Akshay Kumar, who has completed more than two decades in Bollywood, is not worried about stardom today. “I have been here for the last 25 years, but I don’t know how long I will continue. Maybe, I will last another five years. Maybe, ten. But I am greedy, and have lot of content on my hands. I will continue to work till the audience tells me that they can’t tolerate me anymore,” says the actor.
The superstar is back with Housefull 3 directed by Sajid-Farhad. “I did a lot of action movies recently. Housefull 3 is a welcome change. I had a great time with my co-stars,” he says. Akshay plays a wannabe footballer in the film, who yearns to play the English Premier League. But he has to serve water to the other players instead. “The coach is a racist and keeps taunting me that I am a bloody Indian. The seething anger leads to multiple personality disorder in the character, which is given a comic twist in the film. Then come the three heroines, playing the role of sisters, who falls in love with Abhishek Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh and me. Their father, however, does not want them to get married. The film has no message as such, but tells you to live life happily.”
Comedy as a genre, says the actor, is very exhausting. “Especially when you have to do a film like Housefull 3. It’s all about quick dialogue delivery. If you don’t react fast, there are several retakes. Even after doing so many comedy films, I am still learning the craft of making people laugh. It’s easier to make people cry as they can emotionally relate to incidents. Most of the comedy shows in our country don’t do well because they do not appeal to people. Unfortunately, we don’t give this genre much importance. Comedy actors are not considered for awards too,” says the actor, who loves dark or subtle humour in real life.
This is the second time Akshay will be sharing screen space with Abhishek. He says, “Abhishek has a very English kind of humour and is very subtle. But most of the times people don’t understand his humour.”
Khiladi Kumar is one actor who has kept himself away from controversies or being trolled on the social media. “Places like Facebook and Twitter can be risky at times, but if you are willing to take the risk, go out and speak your mind.”
While heroines like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are making their debut in Hollywood, not many Bollywood actors have ventured out to the west. Speaking about his interest in Hollywood, the superstar says, “We have always been offered miniscule roles. Priyanka and Deepika are making India proud and I am glad for both. Even in the south, we have never been offered the lead roles, whereas the heroines have been doing well for themselves there as well.”
Hard work and luck helped him survive and reach stardom. “I worked very hard but luck favoured me too. I have selected both good and bad films. At times, people have told me on my face that my films are poor. Yes, I do get jitters every Friday and it remains with me till the weekend, but then I get up and start working on my new film with the same fervour, hoping it will appease the audiences.”
The actor, who has done over hundred films, says he is proud of the younger crop and gets to learn a lot from them. “Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra, they are all so passionate about their profession and put so much efforts into their roles. They are much more giving than I am,” says the 48-year-old. Refusing to be stereotyped, he says, “I have never yearned for any image. I try doing different roles each time. I don’t want to be called an action hero, comic hero or a villain.”
Currently, he has films like Robot 2, where he will be seen in a negative role, and Rustom. “In Robot 2, I am a super villain. It was challenging but felt great to be beaten by superhero Rajinikanth. I play a naval officer in Rustom, a film based on real-life incidents,” he says.