'I don't have to deal with my failures'
Akshay Kumar had a rough run at the box office last year. But he remains positive about his forthcoming releases, especially Patiala House, which releases this Friday.
He tells Patcy N why.
Weren't you apprehensive about working with director Nikhil Advani since the last film you two did together, Chandni Chowk To China, was a huge dud?
Such things only affect people who are scared in their life -- jo darpok kisam ke log hote hai (people who are scared). I don't think that way. I feel the previous film does not affect the film that is releasing. I am more confident about the present and the future.
I have great faith in Nikhil Advani, who made Kal Ho Naa Ho. I don't think he will go wrong or make mistakes when he is making an emotional film like Patiala House.
I am very proud of Patiala House. You can relate with the story and the characters.
Your mother-in-law Dimple Kapadia is a part of this part. How was it working with her?
I enjoyed working with her. Before the shoot started, I thought I would get a little nervous working with her but nothing of that sort happened. In fact, I would look forward to working with her everyday.
Image: Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma in Patiala House
'Amrish Puri was my best onscreen dad'
In Patiala House, your character has a large family, and seems very family-oriented. How close are you to your family in real life?
I am very close to my family.
Actually, I used to live in a joint family in Delhi. We were 22 of us staying in a three-bedroom house. But there was a lot of love and affection. There's a lot of security when you live in a joint family.
I have a very good relationship with my in-laws too. We practically meet everyday.
This is the second time you are working with Rishi Kapoor. Anushka told us that she was petrified about working with him. Did you feel that too?
I've never had any discomfort working with Rishi Kapoor. I respect him as an actor, and human being. I have watched his films in my younger days. I was never nervous.
Who is your favourite onscreen father?
It has to be Amrish Puri saab. I have done many films with him. I miss him a lot. He was not only like a father to me but he was a very good friend too. I would talk to him everyday on the phone. I still have his number on my cell phone; I have not deleted it.
I have always enjoyed the father-son relationship. I have a great rapport with my father. My production house is named after my father: Hari Om Entertainment.
Image: Akshay Kumar and Amrish Puri in Police Force
'It's better to make fun of yourself than make fun of others'
You had a fairly bad year last year. What went wrong? And what are your expectations from this year?
I thought last year was very good. I enjoyed myself. The only loss that I had was losing my grandmother. Other than that, it was a great year for me.
My expectations from this year are high as usual. You always aim for the sky. If it happens, it's good. If it doesn't, you can try again the next year.
You seem to be taking flops in the right spirit. How do you deal with failure? Do you ever get sleepless nights before a release or after a film has been called a flop?
I don't have to deal with my failures. People have to keep walking ahead. Sometimes, you have to walk backwards a bit but that only means you are getting ready for a big leap. So I think I am getting ready for a big leap.
At the Zee Cine awards, you paid homage to your film Action Replayy. Did you think the film was really that bad?
No, it was not a bad film; it just did not do well. Sometimes people don't identify with the film or the characters. Or maybe they're not ready to watch a film set in 1970s. Or maybe the look did not work something went wrong there.
It's better to make fun of yourself than make fun of others.
Image: Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Action Replayy
'I don't have any regrets in life'
Did you feel bad that Tees Maar Khan didn't work?
Whatever I expected, I am very happy with Tees Maar Khan and the box office collections. I am not worried about anything.
Do you have any regrets?
No. I don't have any regrets in life. I am what I am today because of my hard work and blessings from my family and fans, who have loved me throughout my career.
I am very happy with my progress. I know a lot of people who would love to be in my shoes.
Image: Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif in Tees Maar Khan
'Stardom has given me more confidence'
How has stardom changed you?
I have always been a confident guy but stardom has given me more confidence. Other than that, I'm still the same person. Theirs isn't much of a change. I still have the same set of friends. I don't have many film friends but I have all my friends from school and college.
You have so many releases in a year. How much time do you give your son?
I do four films every year but I take one and a half weeks off every three months. I don't work on Sundays, and have other off days too. Plus, I take a month off for my family every year.
Still, I manage to do four films in a year. I don't think I am working much. I have a lot of time to spend with Aarav.
You're doing so many comedies. When will we see you in an action film?
I will be doing an action film with Prabhudeva this year.
Image: A scene from Patiala House