Years after essaying legendary athlete Milkha Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, actor Farhan Akhtar stepped into the shoes of a sportsperson again with his upcoming sports drama Toofaan. Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, the film chronicles the journey of a goon who trains to be a boxer to live a life of respect. However, an incident puts a big roadblock on his journey as he is punished with a five-year ban on boxing.
For the film, Farhan had to undergo a massive physical transformation. To get the look and physicality of a boxer right, Farhan had to undergo four years worth of training in just one. In a recent press conference to launch Toofaan’s trailer, Farhan opened up about his experience training for the film.
He said, “The thing is, I have managed to keep myself fit for most of it. Whenever I start doing something new, having the advantage of a basic level of endurance and fitness helps. I started training for boxing in October or November and we started shooting for the film in August (next year). So for that period of time, roughly about 8-9 months, I was training.
“When we were growing up, we watched many films about boxing so I was very excited to be a part of the film. I thought there would be a fight and a montage of training, getting into it. But as you start training for the sport, you realise, no matter how fit you think you are, no matter what your training is, you are not prepared to take on the sport of boxing with the attitude in mind ki ‘ho jayega (it will happen on its own)’. It is an extremely demanding sport. If you ask sportspersons they will also probably say boxing is the most demanding sport. There is a physical aspect, but there is also a mental aspect to it and an emotional aspect as well. It was like playing chess. You are constantly engaged. It was difficult, but it was very exciting because of what we were going to make. That gives you fuel."
He further added, “I will go back to Bhaag Milkha Bhaag because it was mentioned there, that whatever you want to do, if the intentions behind that are honest and pure, then you will automatically find the strength to do it. The world is looking at you and saying, ‘Wow he is training for three hours.’ But you don’t feel like that because you feel like you’re doing what is right for your film. So that is what kept me going through the training and the shoot. The fitness aspect is just one part of the film. But it’s not just about that. What you are seeing is actually about what is going on inside and not being able to see it outside."
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) June 30, 2021
During the press conference, director Mehra revealed that there would be lavish lunches served on the sets of Toofan. “I just had one problem on the set, which I complained to Ritesh a lot. It was very difficult to work after the lunch break. The lunches on set were like the food offered in someone’s wedding. I could not control myself and wanted to pack up,” he joked.
Farhan was asked how he controlled himself around the tasty food served on the set. To this, the actor jokingly replied, “I will only say that I did not get invited to the feast. I was never invited, nor was I allowed to gate-crash. The canteen was being shifted around everyday, so I couldn’t find it. Only the wonderful smells of the rotis and naans would float around and it would inspire me, ‘let the opponent come before me, I will show him.'"
Toofan also stars Paresh Rawal, Supriya Pathak Kapur, Hussain Dalal, Dr. Mohan Agashe, Darshan Kumaar and Vijay Raaz in pivotal roles. It will premier on July 16 on Amazon Prime Video.