Akshay Kumar Says 'It's A Pity' Bollywood Doesn't Do Many Two Hero Films, Talks About Laxmmi Bomb's Clash With Radhe
Akshay Kumar On Clashing With Salman Khan This Eid
He has clearly been on a roll for the past few years with his spotless track record vis-à-vis back-to-back successes. A case in point: 2019 saw all his four films (Kesari, Mission Mangal, Housefull 4 and Good Newwz) hitting the bull’s eye. But Akshay Kumar, who’s readying for the release of Rohit Shetty’s Sooryavanshi next, insists he doesn’t have any “success mantra” but only hard-work. “It’s been a good two decades plus [for me], and I want to be here [in Bollywood] only,” says the actor, who has multiple releases in 2020 as well. Excerpts from an interview:
Last year, you crossed 150th film of yours. That’s been quite a trip. How do you look at the journey?
I truly believe in counting my blessings, and gratitude is all I feel. More than awe, it’s a surprise that I’ve come this far, because it’s something I didn’t imagine even in my wildest dreams when I started out. It’s been a good two decades plus for me, and I want to be here [in Bollywood] only, doing this every day of my life, till audiences want me to do it.
You have had a very special and successful association with cop roles in your career. Now, as you return to that space again in Sooryavanshi, what are the feelings like?
Any role that requires me to wear a uniform – be it of an army person, navy officer or a police man – it automatically instills a sense of pride. In my career, I’ve had the good fortune of portraying all the above-mentioned parts. Now, the only part I’m yet to do is that of an Air Force pilot. Let’s see if I get lucky with that as well.
Unlike most cop dramas in Bollywood, the film’s storyline is extremely relevant to today’s times. Was that one of the reasons for you to say yes to the film?
Of course, and I’ve said that before also. It’s true that the main idea of making a film is to entertain but along with that, if a message can also be conveyed in an entertaining manner, I’m absolutely game. Plus, having watched and enjoyed Singham and Simmba, I was very happy to collaborate with the master action director, Rohit Shetty and be a part of his cop universe.
The film has you along with Ranveer Singh and Ajay Devgn. How was that, especially since nowadays, we don’t see big stars sharing screen space with one another? Does that ever bother you?
Absolutely not, I’ve always believed in ‘the more, the merrier’ and it’s a pity that unlike Hollywood, we don’t do multi-starrers or even two-hero films in Bollywood. As for shooting with them, it was great. In fact, Ajay and I go back a long way, having done quite a few films together in the past [mainly in the 90s] when ‘two hero’ films were a thing. And Ranveer is a good friend and we share a great rapport on screen as well as off screen.
For some time now, there has been lots of talk about the big Eid clash between Salman Khan’s Radhe and your Laxmmi Bomb…
I’m aware but it’s not my career’s first clash and I’m also fully aware that it won’t be the last. With the volume of films releasing every year in our industry and the limited number of Fridays, clashes are bound to happen. The chatter is more when two big films clash as more is at stake, but it’s very natural.
2019 turned out to be another super successful year for you. Does such success streak make you happy, or worry/pressurise you since there are a lot of expectations from you now?
Expectation is the root cause of disappointment. Every actor wants every film of his to work, no matter how many successes he/she has had. And that’s how even I function but while striving for success, sometimes you get lucky and at times you don’t. So, what’s important is to take it all in your stride, be it the past glory or failure, and move ahead.
Talking about Sooryavanshi, it’s the first time that you have teamed up with [filmmaker] Rohit Shetty. How was it being a part of his “over-the-top, super entertaining” world?
Rohit knows exactly what he wants and I know his filming style is “over-the-top” but it’s massy as well. He knows the pulse of the audience and what works with them. So, it was a lot of fun blowing up cars and hanging from helicopters, as it’s all completely within my comfort zone (laughs).
With such back-to-back hits, many wonder if you have hit upon a secret mantra. Is there one?
If I tell you, then it wouldn’t be secret. Right? I am just kidding, as there’s no secret mantra. It’s all about a little bit of hard work and lots of luck because even if you work really hard but luck isn’t on your side, then there’s nothing really that you can do.
One thing that really stands out from your filmography is the sheer variety that you have been offering, and that too successfully. Has it been a well thought-out strategy?
Well, as they say, ‘variety is the spice of life.’ And though I can’t handle spices in my food, they are a must in my films (laughs). I don’t like to be monotonous – trying out something new excites me and luckily for me, I’ve been getting new script ideas which make me tick.