It has been close to a year since Farah Khan decided to move on from her professional association with Shah Rukh Khan and approach Akshay Kumar to play the central protagonist in her third film as a director, Tees Maar Khan. However, the question that continues to haunt her is till date is about her ‘split’ with the man who worked in her first two films – Main Hoon Naa and Om Shanti Om.
Meanwhile, there has always been an ongoing speculation around how Akshay Kumar reacted when Farah approached her for the film. It was a known fact that when Farah and Shirish were planning to make Tees Maar Khan together, they had Shah Rukh Khan in mind. However, one fine day they approached Akshay. How did the conversation go like?
Says Akshay with a straight face, “It went something like ‘Akshay, I am going to be honest with you. Shah Rukh unfortunately couldn’t give us dates but it would be an honour if you would like to make this movie with us. Your character is Tees Maar Khan, so how about doing it? You know me very well Akshay, I am a director and a mom and I have mouths to feed. Can you give us dates this year?’ Well, I was on board the minute Farah said ‘honour’.”
He soon brings on a laugh, “I am kidding. She sat with me a couple of times and narrated her concept. I loved it and from the bottom of my heart. I had full faith in Farah & Shirish’s movie. And yes, honestly I was excited as well as relieved to fall in love with a script where I would be playing a hero, because very few heroic scripts really fascinate me these days.”
Still, the fact remains that over all these years, Farah had always proclaimed her never-breaking bond with Shah Rukh Khan. Didn’t Akshay feel a little awkward to be actually consenting to not just work but also back this film by Farah?
“Are you kidding me”, immediately responds Akshay, “I have nothing to feel awkward about. I am an actor and Farah is a director. Theoretically neither of us; or anyone for that fact needs to ask for anyone’s permission to work. Farah’s relationship with Shah Rukh has nothing to do with me. I am aware of their incredible bond, I have never intended on jeopardizing or coming between either of them and they are both aware of that. I am sure Shah Rukh wishes us both well. He is an extremely intelligent and mature man and naturally would only want the best for his fellow colleagues.”
Getting serious, he adds, “But there is a lesson for all here. One should never mix personal with professional life. As the saying goes, ‘Never get your Honey where you get your Money’ (smiles). In this case, friends are people you go home to see while colleagues are people you go to work and see. When the two mix, at least one – if not both – partnerships can get seriously spoiled. I and Farah are just doing a job here. No one is supposed to get hurt. Bollywood is a business, it’s not a festival.”