wanted to give Don’s line the respect that it truly deserves."

    3. There was only one man for him who could play Don in the remake

    Don 2 / Via

    "Shah Rukh is an unkillable spirit, which is why he’s great to be this character. The thing is with Shah Rukh, more often than not, you don’t take more than three takes. In terms of being the character, and not thinking too much about what he’s going to do, his first two are always the best.

    He’d also grown up on the film. He said when he was teenager, “I’d stand in front of the mirror and say these Don dialogues and imagine myself with a gun being all macho, and you’re telling me you’re making this film – for me it’s a dream come true.”

    I didn’t feel intimidated by him. We hung out a lot before the film. We connected on many things – the books that we read, the video games we played, the music we liked listening to, snakedancing on the floor…"

    Farhan went ahead and demonstrated what he meant by 'snakedancing' on stage

    4. He was cast in Rock On due to the strength of his voice

    Rock On / Via

    "Abhishek Kapoor (director) randomly met me in a bar in Mumbai one day. I hadn’t acted in a film, I’d never sung a song publicly. He came up to me and said 'I’ve heard you speak in various interviews and your voice is the voice I want to use in my film. Do you want to act in it?' I heard the story and thought it was amazing and I immediately said I wanted to be a part of it. Then he asked: 'Can you sing?' I said, let’s meet at the studio tomorrow and let’s do a test.

    He had no idea I played guitar or sang. So I entered with my guitar in my hand and he thought I was taking the role a bit too seriously! And then we just sat, jammed and recorded a bit in the studio, and that was that. But I decided that if I wasn’t singing the songs, I didn’t want to be a part of it. Singing is very essential to the performance in this movie. And that’s how it really came together. It was just wonderful working on this film as my first acting experience."

    5. The story of Luck By Chance was almost a matter of art imitating life imitating art

    Luck By Chance / Via

    "Luck By Chance explored the role of luck and chance in the Indian film industry. It was very interesting as it worked in such parallel with many things that were going on at the time. Zoya (director of Luck By Chance and Farhan’s sister) wrote the script in 2002 and the film was eventually made in 2009. And the reason why she couldn’t make the film for so long was because she couldn’t find someone to play the main role in the movie. We were producing it, and we met every single actor that we could meet who fit that part, and everyone turned it down one after the other. So the film just kept getting postponed. Zoya got very depressed about it, as she was so sure it was the film that she wanted to make first in her career.

    And eventually, when I did Rock On, and I felt really good about the acting process, I then told her, you know what, I’ll play the part. It’s really strange as the film is also about that: many people saying no to a film, before I eventually get cast in the role!"

    6. He’s proud of all of his films

    Karthik Calling Karthik / Via

    "Then I did a film called Karthik Calling Karthik, which was a psychological thriller about a man who gets phonecalls from himself at 5 in the morning. This was what I call my 'experimental phase!'"

    7. The story of Zindagi Na Milega Dobara came around as a reaction to the experience of shooting Luck By Chance

    Zindagi Na Milega Dobara / Via

    "There was a huge ensemble cast in Luck By Chance, so when Zoya was done with it, she was very tired of working with so many actors. She was like: the next film I want to do is one with three boys and a car. And then she went off and wrote it.

    That’s really how Zindagi came about. Reema and her started off with Abhay’s character about a guy who’s engaged and starting to having second thoughts and how friends are so important at a time like this to help you and support you in everything you want to do."

    8. Zindagi Na Milega Dobara’s tomato-filled Paint It Red sequence wasn’t as fun to shoot as it was to watch

    Zindagi Na Milega Dobara / Via

    "Zindagi was probably the most fun shoot I’ve done in my working career so far. However, as far as the Tomatina scene was concerned, it was amazing for 15 minutes. And after that you really want to go home. And we shot this film for 3 days. We were in tomato puree for 8 hours every single day. It’s worse post-lunch, when you have to go back in there and the Spanish crew is having gazpacho nearby. We could not look at a tomato for at least 6-7 months."

    9. Other than the Tomatino scene, the rest of Zindagi Na Milega Dobara was pretty easy to shoot

    Zindagi Na Milega Dobara / Via

    "Working with Abhay and Hrithik, we’re all friends so I think that’s what translated to the screen. There was no actor ego at all. Nobody is trying to compete, everyone is wanting the other to look good. I think that reflects the nature of the film – that’s friendship, and I think that shows."

    10. In Maston Ka Jhund (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), the majority of men are real-life army cadets

    Bhaag Milkha Bhaag / Via

    "Milkhaji (the runner the film is based on) told us when he was in the army barracks, every once in a while they’d have a night of drinking and dancing, and that he would completely lose it. He would sweat a lot – the legend of Milkha Singh was that when he trained, he would sweat out a bucket of sweat.

    We thought that would be a great visual to capture where somebody is completely letting loose with all his so-called roommates. We only had three actors – the one who does the beatboxing at the beginning, the friend that Milkha talks to, and me. Everyone else is an army cadet. We just called them to come and dance and have fun."

    11. It’s not easy to move on between characters from one film to the next

    Bhaag Milkha Bhaag / Via

    "You get a lot more attached to films as a director and it takes time to move on from the film. As a character, it’s a lot more dicey. With films like Rock On and Zindagi Na Milega Dobara, the characters are so close to who I am that it doesn’t take too much to get in and get out. But with Karthik Calling Karthik or Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, it was a huge process of getting in and eventually working that character out of my system.

    It’s not easy as you’re living a life for that period of time. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag was around 18-19 months of living like how Milkha Singh lived – training like him, eating like him, looking like him. For a year and a half if you’re looking in the mirror and seeing this one person and then suddenly one day you just go and shave, you suddenly feel so removed from what your reality was for that time. It is a process but it’s important for this time to move on and not to dwell. For certain roles, it’s not easy."