What makes Akshay Kumar so vulnerable and unpredictable sometimes is the fact that no one knows how his mood for the day is going to be. He may come across as a bizarre one answering questions in one line or may come across as a completely funny man talking nonsense and still making sense. You never know with this ‘Khiladi’ because he loves playing games with the media, fans and even the opposite sex, like in his recent film Kambakkht Ishq. So in order to trace what mood and mode this six feet two inch personality was actually in, UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent Devansh Patel followed the actor to Mumbai’s Sun N Sand Hotel where the suave star was busy giving his broadcast interviews with some sexy ladies, trying to flirt his way to the top in his trademark style. In this short interview, Akki talks about the extrovert Simrita (Kareena‘s screen name), his long lost co-star Aftab Shivdasani, fun being an incompatible couple, his lean figure, his sometimes violent fans and why he would also do films like 8 X 10 Tasveer besides his comic capers.
What happens when you meet an extrovert like Simrita?
(After nearly two minutes of silence) I’d actually be offended. I’d not like to speak to that person and just walk off. I’d never try to be near her at all.
I’m playing a Hollywood stuntman and all the Hollywood actors are a part of my life in the film
Kambakkht Ishq looks like a mad comic capers you’ve done in the past like Deewane Huye Paagal and Awara Paagal Deewana.
Not at all. First of all, it’s not a comic caper. It’s a romantic comedy. Yes, it has many comic moments but it’s also got love infused in it. Too much of romance is there in the film. It’s all about one-upmanship between the two sexes and who is dominant. It’s a superiority complex. The kind of dialogues we have with each other is the kind of dialogues you will relate to. Somewhere or the other it’ll remind you of the similar type of conversation you’ve had with a woman in your life. There aren’t many films of such nature which are being made in Hindi cinema. I believe that Men are from Mars and Women are from Heaven.
It looks like Kambakkht Ishq is a complete overseas package in the way it’s shot and with Hollywood action heroes adoring the Bollywood space.
I don’t know about the overseas package. It sounds very shallow that a film is only made for the overseas population. Yes, it’s got Hollywood actors in it and may appeal to the public in the West but it’s an Indian film for the world to see. It’s a film which I’ve enjoyed doing because of the script. I’m playing a Hollywood stuntman and all the Hollywood actors are a part of my life in the film. That’s the reason they are there in the film and not to package it as an international release.
You’ve worked with Aftab Shivdasani in Awara Pagal Deewana. How is Affy now after you’ve last seen him a good, four to five years ago?
Affy can play these kinds of roles very easily like he played in Awara Pagal Deewana. He fits the ‘bechara’, ‘pyaar ka maara’ type of roles very well. You feel sorry for his character in the film. He is very true to his character in whichever film he performs. I loved him in Kasoor where he played an obsessed lover along side Lisa Ray. He was superb in the film.
What’s the fun in being an incompatible couple?
The fun is what women think about men and what men think about women. We just say it openly about it. We curse each other which is great. We pull our leg, disagree with every word we say and that’s fun.
Lean and fit is your fitness statement. You’re fit at 40 unlike others who’re still pumping iron to stay in shape.
I don’t think that’s right. I believe in having an athletic body more than a bulkier body. I am too natural when it comes to fitness. I do not pick up weights. Obviously, a body like me does help in terms of an action film and stunts. Most of my stunts are performed by me because of this athletic body. If I had bulging biceps, I could only bash somebody up.
Most of my stunts are performed by me because of this athletic body
Why is there so much expectation surrounding your release always?
Because my fans expect a lot of fun and entertainment from Akshay Kumar. They’ve seen me in my last five years doing mad comedy. That’s the reason why. They come in search of masala, they come in search of laughter, they come in search of emotions here and there and they’ve got everything to take back home with them after watching my comic films. And when they didn’t get 8 X 10 Tasveer, they got disappointed. No masti, fun, laughter. I need to do different films to get into a different mode. Films like 8 X 10 Tasveer satisfy me as an actor. I’m very proud of Nagesh.
What about your fans? They just don’t love you. I’m sure they’ve got a bit violent sometimes?
Oh yes. Fans in the overseas can get violent sometimes, especially women fans. They pounce on you with their long nails scratching you behind your neck. It’s happened to me quite a few times now when I’ve visited the US or the UK. Of course, I don’t argue with Twinkle when I go back home with such scratch marks made by my female fans. I also remember the time when my hands were bleeding when I shook hands with a female fan. She had a blade in between her fingers which you can’t see. Such are some fans. Some love to hate me I guess. But realistically, I believe that that’s the way some of the fans show love to you.
Which is your favourite Sylvester Stallone film you’ve seen?
I like his last Rocky film. He was absolutely fantastic in it. I didn’t ask him which film he had seen of mine because I was too ashamed of asking that question as I suspected the answer to be ‘No’.
Did you guys hang around after the shoot was over? Denise, you, Kareena, Sylvester, Brandon?
No, we didn’t hang around together. In Hollywood, you just work. But yes, we did chat a lot. Denise was more interested in knowing about India. I also mentioned to her that India is a Bollywood crazy country but I told her that people will go to the theatres to watch Kambakkht Ishq more than the English films she has been a part of.