April 21, 2010

Akshay Kumar: Housefull Again

Malshej Ghat. A sleepy albeit picturesque town. Lakes and hills and winding roads are the stuff Kodak moments are made of. It’s among these scenic surroundings that Akshay Kumar has been shooting for the past one month now. The sleepy town suddenly comes alive when the camera for Farah Khan’s Tees Maar Khan starts rolling early every morning. That’s when Akshay Kumar comes into his own too.

(Excerpts from the interview)

Two years ago, you were Mr Box Office itself. Every film of yours was a superhit. Suddenly last year we saw a slump. Most of your movies didn’t find the target. What would you attribute this to?
I don’t know. 'Fate'... I’m just glad you’ve realised I’m not a ‘Hit Machine'. I’m human’, I know I had two wonderful years, I had super hits that every actor dies for. But there is no way on God’s earth especially in this industry that someone can hold such a position for so long. It’s inevitable for someone to dip otherwise how can they rise again? My target is not to break Avatar’s records every time I release a movie. My target is to entertain as many as I can all year round. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, one slightly negative year is not going to faze, is it? Come on, I’m a man it will only make me want it more...

Do you feel you should turn your attention to serious cinema now? Something more substantial.
No. I am a commercial actor, people don’t want to see me educating the world with artistic cinema, they watch me to enjoy themselves! Don’t get me wrong. I would do any script that I love, be it playing a geek to being India’s Spider-Man to making the nation cry in an epic love story. Genre’s aren’t my concern, it is scripts that are my concern. Remember I’m not a writer I’m an actor, I do roles that are given to me. My job is to give the people a ticket to their very personal Disney Land for three hours, what more can one do!

Farah Khan once swore by Shah Rukh Khan. Today she’s on your side. How do you feel about that?
Well I’m just glad she didn’t take an oath!! Farah doesn’t take sides, she’s her own person. I’m obviously incredibly excited to be working with her. It’s a shame people can’t be happy for us though; again they’d rather make yet another controversy to make our industry that much harder to work in. Directors like Priyadarshan work with me then with Shah Rukh, I wouldn’t stop anyone, big deal. We all have to make a living, I had free dates, I got lucky that’s all, Shah Rukh isn’t going to be bothered by anything I do, he’s building his empire and he’s very happy doing it...

Are you a hands on father? In the sense do you look after his studies, do you attend his parent-teacher meetings in school, annual-day programmes?
Absolutely! I attend every special occasion in my son’s life- sports day, karate tournaments, Shiamak Davar’s dance shows, school plays; if I’m in the country I don’t miss a thing. My father was there for me at every event in my life, I will do anything to make sure my son feels the same love and support I was given, he’s only got one childhood and I intend enjoying every minute I can of it with him.

They say there’s a woman behind every successful man. Do you agree?
YES!! (Laughs) There are a lot of women behind successful men. What can I say? Women are stronger than men, they have fantastic multi-tasking abilities. I am surrounded by amazing women. My wife, my mother, my sister and my mother in law. These women have influenced me tremendously and without their support it would have been tough or almost impossible to achieve and sustain the success I enjoy today. Men cannot stand alone and we know it.

Anuradha Choudhary