Saturday, June 3, 2006

‘My father is my best teacher’ 
Fardeen Khan gets chatty with Gayatri Rajwade about all that’s dear to him — his family, love for acting and racing fast cars

With more than six films in his kitty, including an Abbas Mustan film and one for “buddy” Sajid Khan, this Khan is on a roll and his career graph proves that infamy does not stick (remember the drugs incident?), only success does.

With his fingers in many pies, including rehearsals for an awards functions in Mumbai where the tête-à-tête took place, Fardeen Khan attributes his time management to his newly acquired secretary, “who ensures I get home by nine every evening to have dinner with my wife.”

Newly married (wife Natasha is former actor Mumtaz’s daughter) and much in love, Fardeen believes he is a “good husband, responsible son and a faithful friend, besides being a good master to his dogs.”

His latest film Pyare Mohan may not have hit the bull’s eye but Fardeen always seems to get noticed especially by the women, a fact he acknowledges unabashedly! “I think I am quite popular with the ladies, after all, the L factor is important,” he quips.

Support comes from his family, whom he is very close to. “We share a close bond but I get inspiration from my father (Feroze Khan). He is one of the best teachers I could hope for and he stirs me at various levels. His struggle, he started with nothing; his style of film-making, the modern outlook to cinema was contributed by him; and the fact that he inspires you to be your own person make him unique.”

With Dharamatma, Yalgaar and Qurbani being his favourite among his father’s films, he is really looking forward to “working on a redefinition of Qurbani” which has been planned by Feroze Khan. Fardeen would be essaying the role his father played in the original.

With a number of thrillers, drama and love stories to look forward to, Fardeen is keen to work on “different genres, for otherwise it all gets stale.” What about his successful run at comedy? “I want to give it a backseat now.”

In fact, acting stimulates him in a way nothing else does. “It is a process of creating images from words and visuals, of experiencing a different perspective of a character, different from one’s own, one that affects people another way.” What else if not an actor? “A race car driver” is the prompt reply.

As a brand, he says he brings to Bollywood “a sincere, attentive, natural actor who is understated. People think I under act but I would rather do that.”

Having worked with stalwarts of the industry, the films close to his heart include Ram Gopal Verma’s three films which he has done, Anupam Kher’s Om Jai Jagadish and Govind Nihalani’s Dev where he shared space with Amitabh Bachchan. “He is a volcano of talent and one has grown up watching his films. It was definitely daunting in the beginning but Amitji makes a conscious effort to relax people around him.”

Movies apart what else does he do, does he get time to race at all? “I would like to but whenever I have a week off, my wife and I generally travel to places close by like Dubai, Thailand, Maldives or Mauritius.” In India, his favoured places are Coorg, Ooty and the backwaters of Kerala which he has explored extensively.

Time up, no more questions as rehearsals beckon and off goes this dude with his clipped accent in tow, long hair, sleeveless T-shirt and a yellow towel wrapped round his neck. After “having some fun on stage”, it’s time for a quiet dinner with wife, the women fans can wait.