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“I Came In To My Own After Delivering Not 2 Or 3 But 14 Flops In My Career”- Akshay Kumar


Jyothi Venkatesh

What exactly is your next film Good Newws all about?

Good Newws starring me with Kareena Kapoor, Daljeet Dosanjh and Kiara Advani is not a serious film like say Padman or for that matter Toliet Ek Prem  Katha which I had made earlier. It is a light breezy entertainer with a pertinent message which is not forced.

What message does Good Newws set out to convey?

The film sets out to drive home the message to the audience that  those who do not have children need not fret and fume since IVF has been discovered and till now almost one million babies have come out through IVF. A woman who is not able to conceive a child need not be labeled a baanjh any more and can start her own family easily and there is 92% success ratio guaranteed.

Akshay Kumar

Is Good Newws about surrogacy?

No. Good Newws is not at all about surrogacy but about IVF though let me warn you that it is only once in a blue moon that there is a mix up of sperms like in Good Newws.

Is it true that Good Newws has been made on a small budget?

If you call 36 cr a small budget, I have made Good Newws on a small budget. The cost will be easily recovered from sale of music as well as overseas and it will be a 100% hit. The USP of films I do is that they are not burdened with a huge budget and are made in a less time. Karan Johar and I as producers will share the profits accruing from the film

You have been part of many comedies. What kind of comedy is your forte as an actor?

I am happy I got to visit different branches of comedy. It is not easy to make people laugh at your own expense but it is sad and unfortunately that people do not give credit to you when you do comedies though it is serious business. I was upset when people called Houseful 4 senseless because there is an audience for such comedies too.

Akshay Kumar

The latest news is that Priyadarshan is all set to stage his comeback as a director with Hungama 2 with you in the lead. Can you tell me more about the film?

Yes. Priyan and I will be teaming with each other in a new film, which he is going to direct after a six year gap. The truth is that even Priyadarshan does not know much about the film as he is right now in the process of writing the script.

Is it true that Raj Gupta is the 25th new director with whom you have worked till date?

Yes. It is true that I have worked with a new director called Raj Gupta this time in Good Newws. He is the 25th new director who has directed me in a film. I like to work with new directors also because it is ‘a do or die situation’ for them and hence to prove themselves they set out to put in their 100 per cent effort to make a good film

Why do you do not work with established directors like Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra?

The simple truth is that big direct ors do not come to em with an offer to cast me in their films. You have to start your journey on your own if big directors do not come to you. I just cannot wait at home for eternity if big directors do not come forward to direct me in their films. Karan Chopra and Aditya Chopra have only produced films with me but have not directed me in any film till date. My greed for doing good work is far more than working with established directors.

Why do you think top directors do not cast you in their films?

I think top directors cast only stars, who deserve being cast. I do not think frankly I deserve being cast if a role does not suit me. I presume that I do not deserve the kind of films that I want to do so till today I do not have any big director backing me and I have got all my offers in my own way. Karan Johar is only producing Good Newws but not directing it

On what basis do you chose your films?

I trust the script and the screenplay. If work on script including the screenplay is complete, that by itself means that 60% of the work is over and the director can easily take over.

At one stage of your career, you were busy with action films and then followed a phase when you were acting in comedy films. In which genre, do you think you will be comfortable?

I would not like to say that I am comfortable in any one particular genre, because it is with great difficulty that I have come out of the tag of action films. I would say that I am comfortable doing all kinds of films. If something is risky and fun at the same time, I go all out to do the film

How comfortable will you be to act in a live animation film like say Motu Aur Patlu?

Like I said, I am game to do all kinds of roles. If I get an offer, I am game to be part of a live action film too. I am still not at all satisfied as an actor. I am a greedy actor and am still looking out for different and difficult roles in films. But right now I am busy with films like Suryavanshi, Laxmi Bomb, Priothviraj Chauhan, Durgavati etc after the release of Good Newws.

Do you necessarily cast yourself as an actor in every film that you set out to make as a producer?

Till date I have also made two films in Marathi but I was not a part of the star cast of those films. I have also made a Punjabi film in which I did not act. I am right now making a film called Durgavati with Bhumi Pednekar in which I am not acting. I made Fuggly with Kiara Advani too in which I did not act.

How do you feel when you look back at your career now that you have completed your 30 years in films?

I have been through a lot of ups and downs as an actor. Though I have had hits, I also have been labeled a flop hero since I had as many as 14 films flopping one after the other. The silver line is that I have survived because of my discipline. I have heard producers telling “Akshay ko le lete hai because woh time mein aa jayega sets pe shooting ke liye”. If you are right as a person, you can go places in this field.

As an actor, you have turned 360 degrees from someone who was very bad as an actor to someone who can easily make a transition to the character. How did you manage this?

If you remember, you had written in your review of a film of mine that I was like a piece of furniture as an actor. You were actually kind to me. I did not belong to the industry when I entered it. I came as a rank newcomer and did not know what camera or lens was. With time I learnt through trial and error in my own way and came into my own after delivering as many as 14 flops. I feel there is still more learning to do. I am now working with Chandra Prakash Dwivedi and it was interesting to hear him talk of history which most of us do not even know.

Akshay Kumar

What is your approach to a role?

Each actor has his own method of acting. You, as a journalist may write an interview in six hours but someone else may do that in 20 minutes. It does not mean that the other person is better than you. To get into a character that I set out to play, I do not take more than half a day, because at the end of the day acting is just acting and nothing else. With each film I am doing, I find myself in an entirely different zone of its own.

What is the biggest difference in you as an actor today when you compare your earlier days?

The biggest difference that I see today is that  the number of zeroes in my cheques have changed whereas I was zero in the beginning of my career.

Good Newws is being released exactly a week after Dabangg 3 is released. Do you have jitters?

I know Prabhu Deva well as he had directed me in Rowdy Rathod. He knows how to make an out and out commercial film. Dabangg is a huge franchise in any case. When it is Eid and even two films can come together, I have no jitters because both Dabangg 3 and Good Newws can do well at the box office as they have a week in between their releases

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