'Influence of women in any field is good'

Farhan Akhtar talks about the influence of women in the industry, box office numbers, and his idea of fitness...

New Delhi: Actor-filmmaker-singer Farhan Akhtar hopes that actresses backing films as producers is not just a passing trend as he believes that women's influence, irrespective of the field, is good for everyone.
Over the years, actors like Dia Mirza, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Chitrangda Singh and Richa Chadha have shown interest in contributing to filmmaking as producers.
Asked what he thought about the trend, Akhtar said, "That's how it should be. Not just actors, there are also a lot of female producers and women who are working in different companies and handling the creative aspect of those companies."
"It is amazing to see that. The more influence that we have of women in any field, why just films... it can be sports or politics also, it's good for everyone because they have a different perspective on things because they have experienced life in different ways from what we (men) have; so, it makes a difference," added the brother of director Zoya Akhtar.
Farhan's latest co-production, Fukrey Returns, registered an opening day collection of Rs 8.10 crore on December 8. Are box office collections more important when he produces a film?
"The reason you do a film is because you want to share it with the world and when a lot of people see your film, the most tangible recognition of it is the box office collection, because you can aggregate a number through it," he said.
But for him, success of a film also means "conceptually what is done to get people to think about things".
"There are many films that were released in their time and not considered box office hits, but what that film meant, the kind of story-telling, the work that went into that film have sustained and at times (they are) considered as landmark films and way ahead of their times.
So, success of a film can be gauged on many fronts; but is box office important?
"Of course it is, because people are putting money in a film. You don't want anyone to lose money," said the co-founder of Excel Entertainment that has produced blockbusters like Rock On!! and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
The first look of his next co-production 3 Storeys, starring Pulkit Samrat, Sharman Joshi, Richa Chadha and Renuka Shahane, was unveiled recently.
So, is a multi-starrer the formula for a hit film?
"I don't think so. Eventually, a good story should be the formula for success... whether it is about one person in a room or 21 people in a colony like in '3 Storeys'. Our emphasis is on trying to tell good stories.
"Arjun Mukerjee, who is the director and writer of this film, has truly put together something that we consider very special. Now we are excited to share it with others," he said.
Farhan is also passionate about fitness, among other things. The actor, who has fronted ads of vitamins and dietary supplements brand, is now endorsing Apollo Munich Health Insurance.
Is he deliberately focussing on health-related brands?
"It is not deliberate. I do feel good about doing it when it does happen. I don't go around looking for it, but I guess the lifestyle that I lead, the kind of
work that I do, information on my life and focus on health and fitness, encourage people to come and speak to me about it," said the 43-year-old.
When did he start taking fitness seriously?
"I got serious about it in 2003-2004. I was shooting for 'Lakshya' in Ladakh. We were there for five months and I felt incredibly fit by the time I came back from there.
"When I returned to Mumbai, my energy levels were really high... it was a feeling that I didn't want to lose.
That's when I started training with Sam (Samir Jaura), who is my trainer," said the Bhaag Milkha Bhaag actor.
He believes fitness is not about "going to a gym and getting big biceps. It's much more than that".
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