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If some spend decades finding their calling in life, others seem fated from birth: the Mumbai-born actor Farhan Akhtar – who also counts director, television host and singer among his many professions – falls into the latter. The child of screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, Akhtar junior was raised amid the Hindi film industry and – despite a brief diversion to study a law degree – he follows Bollywood’s long tradition of keeping it in the family, releasing his directorial debut, Dil Chahta Hai in 2001.
But he was fated for Bollywood fame in other ways, too: ruggedly handsome, with an enviable physique, Akhtar was part of a rising generation of Indian heartthrobs (at 45, he is in his best shape ever, bulking up for upcoming boxing movie Toofan). Moving from behind the camera to in front of it, the past decade has seen him take on a slew of eclectic, award-winning roles, from aspiring musician in Rock On!! to Indian sprinter Milkha Singh in biopic Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and, more recently, a devoted father in The Sky Is Pink, opposite Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
As for style, Akhtar might be less sartorially adventurous than some of his Bollywood co-stars, but he has nonetheless perfected an off-duty style which he describes as dressing by “instinct” (“I don’t feel the need to subscribe to fashion of the year or the season,” he recently said). This might mean a just-right T-shirt, jeans and sneakers – the actor’s go-to look – a relaxed kurta-style shirt, worn with white trousers and sandals, or, on the red carpet, an array of impeccably tailored suits, in myriad colours, from classic black tuxedo to warm-weather linen, in pale summer shades of white, lemon yellow and blue.
“I don’t feel the need to subscribe to fashion of the year or the season… I dress by instinct”
– Farhan Akhtar