Akshay Kumar was seen in Pad Man earlier this year. Though it has been over six months since the superstar was seen on the big screen, he would be striking back with vengeance in the next few months. There would be a flurry of releases now starting with Gold, which would be followed by 2.0, Kesari, Housefull 4 and Good News to name a few. With his sports drama Gold set to release on Independence Day, we catch up with the actor to talk about the Rema Kagti film and his further innings ahead.
Gold is releasing almost six months after Pad Man. For audiences who are used to watching a film of yours every 3-4 months, this seems like a wait for an eternity. Even you must be feeling the wait?
Very true, even I have missed running around the country promoting my passion! But not to fear as now I have 2 films releasing within 3 months of each other!! The jam-packed man is back (smiles).
While you do release three-four films at an average every year, it must be tough to pick and choose so many good scripts and be sure that they would all come out well on the big screen?
To be very honest, scripts are like buses. You wait ages for one, and then four come at once. I actually remember earlier this year thinking, “Hmmm, next year isn’t fully booked yet”. And within one month, my destiny changed completely and now I am booked till the following year!! There are many wonderful scripts out there; it depends on sheer luck when they reach you. I am always about giving passionate people chances, you don’t have to be world class or famous to get my attention; you just have to be honest, sincere and unbelievably passionate about making something fresh, honest and worthy of everyone’s time effort and money.
Exactly. See, India is full of talent, there are endless untold stories and I aim to bring as many as I can to the attention of our masses till the time the audiences will accept and let me. Films aren’t just about entertainment; they are learning curves and opinion creators. Choosing wisely comes with experience, but no one knows what the audience will do to your film. They could glorify it as quickly as they can snub it. But like I always say and believe, every film has its own destiny.
By the look of things, Gold seems to be destined for something spectacular. After all, it is your biggest film in terms of scale, size, canvas, budget and grandeur when compared to your last three-four films.
Yes, it most certainly is. It’s a film that needed scale, budget, effects, and like you said, grandeur. In fact, in the film, I am stepping out of India for the first time in what feels like quite a while. We shot in Leeds and Bradford in the UK with many hockey teams and a big enough crew to handle them all. We shot in stadiums, juggled crowds, trained with experts and did all we could to portray the sporting era that has never been seen in Indian cinema yet. It was actually nice to be on the road again. I have shot so much recently all across India. It was a good change.
I have also heard that Gold is one film where you have given the maximum number of days for shooting, especially since a lot of it also involves outdoor shoots?
I am going to be cheeky and say that you can thank my director Reema (Kagti) for that. She shoots very differently to what I am used to. I have always enjoyed giving my best and being a ‘One take wonder’. However Reema, regardless of the quality of the first take, likes to capture many sides to her scenes. So in fact rather than counting the amount of days, I was actually counting the amount of takes (smiles).
The film has just the perfect combination of sports, patriotism, drama and thrills. That must have been an exhilarating experience for you?
It definitely has an ensemble of emotions and a variety to hopefully fulfill the expectations of many cine-goers. I have given them heavy content for a while, so now I feel it’s time to show them how BIG I still like to go. Hence Gold is being released in IMAX theatres across India as well as internationally. I can’t tell you how excited I am to see it on the biggest screens we have (smiles). We just launched our trailer at an IMAX theatre a few days back and it truly does look amazing seeing it on such a big scale. Gold is definitely full of firsts for me, be it the director Reema, the Spanish DOP, hockey on screen, periodic drama in the 40s, and now my first time showcasing in an IMAX theatre. Now bring on new Box Office records too (smiles).