To prepare for his character of a national level boxer in the film “Toofaan”, Farhan Akhtar didn’t just train for a role. Rather, he trained to be a boxer for the role.
“Boxing is a very unique sport. It’s not a sport for everyone. I knew that it requires a lot of hard work, and if there is one person who’s going to kill it, it is Farhan Akhtar. That is the magic of Farhan. He does not play the role, he becomes the role,” said Rakeysh in a behind-the-scenes video posted on Amazon Prime Video’s Instagram page on Friday.
Farhan started his boxing training for the film in early November 2018.
“Boxing was absolutely an alien sport to me. My training first began with Drew Neal who came in as my first boxing coach. Everyone has a natural fighting style. So, it was important for Drew to understand that in me,” said Farhan who trained by two coaches, Drew Neal and Darrell Foster.
Drew said: “Farhan was training two hours every single day. The speed that he was learning at was probably four-folds of what a normal beginner boxer would actually take. So, instead of one year’s training, he was hitting more like four years’ training.”
Before starting the shoot of the film, Farhan underwent vigorous training from his coaches. He said: “Roughly about five to six months were spent learning the ABCs, all techniques, physically preparing myself. We didn’t train for a film, we trained to be a boxer.”
Farhan was initially trained by Drew and then was handed over to Darrell for the training camp, and post that the shoot began in August 2019.
International celebrity trainer Darrell said: “Almost 9,000 miles from home, here in India I was to teach how to take a punch, not fake a punch. We were going to fight for real. Farhan is a gifted, talented athlete. It takes to understand where a lot of fighters come from. Most of the rich kids don’t box, don’t fight their way out of their circumstances, and I thought, here’s an opportunity for me to kind of explain what goes on in a warrior’s mentality. It’s a certain amount of dedication. He hasn’t used any stunt double because you’ve got to live this character. That’s what champions are made of.”
Farhan trained with real boxers. “It is a demanding sport. As fit as you feel you are, nothing prepares you for it. You realise what is it you are capable of or not capable of. It really pushes you. Any artiste likes to be challenged and to be able to take up that challenge and do it. I had been through this experience on ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’. You want to have that immersive experience. So, for me, the film really offered that opportunity,” signed off Farhan.