'Everyone Will Want a Pet after Entertainment'
BANGALORE: We don’t know if the film Entertainment will do anything to redefine entertainment in Bollywood, but it is likely to be the funniest film Akshay Kumar has ever done. The two-hour-12-minute film, produced by Ramesh Taurani and directed by writer-director duo Sajid-Farhad, also stars Tamannaah, Mithun Chakraborty and Prakash Raj among others. Akshay, Tamannaah and producer Taurani were in town to promote their film. City Express spoke to them about Entertainment, Junior - the dog, and more.
“I have done so many comedy flicks in my career, but when compared to films like Hera Pheri, Housefull and the kind, Entertainment takes the cake. Directed by two youngsters Sajid and Farhad, the film tells the story of the relationship between a man and his dog. I have three dogs back at home, so Entertainment (the name of the dog in the movie) will always have a special place in my heart. If you like entertainment and dogs, you will love this film,” says Akshay.
The actor answered questions on behalf of Junior who was not present at the press conference held in Bangalore on Monday. “I could not bring him from Thailand. So you can ask me things that you would have asked Entertainment. I will not do ‘woof woof’, but I will answer on his behalf,” he said with a laugh. “Junior will become a celebrity after Entertainment releases. He also equally awaits the release of the film,” said Akshay.
“Junior and I got along very well and I think he understood that I love dogs. I didn’t see any star-like tantrums from the pet. It is human beings like us who are hell bent on being snobbish. But Tamannaah and I envied the kind of treatment Junior got from producer Ramesh. He was given a bigger vanity bag than ours and had a doctor and two nurses taking care of him throughout the shoot,” he further says.
When we ask Ramesh about Junior’s remuneration, he is reluctant to reveal the exact payment but says it was definitely high. “You can add six or seven zeroes to a number,” he says. Tamannaah quickly adds, “With the dog, the only thing we had to take care of was to get a lot of food. I don’t think he cared about the number of zeroes.”
Akshay is fine with Junior getting all the attention and has even suggested that the producer put the dog’s name first in the line of credits. Did the star who has always romanced actresses feel rewarded enough running after a pet? Akshay says he can measure the reward only after the movie gets released.
Akshay goes on to speak about the experience of shooting with Junior. “As for takes and retakes, I wouldn’t be able to give more than three because I would feel ashamed about it. But Junior was shameless and gave more and more takes. It is not easy to shoot with dogs. They often just walk out or take a stroll after one shot. It’s the same as with babies, which I experienced while shooting Hey Baby. I guess you need to have a lot of patience,” he says.
Akshay tells us about a sequence with Junior that was included at the last minute. “I had an evening flight from Bangkok where we were doing a photoshoot. That was my last day with Junior. I don’t know what got into him, he started licking my face. I think he knew that it was the last time that he was seeing me too. Luckily, we still had the camera people around who continued shooting. And then the directors decided to include the shot in film,” he explains.
The actor recollected more such cute things that happened on the shoot. He also recommended that everyone should adopt a dog.
Tamannaah says she never felt neglected because of Junior getting all the attention from Akshay and the team. “In fact, I also got a chance to romance Junior. That was particularly interesting for me, having never done that before,” she says.
Interestingly, Tamannaah got a new pet to her house after Entertainment. “This film will always be special to me as it introduced me to the importance of having pets. After watching this film, everyone would want to have a pet in their home,” she adds.
Ramesh Taurani, who is known to associate with thriller projects, had no second thoughts about investing on Entertainment, as it had a pet in focus.
“My directors narrated the story so well that I could visualise the film unfolding in front of me. I thought this is the best film that can be ever be made with a pet. Also, I had been dreaming to work with Akshay for the past 19 years. In fact, it was Akshay who referred this story to me,” he explains, adding, “A film on dogs has not been made in the past 15 years. That was the main reason for me to do this film.”